Being big fans of chicken pot pie, our family loves the combination of shredded chicken breast and potatoes. Oftentimes, however, my pot pies are overstuffed with so much chicken and veggies that there's little room for potatoes too!
So that we can have our chicken and eat our potatoes too, I decided to get creative with standard potatoes au gratin. This recipe offers tender chicken smothered in creamy cheesy potatoes as the ultimate comfort food!
Tip: You can toss in a layer of peas and carrots for an all-in-one casserole dish.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Boil chicken in a pot of water for 25 to 30 minutes until cooked through. Chicken will no longer be pink inside, and juices will run clear when done. Remove chicken from pot and place on cutting board until cool to touch.
In a hot skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Set skillet aside to reserve bacon grease. When bacon is cooled slightly, chop it into small bits. Set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the bacon fat in the skillet and heat until melted. Add 1/2 of the garlic and all the chopped onion. Stir well to coat with butter and bacon grease, and cook on low until onions are soft (10 to 15 minutes). Season mixture with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in about 3/4 of the chopped chives. (Keep the remaining chives to use as garnish later.)
When chicken has cooled enough to handle, slice into pieces and pull apart (shredding) by hand. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine potatoes, heavy cream, 1/2 cup of parmesan, the cooked garlic, onion and chive mixture, and the remaining uncooked garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and stir ingredients to mix and coat the potatoes.
Begin placing potato slices into the dish by hand, overlapping them shingle-style against each other. (Reserve the cream left in the bowl.) When first potato layer is in place, sprinkle with 1/4 cup of parmesan, then place the shredded chicken over the potatoes to form the next layer.
Sprinkle the cooked bacon bits evenly over the shredded chicken, and layer 1/2 cup of Gruyere cheese over the chicken and bacon.
Repeat the next layer with potato slices, continuing to overlap them against each other shingle-style. Sprinkle potatoes with remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan. Continue to layer all remaining potatoes and sprinkle with Gruyere cheese. Top the final layer with any remaining Gruyere.
From the bowl, pour the cream and its ingredients over all ingredients in the baking dish, making sure to coat all layers evenly. Cover dish with foil, and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake an additional 30 minutes until golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with remaining chopped chives.