I went back and forth over whether it was even worth sharing this dish with you guys. It almost seemed too simple, but since I'd never thought to do it before, I figured there were probably at least a few of you who'd benefit from the post. And besides, it's a ridiculously easy dinner idea, and I'm pretty sure you can never have enough of those in your arsenal. Plus it solves the problem of what to do with just a little bit of leftover shredded chicken, which is one I'm faced with surprisingly often. Oh, and obviously we thought it was really good :)
Shane's parents were headed out of town for the weekend today and they offered their house to us; we jumped at the chance for a mini getaway! Sometimes it's just nice to have a change of scenery for a few days (even if the weekend is supposed to be a total washout - boo), ya know? It was sort of a last minute decision, so as we were running around trying to pack and clean our house a little last night, this proved to be the perfect dinner. Throw the potatoes in the oven and let them do their thing for an hour, and when they're almost done, just warm the chicken and barbecue sauce and prep the toppings. Maybe 5 or 7 minutes of hands-on time total, it doesn't get much easier! I loved the way the skin of the potato crisped up in the oven and the contrast it provided to the fluffy interior and tender, juicy chicken.
The idea is open to a ton of variation too - you could use buffalo chicken, pulled pork or even roasted veggies if you wanted to skip the meat entirely. It makes it easy to customize to suit individual tastes too, and that's always a good thing in our house.
Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Baked Potatoes
from Barefeet in the Kitchen
2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed
extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup cooked and shredded chicken
2/3 cup barbecue sauce (store-bought or homemade)
scallions, shredded cheese and/or sour cream (optional toppings)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Dry the potatoes thoroughly. Use a fork to make several sets of holes in each potato. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil then sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a fork inserted in the potatoes meets no resistance.
Meanwhile, combine the shredded chicken and barbecue sauce in a medium saucepan and set over low heat. Stirring occasionally, heat the mixture until warmed through. (You can add more barbecue sauce as desired.)
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice each one down the center, leaving the ends in tact. Gently push on the ends of each potato to open it and expose the center. Use a fork to fluff the insides of each potato. Divide the barbecue chicken mixture between the potatoes, then garnish with toppings of your choice - we used sour cream, cheddar cheese and scallions.