Chicken. Bacon. Ranch.
It seems like this flavor combination is on every bar menu I see these days. Normally in wrap or sandwich form it is tasty combo. When I worked at Nicky’s in De Pere there was (still is) a sandwich on the menu called the Chicken Francisco. It was a grilled chicken breast, melted cheese, bacon, caramelized onions and ranch dressing. This sandwich was always one of the most popular items on the menu! I decided to take the flavors of chicken, bacon and ranch and create a casserole. I also decided that I needed to add cheese and tater tots because that is how I roll. I used shredded cooked chicken in my casserole and I make this a few different ways: 1) poach the chicken and shred 2) cook the chicken in the slow cooker with a little stock or 3) rotisserie chicken for a great quick option. For this recipe I used do-it-yourself cream of chicken soup, but you can used canned if you do not want to make your own.
I made this casserole for my friend Emily (Ron and Kellen too) for one of our SVU nights and it received high marks. The casserole hits all the right notes that every casserole should: flavorful, creamy, cheesy. The bacon is perfectly smoky and the tater tots are a perfect crispy topper. I love how easy this casserole was for a weeknight meal and it warmed up wonderfully for lunch leftovers the following day. I really like creating new casseroles that give a different take on the same old recipes and give new flavors for dinner.
Tonight we are laying pretty low. I have a new chicken recipe in the crockpot and am heading to do a little weight training after work. I think that Ron and I will have a Mario Kart rematch after Kellen heads to bed…. The battle is still going strong with no signs of surrender. I have also been liking a new driving character- Birdo. She is pink, loud and annoying. She also has a pretty fast bike that takes corners sharp….
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 packet ranch dressing packet
1/2 cup sour cream
1 pound bacon, cooked and chopped
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
One (32 oz) bag of tater tots
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish and set aside.
Mix cream of chicken soup, ranch packet and sour cream. Gently stir in the chicken. Spread chicken mixture evenly into the casserole dish. Top evenly with grated cheese and follow by topping with chopped bacon. Evenly arrange tater tots on top of the casserole.
Bake uncovered in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.