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Give a chicken pot pie a tater tot crust and you have a winner winner chicken dinner!
"This pie can be dressed up in many different ways," says chef and author of Life is a Party, David Burtka. "Want to put an Asian spin on it? Add sriracha instead of regular hot sauce and replace the peas with frozen shelled edamame. Maybe a little Tex-Mex flair? Add a couple of spoonfuls of chopped Hatch chiles to up the heat factor. If you are making it for kids, serve the hot sauce on the side."
Adapted from Life Is A Party by David Burtka. Copyright © 2019 by David Burtka. Used with permission by Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.
Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
In a large saucepan, combine the chicken breasts, stock, and enough water to just cover the chicken (about 1 cup). Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is just cooked through, flipping the chicken once and skimming off any foam from the surface as it cooks, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool slightly, leaving the liquid in the saucepan. Once cooled, shred chicken using two forks, discarding the skin and bones, and set aside.
Return the liquid in the saucepan to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Boil until it has reduced to two cups, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bake the tater tots on a baking sheet until crisp, about 15 minutes; set aside. Keep the oven on.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender, 9 to 10 minutes. Stir in the thyme and flour and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute more. Stir in the reduced stock and half-and-half, increase the heat to high to bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the shredded chicken and the peas. Season the mixture with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste.
Transfer the tater tots to a large bowl and wipe off the baking sheet. Place a 2-quart baking dish on the baking sheet and fill with the chicken mixture. Arrange the tater tots in an even layer over the top, then bake until the filling is bubbling and the tater tots are very crispy, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.