Monday, October 29, 2012

The Schwartz's vs Pinned It, Made It: Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

(Picture pre-final baking)

I found this pinned as "Loaded Baked Potato Casserole" that led me to this website here:

For those of you that don't want to follow link I'm going to copy and paste the recipe here. 
Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8-10 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I leave the skin on)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 TBS. freshly ground pepper
1 TBS. paprika
2 TBS. garlic powder
6 TBS. hot sauce
2 c. Fiesta Blend Cheese or a mix of Cheddar & Monterey Jack
1 c. crumbled bacon
1 c diced green onion
Preheat oven to 500F. In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder & hot sauce. Add the cubed potatoes and stir to coat. Carefully scoop the potatoes into a cooking spray coated baking dish, leaving behind as much of the olive oil/hot sauce mix as possible. Bake the potatoes for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until cooked through and crispy & browned on the outside. While the potatoes are cooking, add the cubed chicken to the bowl with the leftover olive oil/hot sauce mix and stir to coat. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 400F. Top the cooked potatoes with the raw marinated chicken. In a bowl mix together the cheese, bacon & green onion and top the raw chicken with the cheese mix. Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the topping is bubbly delicious. Serve with extra hot sauce and/or ranch dressing.
Potatoes and Cheese, Please!

And based on the link at the bottom and how the website looked I think it was just a website with a bunch of pins not the original sources.  

Anyway, let's discuss.  I made this as part of my new meal calendar.  For the next 6 weeks every Sunday I'm making something off my "Foods to Try" board on pinterest.  I picked this one because I love baked potatoes.  What I don't love is that it takes 75 minutes to bake.  I don't have time to something like that during the week.  Especially because the potatoes have to bake for an hour and be stirred every 10-15 minutes.  But on a Sunday it's more doable.  

The Pros:
* Turned out just like the picture.  That was a first for me for a pinterest venture.
*Makes a TON!  Probably 8-10 servings.
* Not a lot of ingredients and mostly stuff I have on hand.
* Only 2 chicken breasts, makes meat budget stretch farther.  
* Good flavor (a little spicy)
* Very filling.
* Reheats well. (Our Sunday meals need to make left overs for Chris's long day at school/work on Mondays)

The Cons:
* Chris thought there should be more chicken.
* Sarah thought it was too spicy.  She ate some on Sunday but didn't want any the next day.  

The Changes I made:
* I didn't have an paprika, so I left that out.
* I didn't have garlic powder so I used garlic salt.
* I used Franks Buffalo Sauce as my "hot sauce".
* Instead of crumbled bacon I baked some thick cut bacon while the oven was pre-heating and I cut up potatoes.  Then I cut it into chunks.  Waaaaay better than the small bacon crumbles they used. 
* I served it with Ranch dressing and Sour Cream for people to top it with.  Chris used ranch, he liked it.  I used sour cream and I liked it.  

The Changes I would make for next time:
* It was a bit spicy, I might use a little less hot sauce.
* I would add a packet of dry ranch to the mix that you toss the potatoes in.
* I may add an extra chicken breast to increase the meat to potato ratio for Chris.

But the main question is Would I Make it Again?
Yes, BUT, I wouldn't be a regular on my meal calendar rotation just because the kids didn't really seem to love it and it does take a lot of time.  Probably once every 4 months it might make it on the calendar.  

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