How to make pot pie stuffed potato skins

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Chicken pot pie is all well and good, but it can become a bit boring at times, can't it? The same old pie crust with the same old filling. It can be a bit too much, particularly for those families that thrive on mixing things up. The recipe that follows does just that. It takes perfectly baked potatoes, scoops out their flesh, and then stuffs it full of creamy and flavorful chicken pot pie filling.
To be honest, this recipe does take a bit more time. Because the potatoes have to be fully baked first, it adds about an hour to the total cook time. It is possible to microwave the potatoes, but the short second cook time doesn't really allow for that potato skin to become nice and crispy, and that's hard to achieve in the microwave too. However, this dish is so delicious that the little bit of extra time it takes is totally worth it once it hits the table!
Pot pie stuffed potato skins
Servings: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 large russet potatoes
1 onion, small dice
2 carrots, small dice
2 celery stalks, small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 pound chicken breasts, cooked and cubed to bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
6 pieces bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 4" x 4" casserole dish.
Scrub potatoes clean and rub with about 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil.
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Prick each potato all over with a fork and place in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until they are fork tender.
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Remove potatoes from the oven and allow to cool slightly so you can handle them.
While the potatoes are cooling, heat remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large frying pan. When hot add the onion, carrots, and celery pieces. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables soften slightly.
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Add the minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add the butter to the frying pan and allow to melt.
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Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and toss to evenly coat. Cook the flour out for about 2 minutes.
Slowly add in the chicken stock, whisking as you do to prevent lumps from forming.
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Simmer the vegetable/stock for about 10 minutes to thicken slightly.
Add the frozen peas and the chicken to the frying pan and allow to simmer a few more minutes so everything can heat through.
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Add parsley and stir.
Cut a slit lengthwise along one flat side of each potato, making sure to leave some space at the ends so the potatoes can still hold their shape.
Scoop out the flesh of the potatoes and reserve for another use.
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Ladle some of the pot pie filling into each potato and place in casserole dish as each potato is filled.
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Top each potato with cheddar cheese and bacon pieces.
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Place the casserole dish back into the hot oven and let bake for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are hot throughout.
Pro-Tip: Garnish with sour cream and freshly chopped rosemary
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