recipes that are simple and delicious.
I will be up front with you. My mind works in mysterious ways. It always has, and probably always will. This has always helped, however, in the kitchen when I open a pantry, or refrigerator, and think to myself ‘what in the world am I going to feed these people today?’. Trust me on this, cooking for 4 other people on a daily basis, is a challenge. There is never a set menu, idea, or list I get to work off of. I wing it every day. This is where I came up with the idea of a tater tot casserole, only due to the fact that I had a bowl of slow cooked mushrooms and a bag of lardons in the refrigerator one morning. As I looked at them, I realized I had to do something with them on Sunday afternoon, and as I began to think of one of my more popular recipes, the cheesy potatoes, I figured I would take a spin off of that, and make this tater tot casserole. Am I ever glad I did. By the way, lardons are basically cubes of pork belly that I always cut out when making homemade bacon. If you don’t have lardons, simply use thick cut bacon which I indicated below.
I am always looking to try new things to serve the kids for dinner, as well as for my wife, and I figured I would give this a shot. This casserole has comfort written all over it and is a perfect side dish, a side dish that would be great enough for a Thanksgiving side dish alternative as well.
Start by adding your bacon to a large skillet, bringing it up to a medium low heat. As the bacon cooks, it will release some of its fat, which we will keep and cook the remaining ingredients.
While the bacon cooks, add the can of cream of chicken soup to a mixing bowl. Add milk to the bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Use a whisk or fork to combine the soup, making a smooth texture. This will be the sauce for our casserole.
As the bacon starts to crisp, add in the chicken.
Raise the heat to medium high. Cook, stir, and flip the bacon and chicken for about 4 minutes.
Add in the garlic, shallot, and mushrooms. Cook another couple of minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Get your casserole dish out. You know the one. Eye out one that will be deep enough, and long enough to hold the casserole.
Pour the chicken mixture into the bottom of your casserole dish.
Pour the soup mixture over the top of the chicken mixture. Give a stir.
Top with the shredded cheese.
Take your tater tots and cover the mixture with an even bedding of tater tots.
Place the tater tot casserole in the preheated oven, cooking for about 45 minutes.
Remove, and let the casserole sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Trust me, it will still be hot, however it gives some time to let the casserole settle.
Well, you know what’s next. Serve it up.
Not only does the casserole look pretty, but it will get everyone thinking of why they never thought about using tater tots in that way.
The first bite had that smokiness from the bacon, while paired with chicken. Oh wow, I’m getting hungry now just thinking about that combination. Then you get the creaminess, and cheesiness, along with the garlic, and the crisp, yet tender tater tots. I think cheesy potatoes just met its match. This casserole is a real winner. I hope you enjoy.