I just had the perfect baked potato. It’s not the first time either. I’ve been using this method for years now and time and again I end up with exquisite baked potatoes – fluffy on the inside, crispy on the out. For years I avoided making baked potatoes because I thought they were a bit of a faff – how silly was I? But they’ve become a staple in our house and we eat them with just about anything and they are particularly suited to leftovers.

I made a batch of chilli sin carne last night with the thinking it would last me a few days and as with most leftovers the flavours only got better and made an excellent accompaniment to my spuds. The chilli isn’t the important bit, of course, but this chilli was kind of amazing especially given the kitchen constraints I have presently – i’ll never take my spice cupboard for granted again! I did a kidney bean/black bean combo this time around and I was really happy with the result. Incredibly tasty and substantial, you won’t need a huge portion believe me, particularly if you serve it with the jacket potatoes.

Onto the spud in question. There are a few key steps that will ensure the perfectness I am promising. If they are followed to the letter I will be amazed if your own baked pots will be anything less than stunning. These will also make fantabulous twice baked potatoes and whilst I was tempted to do that with these babies, when I cut them open I knew they were too good to mess around with. Simple is, more often than not, best.

the perfect baked potato

1 large white organic potato

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt

pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius/400 degrees fahrenheit.

Prick the potato all over with a fork – at least six times. Rub the entire potato in the oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Place directly onto oven shelf and bake for (at least) an hour (and it will depend on your oven) or until the skin is crispy on the outside. Halve lengthways and serve on its own, with soy butter or any topping you fancy. I heartily recommend chilli!

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