The flavour of your favourite Mexican foods in one of the most English autumn time edible vessels there is? Sign me up. This is not a 15 minute meal, but it’s worth every inch of effort you put in and you can double up to make enough for work tomorrow. Just trust me on this one.
Now that this blog has been in action for a couple of years, I can begin to see patterns emerging here and there. One that’s come to light this month is how much better my recipes are once we reach autumn and winter. I think the creative side of my brain must be geared towards comfort food, cause once I get going with the overindulgent probably-way-too-many-calories-for-one-meal stuff I tend to really hit the ground running. I think that’s a good thing – more of us are cooking at home at this time of year and let’s face it, we all need cheering up now that we can’t spend the whole evening drinking ice cold beer outside.
I’m obsessed with twice baked jacket potatoes, I think possibly because they’re one of the first things I ever cooked as part of my food tech class at secondary school. It’s more likely, however, that my obsession comes from how easy it is to make them deathly cheesy. Death by cheese is fine in the winter. We stop counting calories sort of now-ish and pick that nonsense back up again around the beginning of January if we’re that way inclined. For now? Eat a big potato with a lot of cheese in it. It’ll make you feel better, I promise.
Serves 2 (you’ll have chicken leftover)
2 jacket potatoes
1 400g can mixed beans
a few good shakes smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder
1 326g can sweetcorn
salt and pepper
100-250g mature cheddar cheese (I’m leaving the indulgence up to you)
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1.5 cups BBQ sauce
soured cream to serve
- Prick your potatoes with a fork several times, rub with a little olive oil (this is gonna give you crispy skins) then get into a Gas Mark 4 (conversions here). They’re going to be in there at first for a total time of 2 hours, but set a timer now for 40 minutes
- Once they’re in, get your chicken thighs squashed relatively snugly into a roasting dish and top with the sauce, water and onions. Give a little mix with your hands, cover with foil and whack into the oven next to your potatoes for one hour once your potato timer goes off. To be clear: potatoes in for forty minutes, then your chicken goes in at the same temperature on the same shelf. Set a timer for one hour.
- Meanwhile, drain your beans then fry in a tbsp of oil and your spices for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Remove the chicken and potatoes from the oven, turn up to Gas Mark 6 (conversions here) remove the foil and bake the chicken again for 20 minutes.
- While the chicken has its last 20 minutes, slice the potatoes and scoop out the flesh, leaving the skins intact. Mash it with your beans, sweetcorn, salt and pepper and cheese. Pack the potato goodness back into the skins (you may have some left over, you’re welcome) and top with a little extra grated cheese. Once the chicken has done its 20 minutes, get the jackets in there to bake for their last 20-25 minutes.
- Pull the chicken apart with 2 forks. This is boring and time consuming, but worth doing.
- Serve the twice baked jackets topped with plenty of pulled chicken and soured cream.