Yeah, well, you try and make a potato look pretty.
Clearly this is not haute cuisine. But I’ve never known anyone to complain about getting to eat a loaded potato.
Or BBQ chicken. Man, do I love BBQ chicken. Especially if it’s in the form of these chicken nuggets dipped in honey BBQ sauce. I don’t like making “rules” for myself around food, but I do keep one. It’s that I cannot buy those chicken nuggets unless they go on sale, which is rare. Why this rule? Because if not, I would buy a box every time I went to the grocery store. And if I have that box in my freezer, I will eat chicken nuggets every single night without batting an eye.
They’re just that good. My last roommate in college totally shared the obsession with me, except she’d even go a step further. She couldn’t do the nuggets without a side of sweet potato fries. Now I’ll be honest in that I’ve never had much success in making sweet fries from scratch at home, and I have no idea how that company manages to get them so crispy. But crispy and amazingly flavorful they are, and the perfect accompaniment to BBQ chicken.
This recipe is a combination of that great pairing in even simpler form. Well, I guess it’s not simpler than opening a box of frozen nuggets and a bag of frozen fries, but it’s simple as far as homemade goes! I make this Skillet Honey BBQ Pulled Chicken pretty often. It’s cheap, so easy, and much healthier than anything store bought. So when I had a sweet potato craving last weekend, I came up with the idea for these potatoes.
If you’ve read my last post about pizza, I’m sure you can guess my opinion on BBQ chicken pizza. I know it’s a big favorite on both the West and East Coasts, but I won’t be ordering it, thanks. However, I have a favorite little flatbread place I go to around the corner, where they serve the most amazing combo of balsamic barbecue chicken, caramelized onions, portabellas, and mozzarella. For these potatoes, I took some of the flavors from that flatbread and combined them with the ones on California Pizza Kitchen’s barbecue chicken pizza everyone loves so much.
What we get is sweet pulled barbecue chicken, caramelized onions, tomatoes, cheese, and a garnish of cilantro, piled high inside the nutritional powerhouse that is the sweet potato. You can even make the chicken and caramelized onions in advance, so when dinner rolls around, all you have to do is bake the potatoes, assemble, and enjoy!
BBQ Chicken Pizza Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Yields 4 servings
All the flavors of everyone’s favorite barbecue chicken pizza piled high inside nutrient-packed sweet potatoes.
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 1 Tbs. butter
- Salt & pepper
- 1 batch Skillet Honey BBQ Chicken
- 2oz (1/2 cup) shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, Mexican blend, etc.)
- 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 Tbs. minced cilantro, for garnish
- Sour cream for serving, if desired
Preheat your oven to 425º F. Scrub and dry the potatoes, then poke a few holes in each with a fork. Arrange on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan slightly before handling.
While the potatoes bake, caramelize the onions. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the onions uncovered for three or four minutes until fragrant and just beginning to brown. Turn the heat to medium low, and cover the pan with a lid. Allow to cook for 12-15 minutes longer, until melted and golden brown. To prevent them from burning, check the onions a couple times while they cook down, stirring gently and adding a splash of water, if needed. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
To assemble, make a deep slit down the center of each potato, stopping about 3/4″ from the bottom so they don’t break in half under the filling. Season the inside of each potato with salt and pepper. Stuff each with a quarter of the chicken, then layer the caramelized onions on top. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the four potatoes.
Return the pan to the oven for four or five minutes, until the cheese is melted and everything is heated through. Remove from the oven and transfer to serving plate. Top each potato with the diced tomatoes and cilantro. Drizzle with a little extra barbecue sauce, top with a Tablespoon of sour cream, or just serve as is!