Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Prick the potato all over with a fork. Wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes, turning the potato after 2 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and grate the potato on the large holes of a box grater. Season with 2 pinches each salt and pepper and gently toss.
Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel?lined plate. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon drippings.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center. Whisk the buttermilk, melted butter, egg and reserved 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in a medium bowl; pour into the well in the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the grated potato, bacon, cheese and chives.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them all the way to the top. Bake until the muffins are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes. Let the muffins cool 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
Photograph by Ryan Dausch
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