4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed
8 bacon slices
4 T unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c chopped yellow onion
1/3 c flour
2 c low fat milk
1 c half and half
2 c chicken stock
1 t kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 t garlic salt, plus more to taste
1/2 t pepper
1 c shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 c sour cream
minced fresh chives, for garnish
1) Pierce potatoes many times with a fork, then microwave for 12-15 minutes, or until tender. Carefully halve the potatoes and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skins, and cut into chunks.
2) Meanwhile, cook the bacon on the skillet over med-high heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towel lined plate to drain and cool. Reserve up to 1 T of bacon fat from the pan, discarding the rest. Once the bacon has cooled, crumble it into small pieces. 3) In a large pot, melt the butter over med-low heat. Add the reserved bacon fat, garlic and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. or until the onion is tender. Slowly whisk the flour into the pan and stir for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and half-half. Keep whisking until smooth. Gradually add the chicken stock. Bring to a light simmer and whisk in the salt, garlic salt and pepper. Keep at a light simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly, 5-7 minutes. 4) if you'd like to use cheeses and bacon as a garnish, reserve 1/4 cup of each. Stir in remaining cheeses, remaining bacon, and the sour cream.
Remove the pot from the heat. Scoop potato chunks into the pan, breaking them into small pieces or leaving them chunky, depending on your preferences. Serve hot, topped with your favorite garnishes, like cheese, bacon, and chives.