Photo Credit: Nick Lundgren/Shutterstock
Comfort food is like a warm hug after a long day. There’s nothing like a casserole dish filled with something bubbly and delicious. During the dreaded lockdown of 2020, I found myself home alone and doing whatever it took to keep my spirits up and calm. Like many others, I turned to cooking as a way to keep myself busy and comforted during those long, quiet days
I’m always a fan of casseroles since they tend to be easy with minimal cleanup, and if you’ve got the space, leftovers just need to be covered with foil and popped right into the fridge. Right smack in the middle of quarantine, I found myself craving old-school chicken pot pie. I had all the ingredients I needed to make it, but I really wasn’t in the mood to deal with making the crust from scratch.
While going through my freezer in hopes that I had some leftover frozen pie dough perhaps from the previous holiday season, I discovered a bag of forgotten tater tots. That’s when the light bulb went off: I’d use these tasty bite-size potatoes to create a crust of sorts on top of my creamy veggie-filled chicken pot pie … and call it Chicken Tot Pie, of course.
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1/2 cup butter, plus more for baking dish
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 celery stocks, chopped
- 2 cups green beans, ends cut and halved
- 1 can corn, drained, or 2 cobs corn, removed from co
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 bag frozen tater tots
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
- 2 tsp. freshly chopped thyme leaves
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375°. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and green beans, then stir in flour and cook until the flour mixture is golden and beginning to bubble.
Gradually whisk in chicken broth. Bring mixture to a boil and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in heavy cream, shredded chicken, peas, corn, parsley, and thyme. You’re going to want to make sure this mixture is on the thicker side so the tots don’t sink to the bottom. Add lots of Parmesan cheese. Season mixture with salt and pepper.
Lightly butter your casserole dish and add filling. Allow the filling to cool, just for a few minutes. Line frozen tater tots evenly along the top to cover. Add more cheese (to your liking) on top.
Place in the oven at 375° and bake the pie until the tots are golden and the filling is bubbly — about 45 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!