àBecause we’ve been trying to restrict kitchen time lately, we’ve been eating a lot of baked potatoes. They’re easy, nutritious, and – depending on what you put on them – can be fairly low in calories. I confess, I usually don’t worry about that last dictum and load them up with cheese, sour cream, butter, bacon, scallions, mushrooms, and whatever else I can find. But that has gotten boring. I had some chicken in the refrigerator that needed to be used and so I thought about coming up with a baked potato topping that would get me away from the blahs while still avoiding extended kitchen time.. Creamed chicken on toast or waffles is always a winner, so why not creamed chicken on baked potatoes. It turned out to be very easy and pretty tasty.
Baked Potato à la King
- 4 chicken thighs
- 4 cups chicken stock
- ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning, or to taste
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 3 scallions, including green tops, sliced
- 3 medium button mushrooms, sliced
- 3 snacking peppers, seeded and sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 medium russet potatoes
- butter or vegetable shortening
- Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- In a three-quart sauce pan, place the chicken thighs in the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a slow boil and cook for 30-40 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and cool. Remove the meat and discard the skin and bones. Cut or shred into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- Strain the stock and cool. Clean and dry the sauce pan and return to medium heat. Add the flour and butter, stirring until a smooth roux is formed and is bubbling. Cook a few minutes to remove the raw flour taste, but do not allow the roux to color. Stir in the strained chicken stock and return to the boil. Allow to boil gently to reduce the mixture by about half.
- Add the celery, scallions, mushrooms, and snacking peppers. Simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, scrub the potatoes, rub them generously with butter or vegetable shortening, and pierce in several places with a kitchen fork. Bake for 1½ hours in a small baking dish in the middle of an oven preheated to 350°F (You can use whatever temperature/time combination you prefer, but I believe that a lower temperature and longer cooking time yield a fluffier potato).
- When the potatoes are cooked through, remove from the oven and transfer the potatoes to soup bowls. Open the potatoes, add additional butter, salt, and pepper if you prefer. Ladle some of the chicken mixture over the potatoes, top with grated Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately