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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Loaded Potato and Buffalo Chicken Casserole

I know, I know... another casserole.  Another potato casserole at that.  I'm sorry, but I can't help falling for those potatoes every time I see a recipe.

I was skeptical about this recipe.  Like the Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake from last month, it's made with hot sauce which gives it a buffalo flavor.  I probably mentioned this before, but buffalo sauce turns my stomach ever since I was pregnant with Bailey.

This meal turned out much more like Mom's chicken potato burritos (I promise I'll share all the recipes for the stuff Mom makes for me) than actual buffalo flavored.  I really enjoyed it and so did Aaron.  He had 3 bowls of it.  His only complaint was that the potatoes kept burning his tongue (because he wouldn't wait for it to cool.)

The potatoes are quite spicy.  The recipe does have hot sauce in it, but I think the massive amount of pepper was what really gave it the kick.  You could (and probably should if you're feeding children) cut back the pepper or the hot sauce, but the chicken, bacon, and cheese have a cooling effect since most of the spice mixture ends up on the potatoes.

I cut the original recipe in half because it called for 8-10 potatoes and I know for sure that Aaron and I won't eat more than 4 potatoes and I don't care for leftover potatoes.  As I made it the recipe should feed 3 adults (unless they eat like Aaron in which case it will only feed 2.)

Definitely give this recipe a try if you like spicy foods.  It is warm and cheesy and delicious.

Loaded Potato and Chicken Casserole

2 chicken breasts (about 1 lb), cut into 1 inch cubes
4-5 medium size potatoes (I used russets), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil
3 Tbsp hot sauce
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 cups colby jack cheese, shredded
5-6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
sliced green onions and sour cream to garnish (optional... obviously we didn't use them since we don't care for them)

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  I know that sounds really hot, but trust me you'll need it hot to cook the potatoes.  Spray an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish liberally with vegetable oil spray.

In a skillet combine the oil, hot sauce, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder over medium heat.

Once the ingredients are combined toss the potatoes in the skillet to coat them with the spice mixture.  You may need to do this in batches if you have a smaller skillet or more potatoes.  Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking dish and bake for 45-50 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through and are just starting to get crispy.  Stir the potatoes about every 15 minutes.

While the potatoes are in the oven cook the chicken in the skillet with the leftover spice mixture.  Cook it over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through.

Set the chicken aside until the potatoes are ready.

When the potatoes are cooked through take them out of the oven.

Layer the chicken over the potatoes...

... the bacon over the chicken, and the cheese on the top.

Bake another 10 minutes or so, until the cheese is melty and bubbly and the chicken and bacon are warmed through.

Doesn't it look delicious?

Serve warm with sour cream or green onions to garnish if you like.

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