Tater Tots Are Getting Their Chance to Shine in This Crispy Casserole Dish

By: Caitlyn Callegari
Show: Chopped

Photo by: Petrina Tinslay ©Owned

Petrina Tinslay, Owned

Tater Tots have long been a side dish darling, with the versatility to accompany nearly any meal, from breakfast to dinner. But in this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge for Chicken and Tater Tot Casserole, those craved-after Tater Tots serve as the basket ingredient, and that means they’re being upgraded to the main dish. As the Food Network Kitchen chefs point out, this meal is a perfect, crunchy substitution for a typical pot-pie dish.

To get started on this meal, melt butter over medium-high heat in a large, heavy pot. Then, add carrots, celery and onions, and season with salt and pepper. Stir the vegetable and butter mixture occasionally, until the vegetables are golden. Stir in flour and whisk in the milk and broth, and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil until it is slightly thickened and then stir in the chicken. Once done, put the concoction in a baking dish. Put the Tater Tots and thyme into a food processor and pulse until they’re medium ground. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the casserole, and bake until the filling is bubbling and the topping is crisp and golden.

The Chopped Dinner Challenge is a series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchen that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients from an episode, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!

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