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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Baked Potatoes

Happy Independence Day everyone!

Today has been just plain ugly.  It rained almost all day.  It was even sprinkling when we stepped outside to watch our neighbors' fireworks.  That's probably okay since they scared the living daylights out of Bailey.  She was so conflicted, wanting to watch the pretty part but wanting to hide from the sound.

Since the forecast for the day was like 90% rain all day we decided not to do a cookout.  I was fine with that decision being that I would have ended up standing in front of the hot grill either in the rain or in the 90 degree heat.  The only problem was that I didn't know what to make for dinner.  I didn't buy anything to cook tonight and I don't generally keep extras of anything around.  I did happen to have 2 extra chicken breasts for the week, the boxed macaroni and cheese that I keep stocked in the cabinet, half a crown of broccoli from last week that was still good, and some extra potatoes.  I chose to make something new since technically it is new recipe night, and I have been on a baked potato kick for the last few weeks.

I used to order a spud at McAlister's Deli that had deli ham and turkey, cheese, and black olives.  There was another one I used to get that was topped with grilled chicken and mozzarella.  I made a sort of cross of the two.  I used baked chicken, black olives, butter, and shredded colby jack cheese.  It was a delicious combination and a very satisfying meal.  I don't think Aaron was quite as excited about it as I was, but he'll get over it when I make the spaghetti and meatballs tomorrow night.

Cheesy Chicken Baked Potatoes

For the chicken:
2 chicken breasts
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

For the potatoes:
2 baking potatoes (large russets for baking)
2 Tbsp olive oil

To finish:
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1-2 Tbsp sliced black olives
1 cup colby jack cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.  Spray a baking dish with vegetable oil spray.  In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Sprinkle both sides of each chicken breast with the spice mixture.  Place them in the baking dish.

Tear off two pieces of aluminum foil large enough to wrap the potatoes in.  Clean the potatoes and dry them.  Over the sink pour 1 Tbsp of olive oil in your hand and rub it onto a potato.  Sprinkle it with salt.  Roll the potato up in foil.  Repeat with the second potato.

Place the potatoes and the baking dish with the chicken in the oven at 475 degrees.  Cook for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes remove the chicken but leave the potatoes in for another 15-20 minutes.  Allow the chicken to rest about 10 minutes before either slicing or chopping.  Once the chicken has been cut return it to the baking dish with the chicken juices.

After 15-20 minutes remove the potatoes and unwrap the foil.  Place them on the cutting board and slice in half with a sharp knife.  Move to a small baking sheet lined with foil (you could actually use the foil you cooked the potatoes in if you want) and use a fork to flake the insides of the potato up just a bit.  Sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

Cut the 2 Tbsp of butter into small pieces and spread them over the potatoes.  Layer the chicken on top of the butter, then about 1 Tbsp of black olives on each potato, then cover with shredded cheese.  Return to the oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve hot with a side of veggies.

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