Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spicy Coconut BBQ Chicken Stuffed Baked Potatoes

I lived in South Carolina for a stint and pulled pork sandwiches are a staple in that state, you can get them in just about any restaurant and I used to eat them regularly. Needless to say they are not the most healthy option and so the above picture was born...I traded out the egg bun for a potato, the pork for chicken thigh because it's easier to cook on a weeknight and doesn't require hours of slow roasting and I "souped" up the bbq sauce adding in a few secret ingredients. My family went completely gaga over the bbq sauce was spicy, sweet and loaded with local ingredients. I like to pair the stuffed potato with a garden salad and this allows you to have the full fat cheese and sour cream on the potato making it completely luxurious. Yes I realize those items are not fat-free but I prefer to have a little bit of the full fat version rather than a lot of the not so great tasting fat free kind, and when your side dish is a salad with vinaigrette I definitely think it's allowed. I also like to use local or farm fresh dairy and most of the time the local companies do not make low fat or fat free versions so I adapt by pairing with healthy sides.

The bbq sauce was inspired by a bottle of coconut white balsamic vinegar that I bought at the Saratoga Olive Oil Company in Saratoga Springs, NY. The store is such a little gem and a must see for anyone visiting the area. You walk into a beautiful showroom of gleaming steel drums filled with all sorts of small batch olive oils and vinegars. They have small dishes of locally made bread, tore into small pieces and you can pour out a small amount of any flavor that you wish and taste it before buying, I can spend hours in this little store. I take my two year old daughter all the time and she just loves perusing and tasting right along side me, it makes me so proud...who says toddlers can't be connoisseurs of good olive oil? On one particular day I was feeling sassy and bought a very unusual vinegar, coconut white balsamic. It is sweet, tropical and slightly floral, I had no idea what I was going to do with it but I knew that I had to have it. I have used it for strawberry, spinach salads; making a coconut vinaigrette that paired beautifully. Then, one night while making bbq sauce I thought..."ooooo let's substitute the apple cider for the coconut balsamic, add in some unsweetened shredded coconut and get crazy!" Sure enough we had a veritable masterpiece! You lucky readers get to share this same experience at home, you can buy the vinegar online here: http://www.saratogaoliveoil.com/balsamic-vinegar/coconut-white-balsamic-vinegar, and you can follow my simple recipe below! You can use regular white balsamic and mix in a little coconut oil for very similar results if you do not want to purchase the specific coconut vinegar.


2 Cups organic, natural ketchup, I use Annie's.
1 Cup water
1/2 Cup coconut white balsamic vinegar, I use Saratoga Olive Oil Company, or you can use regular white balsamic and mix in a few Tbsps of coconut oil to get the same flavor.
6 Tbsp light brown, fair trade sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
Fresh ground black pepper, I used 1 Tbsp but use it to taste.
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp pasture raised butter, to finish.
2 Medium, organic potatoes, washed thoroughly.
1 farm raised chicken leg/thigh combo, bone-in, skin on, you can substitute a breast.
2 Tbsp unsweetened, shredded coconut flakes
Coconut oil, about 1 tsp for each potato and extra for cooking.
Sour cream, 1 Tbsp for each potato.
Habanero cheddar cheese, grated, 2 Tbsp for each potato, I used Cabot.
Organic chives, I leave them whole and snip with scissors over top.
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste.


In a small sauce pan combine the first 13 ingredients (up to the butter, but not including) and bring to a simmer. Over low heat simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally until thick and reduced slightly. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and set aside.

Heat up a charcoal grill. Salt and pepper the chicken and grill on high heat for 7 to 8 minutes a side till golden brown and juices run clear. Remove the meat from the bone, shred with two forks and saute in a frying pan with 1 tsp of coconut oil for a minute on high heat. Add in 1/4 cup of bbq sauce and the coconut flakes, remove from heat. Stir to coat all chicken with the sauce.

While chicken is cooking on the grill poke the potatoes with a fork all around to let out steam while cooking. Microwave for 7 minutes turning half way through. Remove them from the microwave, rub with coconut oil and heat on the grill for 5 to 6 minutes to char the exterior. Remove from the grill.

Place potatoes on a cookie sheet or small sheet pan and cut a slit in the top. Squeeze to open and stuff each with coconut oil, sour cream and chicken. Top with cheese and place under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove place on serving plates and snip chives over top. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

I serve my potatoes with salad so that I can have the full fat dairy without the guilt, enjoy!

Tip: cook extra chicken while you have the grill hot to make stuffed potatoes all week long for lunch or dinner!

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