Chicken “Tot” Pie

Chicken pot pie is always a hit in our house, especially during the winter. But like many things during this Pandemic year, even our favorites are getting a little repetitive and in need of a boost.  It’s not their fault, it’s just that we are creatures of habit and I need to force new dishes and ideas into our routine.  Enter Chicken “Tot” Pie.  Since we love chicken pot pie and always have tater tots in the freezer (thanks to Jake!) why not try a new version with both?

Tater tots take me right back to school lunches so I’m good with them no matter how old I am.  When I thought about replacing the crust with tater tots, I wanted to see how it compared health-wise to the traditional top and bottom crusts.  I assumed tater tots would be far less healthy but I was wrong.  The tots go only on the top so you use less than the pie dough.  I was sold.

This could not have been easier to make.  I made the filling exactly how I do it for my regular chicken pot pie and then topped the filling with tater tots.  That’s it.  No rolling dough and the cooking time was much shorter.  Everyone loved it and while I wouldn’t completely replace the double crust for good, this was a great twist on a family favorite.

Ingredients

4 tbs                 Salted butter

4 tbs                 All-purpose flour

3 ½ cups          Low sodium chicken stock or homemade chicken stock (I use Swanson’s)

Knorr’s Chicken Stock pod or ½ tbs Chicken bouillon powder

Salt and pepper to taste

½                     A chicken (rotisserie or homemade), cooked and shredded into bite-size pieces (discard the bones)

1 12 oz. bag      Frozen corn

1 12 oz. bag      Frozen cut green beans  

1 12 oz. bag      Frozen peas and carrots  

45 – 50             Frozen tater tots

Preparation

Preheat the oven on to 350.

The base of the filling is essentially a chicken sauce or gravy.  Make a roux by melting butter in a saucepan and then adding the flour.  Briskly whisk for two minutes to cook the flour.  The roux will start to get darker which deepens the flavor.  Add the stock while whisking and bring to a soft boil.  Cook and whisk for another three minutes, scraping the bottom to make sure the roux is completely mixed in.  Set aside one (1) cup of the sauce/gravy and then combine the frozen vegetables in a large bowl with the remaining sauce.  If you feel it needs more sauce you can add a little from the cup you set aside.

Pour the filling into a 9×9 casserole dish (or something similar), leaving about an inch space before it reaches the top. Place the frozen tater tots in approximately six rows, snugly. 

Place on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake for approximately 30 minutes till the tater tots are golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Let the pie sit for at least 5 – 10 minutes before you serve. I serve the leftover sauce along side because you can never have too much gravy!

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