March 10th is National Ranch Dressing Day, which rose out of nowhere (it used to be old-fashioned buttermilk dressing) to become America’s favorite salad dressing and dip. On an earlier National Ranch Dressing Day, we published a yummy article on the history of ranch, a recipe to make it from scratch, and different ways to use it.
One of those ways was a sauce for baked potatoes, and thanks to the Idaho Potato Commission, today we celebrate with Buffalo-Ranch Loaded Idaho Baked Potatoes.
In this recipe, the potato is a full meal: all of the components of Buffalo wings, but with shredded chicken breasts instead of wings.
The classic Buffalo wings recipe serves fried wings (or a baked option) with hot sauce, ranch dressing, carrots, and celery. While the Idaho Potato Commission recipe left out the sticks of raw carrots and celery, we added them back in.
And while they added Cheddar cheese, we preferred Gruyère with ours.
> There are more loaded potato recipes below.
DIG IN: IT’S FUN FOOD
This recipe gives chicken wings a run for their money, says the Commission. Shredded chicken is smothered in a creamy combination of buffalo hot sauce, Cheddar cheese, and ranch dressing, then stuffed into a hearty baked potato.
More cheddar cheese is sprinkled on top of each potato, and the spuds are put back into the oven for an additional ten minutes, creating an ooey-gooey tater.
The finished potatoes are topped with sliced scallions and crumbled bacon for extra pizzazz.
> Homemade ranch dressing recipe.
RECIPE: BUFFALO-RANCH LOADED IDAHO POTATOES
Ingredients For 4 Servings
For The Crudités
1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack into the baking sheet.
2. WASH the potatoes and dry them completely. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and coat them in olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Space the potatoes evenly on the wire rack and bake the potatoes for 50 to 60 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile…
3. SEASON the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place them in a baking dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes alongside the potatoes, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove from the oven, let the chicken cool slightly, then shred it with two forks.
4. TRANSFER the chicken to a mixing bowl. Pour the Buffalo hot sauce and ranch dressing over the chicken and toss to combine. Add more hot sauce, to taste.
5. ADD 1 cup of Cheddar cheese and stir to combine.
6. REMOVE the potatoes from the oven and carefully cut a slice down the middle of each, keeping the bottoms attached. Carefully split the potatoes partially open and use forks to fluff the interior.
7. TOP the potatoes with the chicken mixture and the remaining cheese. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is melted.
 This Buffalo-Ranch Loaded Baked Potato recipe is a meal in itself (photo © Idaho Potato Commission).
 Here are 4 techniques to shred chicken (photo © Ambitious Kitchen).
 You might want to cook extra bacon. There’s always a “taker” for more (photo © iGourmet).
 The recipe uses Cheddar (in photo), but we substituted Gruyère, in the photo below (photo © Dairy Farmers Of Wisconsin).
 We do like Cheddar cheese, but we like Gruyère and Emmental (the original “Swiss cheese” with holes) even more (photo of Gruyere © Murray’s Cheese).