‘Girl Meets Farm’: Molly Yeh Claims One Pan Chicken Pot Hotdish Is One of the ‘Most Sacred Food Rituals of the Midwest’

Food Network star Molly Yeh said that prior to moving to her husband Nick Hagen’s midwest family farm, she knew little about the food culture of the area. This included local delicacies such as cookie salad and hotdish. Thankfully she quickly caught on to the beloved one-pan dishes and now, puts her own spin on these family favorites, perfect for a chilly day.

Molly Yeh the star of Girl Meets Farm smiles for the camera.
Molly Yeh | Discovery Press/Food Network

What is a hotdish?

Hotdish is an anything goes one-dish meal from the Upper Midwest. It is especially beloved in Minnesota and North Dakota per Eater.

The essential components of a hotdish include three basics: starch, protein, and a vegetable. Also included is a creamy sauce.

The Girl Meets Farm star wrote in her blog My Name is Yeh, “If you were to place [hotdish recipes] on an X/Y chart where X = how much it looks like barf, and Y = how delicious it is, they would be maxed out on both accounts. That’s the charm of a hotdish.”

“Technically you can make a mac and cheese casserole, but without meat and a vegetable, it wouldn’t totally be a hotdish,” Yeh elaborated.

“Tater tot hotdish is quintessential comfort food for Eggboy and Eggdad and Egggrandma. It’s a staple at potlucks and you’re not a Minnesotan until you can properly apply a layer of tater tots to a 9 x 13 casserole dish of creamed soup,” Yeh said in a second blog post.

This dish can be paired with Yeh’s Pizza Parlor Salad for a complete meal.

The ingredients in Molly Yeh’s Chicken Pot Hotdish

The ingredients for Molly Yeh’s Chicken Pot Hotdish are similar to that of a chicken pot pie.

These include unsalted butter, onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, flour, and milk.

Also needed are chicken bouillon, 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thigh or breast, frozen peas, thyme, black pepper, and frozen tater tots.

How to assemble Chicken Pot Hotdish

Busy Day hotdish is another beloved family favorite of Molly Yeh’s clan.

To begin, preheat the oven to 400.

In a large skillet melt butter and add all the vegetables. Cook until softened. Then stir in flour to make a roux. Make sure the flour is cooked enough so there is no raw taste.

Add 1 cup of the milk to the flour and veggies and stir until thickened. Then, add the second cup.

Following add bouillon, chicken, peas, thyme, and pepper, and simmer.

Stir often so the mixture does not stick and the chicken is fully cooked.

Transfer to a casserole dish and cover with frozen tater tots.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tots are golden brown.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

Girl Meets Farm airs Sundays at 11 a.m. EST on the Food Network.

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