6 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 ounces bacon, cut into a ⅓ -inch dice
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery (4 ounces), cut into ⅓ -inch dice
1 small red bell pepper (6 ounces), cut into ½-inch dice
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 pounds Yukon God, Maine, PEI, or other all-purpose potatoes, peeled and slice ⅓ inch thick
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream (optional) or 2 cups chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper (optional)
6 green onions, very thinly sliced
In a frying pan, sauté the chicken. Set aside.
Fry the bacon until crisp and golden brown. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat, leaving the bacon in the pot.
Add the butter, the diced onion, celery and red bell pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not brown.
Add the potatoes and 4 cups of stock. The stock should just barely cover the potatoes; if it doesn’t, add enough water to cover. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Add the thyme leaves. Cover and cook the potatoes vigorously for about 10 minutes, until they are soft on the outside but still firm in the center. If the stock hasn’t thickened lightly, smash a few potatoes against the side of the pot and cook a minute or two longer to release their starch.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chicken meat. Stir in the cream (or stock). Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and a bit of cayenne pepper if you like.