The term “HOT DISH” is typically a mid western term, more specifically an upper Midwestern term for a pot luck style meal that consists of a starch, a protein and a canned or frozen vegetable along with a creamed can soup used as a binder, but is prepared in a single baking dish and served hot. Hot dishes originated by Minnesota farmer’s wives and became extremely popular as the budget minded farm families needed to feed their own families as well as making dishes for church basement potlucks. Hot Dishes are still popular in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. Hot Dishes are a mainstay for communal gatherings like church potluck suppers, family reunions and funerals.
The starch was usually macaroni, but today many cooks often uses a wild rice or tater tots. The protein is usually a ground beef. The canned or frozen vegetable is usually peas or green beans or even a pea and carrot mix. The canned soup is the ingredient I have the most issue with and use my own soup substitutes, but cream of mushroom soup is the most popular among original cooks.
I really like using COSTCO rotisserie chickens for many things whether it’s a HOT DISH, chicken salad or just plain snacking. It really is a time saver for many dishes.
FARMHOUSE HOT DISH ala 21st CENTURY serves 6-8
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 carrots, cleaned and chopped
2 celery ribs, cleaned and thinly sliced
½ onion, sliced thin
½small fennel bulb, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin
¼ cup chopped tarragon
¼ cup chopped thyme
¼ cup chopped Italian flat leaf Parsley
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup frozen carrots
4 cups chicken stock
¼ cup Frank’s hot sauce
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
7 tablespoons butter, divided 4 +3
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup WONDRA flour
FRESH grated nutmeg
1 bag frozen tater tots
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- In a large skillet melt 4 tablespoons of the butter.
- Add the carrots, celery, onion, fennel, tarragon and thyme, stirring over medium high heat until beginning to brown.
- Add the flour, stirring to mix.
- Sprinkle with nutmeg.
- Add chicken stock and hot sauce, bring to a SLOW boil, stirring 5-10 minutes until sauce is thickened.
- Reduce heat.
- Add the cream, blending well.
- Add the chicken pieces, carrots, peas and parsley.
- Adjust seasoning with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
- Spread into a 9×13 baking dish.
- Wipe out the pan and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter.
- When butter is melted add the mushrooms and cook over high heat 5 minutes until browned and starting to caramelize.
- Stir in tarragon until well blended.
- Spread mushroom mixture over chicken mixture in baking dish.
- Spread tater tots in a single layer over top of the mushroom mixture.
- Bake for 45 minutes until bubbly, golden and tots are crisp.
- Immediately sprinkle tots with salt when removing from the oven.