Today’s recipe is pretty representative of this time of the year for me – hurried but delicious. It’s something I made while Eric was traveling for work, and it’s a recipe that will come in handy during the rush of the holiday season. While this year will be significantly less stressful for us, thanks to the fact that we’re celebrating Christmas at home, we’ve still got plenty going on between shopping and baking and attending various parties. Less stressful, for sure, but not quite stress free. With all the chaos (and the extra time spent sitting in traffic) it’s easy to cave in to the desire to get takeout. However, I’ve found that a well-stocked kitchen and a handful of quick recipes has almost completely eliminated that desire.
This quick dinner is inspired by the Pig in the Potato Patch at Jim’N Nick’s, a restaurant we frequented when we lived in Birmingham. It’s a baked potato topped with barbecued meat and all the fixings. I said this was quick, not healthy. If you’ve got leftover chicken or pork and some barbecue sauce, all you’ve got to do for dinner is bake the potato. Recipes like this one have especially come in handy for me on nights I have a lot of baking to do. Because, you know, it’s probably not a good idea for me to have sugar cookies and peppermint cheesecake for dinner.
- YIELD: 2 servings
Heat oven to 350º and adjust oven rack to the middle position. Lightly rub each potato with vegetable oil and place directly on the oven rack. Bake for 1¼ hours. Use a fork to pierce an X into each potato, then press the ends to open and allow steam to escape. Alternately, if you’re in a hurry, you can microwave the potatoes in a shallow baking dish for 9-12 minutes, turning after every 3, or until a knife pierces the potato with little resistance.
Warm the chicken and toss with desired amount of barbecue sauce. Top the cooked potatoes with butter and/or sour cream, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add a generous serving of chicken, then top with bacon, scallions and cheese.