A chicken and potato casserole is perfect for a lazy day.
10 to 15 baby potatoes
4 slices smoked bacon
10 crimini or white mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots or 1 small onion, diced
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
2 cups shredded chicken
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon each: dried basil, smoked paprika,
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon each: paprika, dried basil, salt
Chopped chives for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place baby potatoes in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook potatoes until fork tender. Remove from water and cool while preparing the remaining ingredients.
Heat a large pan over medium heat. Render the bacon until crispy, then remove onto paper towels to cool and absorb excess oil. Once cooled, dice bacon. Into the same hot pan, add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Into the same pan, add the shallots, garlic and red bell pepper. Sauté over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.
Combine together: shredded chicken, cheese, cream, diced bacon, mushrooms, shallots-pepper mixture and the first set of spices. Season with salt and pepper. Fold everything together until nicely coated. Spread mixture into the bottom of an oven-safe dish. Do not compact the mixture; you want to layer it loosely.
Prepare the crushed potatoes: toss the potatoes in olive oil, season with salt, paprika and basil. Using a potato crusher or a large fork, press the potatoes to flatten them. Place them on top of the prepared chicken filling. Sprinkle more cheddar cheese over the top.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling at edges. Garnish with chopped chives and serve hot with a simple side salad or sliced avocado.