On my first trip to the U.S to meet my then to-be-husband, he introduced me to all foods American. One of his favorite Game Day Snacks (he’s a big football fan) were tater-skins and my reply was along the lines of, “What the hell are Tater-skins?”. So he went on to explain that you bake potatoes, cut them in half…scoop out the potatoes from them leaving just the skins…bake them crisp and stuff them with lots of cheese, onion and bacon (of course there had to be bacon involved! wouldn’t be his favorite snack if there wasn’t!) then cook them till the cheese melts, take it out of the oven and slap a dollop of sour cream on the skins and eat away! “So you scoop out and throw away the actual potato and eat just the skins?” ….I wasn’t buying it. This was something I had to try, to be convinced that it was perfectly resonable to throw away what I consider the best part of the potato. So he made it for me…and my first bite into that crispy potato skin, I was convinced…boy, was I convinced! I loved them!
Now, I don’t throw away the perfectly good scooped out potatoes, cos that’s just wasteful. I save them instead for mashed potatoes or toss them in some other dish. I also added my own little twist to the simple Potato skins by stuffing them with Ranch Chicken, which makes it a hearty meal if you want. My husband loved the stuffed ‘tater-skins’ so much he said I should do a recipe on them…so here I am. And here’s my version of Football Snack you’ll definitely be making again for the superbowl if your husband/boyfriend tries them…
Ranch Chicken Stuffed Potato Skins
6 medium Russet Potatoes
1 Chicken Breast
1 packet Ranch Powder
2 tbsp Ranch Dressing
4 strips Bacon
3-4 Green Onions.
1 1/2 cup grated cheese
Oil/ Butter for brushing
– Pre-heat your oven to 400F. Wash and scrub the potatoes well as the outer skins are the main part of this dish.Once washed, dry the potatoes off on a paper towels.
– Then brush the outside of the potatoes well with vegetable oil and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the potatoes for about 30 mins at 400F. until they are cooked all the way through. Pierce a knife into the biggest one to check. Set them aside to cool.
– In the meantime, cut one chicken breast into 1/2 in thick strips.
– Season the chicken pieces on both sides with ranch powder.
– In skillet, brown the bacon strips until crispy (or however you like them).
– Cut the bacon into bite size bits and set it aside.
– Pour some of the extra bacon grease outof the pan, but leave a little to fry the chicken. Pan fry the chicken strips in the same pan for about 3-4 minutes on each side until the chicken is cooked.
– Let the chicken cool for a couple minutes, then cut the cooked chicken into little cubes.
– Add 2 tablespoons of ranch dressing to the chicken and mix it well.
– While you’re at it, finely chop some green onions too and set it aside.
– Once the potatoes have cooled off. Cut them length-wise down the middle in halves.
– Using a spoon scoop out the insides, leaving a little rim of potato around the edges. You can save the innards and make mashed potatoes for later.
– Melt some butter & oil together.
– Brush the insides and the outsides of the potatoes with the butter-oil and throw them back in the oven skin side up for 5-8 minutes or until the skin really starts to crisp. Then flip the taters over and leave them for another 5 mins.
– Once the potato skins are nice and crisp, take them out and fill them with the ranch chicken mix, grated cheese, green onion and top it off with the bacon and pop them back in the oven for 5-8 minutes until the cheese melts.
– Garnish with some more green onions sprinkled on top and with a little bit of sour cream (if you want).