Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Spicy Chicken Spud

Yikes, no posts since August?  Time just slips away when you're busy and before you know it you've disappeared for much longer than intended. I'm not going to make excuses because I hate it when blogs do that.  Just know this last semester of grad school has taken more time than the others, and that I have not disappeared completely.  I have lots of ideas for future posts. I am back with an amazing combination that came about because of my obsession and frustration.  

My obsession comes in the form of a baked potato.  This is not the first time I've been obsessed with a baked potato.  I eat them when I can't think of anything else I want.  They are a constant source of joy for me.  I top them with one or more of the standards: butter, sour cream, crisp bacon, broccoli, cheese, ham, and caramelized onions and the not so standard: salsa, chili, and steak seasoning.  I've recently heard about a raw egg cracked inside a potato and baked until the egg white is set but the yoke is still runny.  I'm searching for a way to do this (if anyone knows, please tell me).  It's safe to say baked potatoes are one of my favorite foods.  

So why the frustration?  It came from a beautiful combination of baked potato toppings that I had never considered: cheese, bacon, green onions, a buffalo sauce dipped chicken strip, ranch, and more buffalo sauce.  It is amazing.  I had dreams about this potato after I had it.  The problem was not with the potato itself but the place it was served.  This restaurant, which shall not be named has terrible service.  The food is slow and comes out sporadically even when the place is not busy.  I would get annoyed every time I went there, but whenever one of my friends wanted to go I would be a little (okay a lot) excited because I knew the potato was waiting there for me.  

I have decided to take a stand and rid myself of this dependence, not on the potato, but on the restaurant.  I knew I could recreate this masterpiece not only as good as, but better than the original, and I was right.  With the addition of blue cheese crumbles, I am no longer beholden to slow service, and sometimes cold food.  

I now present to you the Spicy Chicken Spud.  The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it as homemade or as store-bought as you want.  For instance, I made my ranch dressing and chicken strips, but I bought the buffalo sauce.  You could use all pre-made sauces, and frozen chicken strips and then just assemble the potato.  I've eaten this 3 times over the past 3 days, once for supper, once for lunch, and once for breakfast.  They were all equally fantastic, and on an especially groggy morning, it made the day much better (buffalo sauce might be more effective than coffee).  

The Spicy Chicken Spud
Serves 1, but can be expanded to any number

1 baked potato (I prefer oven baked, but you could microwave it if you're in a rush)
1/4 cup shredded cheese (co-jack or sharp cheddar are my preference)
2 strips bacon cooked until crispy and then crumbled
1 green onion, white and green parts chopped
1 cooked chicken strip (My recipe is here)
2 tablespoons or more to taste buffalo sauce (I used Frank's)
1 to 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
1 tablespoon blue cheese crumbles


Slit potato open and squeeze from the ends.  Add about 1/2 of the shredded cheese, 1/2 of the bacon, and 1/2 of the green onion into the crevice of the split potato.  Place the chicken strip inside the potato.  Top the chicken strip with the buffalo sauce and drizzle some of the sauce on the plate.  Next, top the potato with the ranch dressing and the rest of your bacon, shredded cheese, and green onion.  Top with blue cheese and enjoy.