These just might be the world's best and most indulgent baked potatoes. First they're stuffed with sour cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano, then they're topped with tangy gravy, melted mozzarella, bits of crisp bacon and, finally, fried potato skins.
Slideshow: America's Most Decadent Potato Dishes
6 ounces thick-sliced bacon, cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Sour cream, thinly sliced scallions, parsley leaves and celery leaves, for garnish
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the gravy
In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, demiglace, sage and thyme and cook until thickened to a gravy-like consistency, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and heavy cream and season with salt and black pepper. Keep warm.
Step 2 Prepare the stuffed potatoes
Cut one 1/2-inch-wide strip off the top of each baked potato and reserve. Scoop the potato flesh into a large bowl. Place the potato shells on a baking sheet. Using a ricer, mash the potato flesh with the butter into another large bowl; add the warm milk and mix until blended. Stir in the sour cream, Parmigiano, mustard, cayenne and chives and season with salt and pepper.
Step 3 Prepare the stuffed potatoes
In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil to 350º. Scrape the flesh off the reserved 1/2-inch strips of the potato tops. Cut the skins into wedges and fry until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain the skins on a paper towel-lined plate.
Step 4 Prepare the stuffed potatoes
Preheat the oven to 450º. In a small nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the bacon on paper towels.
Step 5 Prepare the stuffed potatoes
Spoon about 2/3 cup of the mashed potato mixture into each potato shell and make a well in the center. Bake for about 20 minutes, until heated through and golden on top. Spoon some gravy into the well of each potato, then top with the shredded mozzarella. Bake the potatoes for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Transfer the potatoes to a serving platter and top with the bacon. Garnish with sour cream, scallions, parsley and celery leaves and the crispy potato skins.
The gravy can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.
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Review Body: These are incredibly indulgent - something to make for a special occasion. There are several steps involved, but they can be prepped ahead of time and then baked right before you want to serve them.