Sunday, September 08, 2013

Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Birthdays have always been a big deal to me.  When I was younger my mom would throw me the best birthday parties where she would always decorate based on whatever theme I wanted and the cakes she made always matched the theme perfectly.  Her cakes are amazing.  Now that I'm older, I don't have themed parties - and more & more it feels like birthdays just are not as big of a deal....but I still love celebrating birthdays...whether it is my own or someone else's.  

My husband's birthday was a couple days ago so of course I had to make him a birthday meal.  He didn't have any requests, he just wanted to come home to food. :)   Thinking of what ingredients I had on hand helped me decide on this loaded potato & buffalo chicken casserole.  Talk about comfort food.  Who doesn't love a loaded potato?  It had just the right amount of spiciness and hint of bacon - and if you top it off with some ranch dressing, you can't go wrong.  

The birthday boy went back for seconds.  And thirds....and fourths...and finally I had to remind him that there was still pie for dessert. :)  Needless to say it was a hit and I think we'll be adding it to the "favorite casseroles" list.  

Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole
Serves 4-6
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8-10 medium red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (with the skin on)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
6 tablespoons hot sauce

1 cup shredded provolone cheese & 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4-5 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 cup diced green onion

Preheat oven to 500F. (Yes, that hot!)

In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, hot sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder & paprika.  Add the potatoes and stir to coat. Add the potatoes to a greased baking dish.  When scooping the potatoes into the baking dish, leave behind any extra olive oil/hot sauce mix.

Add the diced chicken to the leftover olive oil/hot sauce mix (there won’t be a lot but that’s ok) and stir to coat all the chicken. Allow to marinate as the potatoes bake.

Roast the potatoes for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until cooked through and nice and crispy on the outside.

Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 400°F.  Add the marinated chicken to the potatoes. 

In a large bowl mix all the topping ingredients together.  Top the raw chicken with the topping.
Bake 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the topping is melted and bubbly.

Serve with extra hot sauce and/or ranch dressing. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Cook Lisa Cook

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