chicken pot tater tot hotdish

you know those days when your brain feels like spaghetti?

You physically feel like a potato, work seems extra long, snacking is your best friend, and all you want to do is sleep?

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That was me last week. Though, I think a majority of it had to do with my migraines, which really kicked in this time around- a cluster of headaches on my forehead, pressure on my eye sockets, and nausea. 

It sucked.

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If I cancelled my plans on you last week, I'm sorry! I owe you. But I think another hard part was trying to focus on being thankful for everyday things instead of focusing on the annoying pain on my forehead. So little things that I was thankful for last week:

  • a new lamp from target, which ended up being more pixar-esque than expected but it's still a cutie
  • check-ins from my roommates and c to make sure i'm alive
  • brown rice green tea, aka genmaicha aka my jam at work lately
  • mornings to bake and take advantage of the sunlight
  • in-n-out fries, extra crispy pls
  • coworkers' happy faces when i restock the snacks or set up lunch in the kitchen
  • phone calls with my family, which always involve some question about whether or not it's so cold that it snows in the bay area (no, it does not)
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I'm trying to be better in 2018 about not whining and being more thankful, but it's no walk in the park. hopefully you'll see that through my posts this year!

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I also lost appetite when I was under the weather this past week (also, how did that phrase come about? I need to google this), and I honestly kept thinking about this chicken pot pie thing. It's warm, creamy, and has double the comfort because 1) it's pot pie and 2) it's topped with tater tots! i first made this when i was sick a couple weeks ago, and i went back to work the next day, so perhaps there is magic in this tot hot dish? let me know, because i need some fellow believers here.

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so, enjoy, but please don't be like michael scott and eat the entire thing, or you might wake up and think it's 5 pm. 

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baker's notes: be creative with what veggies you throw in! chopped celery, corn, etc. i used rotisserie chicken, but you can also use raw chicken, which will take an additional 10-15 minutes.

oh, and toast extra tots. use for snacking. worth. 

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chicken pot tater tot hotdish

makes 4-5 servings
adapted from my name is yeh

2 cups whole milk, warm
enough chicken soup concentrate for 2 cups liquid
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thigh, cubed
(i used chopped rotisserie chicken)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 teaspoon italian seasoning
black pepper, as desired
1 pound frozen tater tots

Preheat oven to 400f. 

Dilute the chicken soup concentrate in the milk; set aside.

In a large skillet or medium-sized pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the onion and garlic, stirring until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the flour until it's evenly distributed. Pour in the chicken soup-milk mixture, and whisk constantly until it beings to thicken.

Add the carrots, chicken, peas, spices, and pepper, and simmer, stirring often. If you're using raw chicken, cook until chicken is fully cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings as needed. 

Pour the mixture to a 2-2 1/2 quart casserole dish or 4-5 mini cocottes/ramekins. Cover the mixture with tater tots.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tots are golden brown. Munch on extra tots. Enjoy!

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