Potato Skins with Buffalo Chicken

There’s generally not a shortage of food over the holidays. And much of it can be on the rich side. That’s why it’s prudent to have a few dishes here and there that don’t have that extra fat and calories.

One way to do that is to fix dishes that fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. That’s the philosophy behind the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate initiative.

During this holiday season, the Produce for Better Health Foundation has taken that a step further. At its Fruit and Veggies More Matters website (www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org), the group is sponsoring a Makeover Challenge, where readers are shown some “featured” plates with info on how to re-create each one. Readers are provided a recipe, nutrition info, cost analysis and a shopping list for each healthy plate.

They then are encouraged to make one of these “plates” (or another healthy plate), take a picture of it and enter the MyPlate Makeover Challenge on Facebook. Once a post is entered, people will get a valuable grocery coupon and be in the running to win a $100 grocery gift card.

Here’s one of those recipes that caught my eye. This lively dish gives a nod to buffalo chicken wings but without extra fat and calories. You start with a foundation of nutritious potatoes (naturally high in potassium, vitamin C and fiber) and replace fried wings with shredded chicken breast. It’s then topped with fresh tomatoes and onions. The recipe cost for four people is $9.37, just $2.34 per serving.

Potato Skins with Buffalo Chicken
12-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup water
4 medium russet potatoes (about 6 ounces each)
3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (like Frank’s, not Tabasco)
¼ cup non-fat milk
¼ cup fat-reduced sour cream
2 tablespoons margarine
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
2 green onions
2 medium tomatoes
4 celery stalks
Center oven rack and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken in a saute pan, add water, and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes and remove from pan; let cool slightly. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred using 2 forks (one in each hand).
While chicken is simmering, prepare remaining ingredients: Wash potatoes and slit each one lengthwise about 1-inch deep. Place potatoes in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly. Slice each potato in half lengthwise, scoop out potato, leaving a ¼-inch shell. Mash potato together with hot pepper sauce, sour cream, margarine, and milk. Fold in blue cheese and shredded chicken. Spoon mixture into potato skins, slightly denting center (to hold fresh toppings after baking). Place filled potato skins on a 9-by-13-inch baking sheet and bake about 15 to 20 minutes until tops are golden brown. Dice tomatoes and green onions. Cut celery stalks into 4-inch sticks.
Top potatoes with onions and tomatoes. Serve celery sticks on the side for scooping potato contents.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 360 calories, 12 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 30 percent of calories from fat, 44 grams carbohydrates, 20 grams protein, 45 milligrams cholesterol, 5 grams dietary fiber, 550 milligrams sodium.

One thought on “Potato Skins with Buffalo Chicken

  1. I am going to try this – looks yummy, esp. if you are a potato lover with roots in the “old sod”! Might be great addition to a St. Pats menu.

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