Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Never too much bacon...

Here's one that has been tearing up Pinterest and Facebook lately (sorry, but I have no idea of the original source to give proper credit). Having made it for our dinner tonight, I can see why it's all the rage at the moment. This one's a keeper and destined to go in the regular rotation around here!

Loaded Potato and Chicken Casserole

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut in 1" cubes (I used 2 3/4 pounds)
8-10 medium potatoes, cut in 1" cubes (skins left on)
1/3 cup olive oil (1/4 cup would have been enough, I think--esp. as I used extra chicken and had plenty of marinade)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons granulated garlic (you read that right, but feel free to use just 1 T if you're scared)
6 tablespoons hot sauce (we used 3, and it was perfectly spicy for us)

2 cups shredded fiesta blend cheese (I used Colby jack mixed with 1 tablespoon dark chili powder)
1 cup crumbled bacon--12 thick slices (but 1/2 cup, or 6 slices, would have been plenty)
1 cup sliced green onion (I used 6 green onions which was less than a cup, but that was enough for me)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Spray a 9X13" baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and hot sauce. Add the cubed potatoes and stir to coat. Carefully scoop/strain the potatoes into the prepared baking dish, leaving behind as much of the olive oil/hot sauce mixture as possible in the bowl. Bake the potatoes for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until cooked through and crispy and browned on the outside.

While the potatoes are cooking, add the cubed chicken to the bowl with the leftover olive oil/hot sauce mixture and stir to coat. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Top the cooked potatoes with the raw marinated chicken. Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. 

In a bowl, mix together the cheese, bacon and green onion. When the chicken is just about done, sprinkle the cheese mixture on top of the casserole and bake for another five minutes, just until melted and gooey!
*This is supposed to be served with sour cream or ranch dressing, but I think it is plenty decadent and flavorful without that. However, a green salad on the side with some ranch or blue cheese dressing is the perfect complement to this dish.

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