Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Friday, February 28, 2014

Our French Canadian Roots: Recipe for Fricot au Poulet

Though Hubby and I both grew up in different parts of Canada, we both come from a French Canadian heritage. He grew up in New Brunswick, in an Acadian family.Though I grew up from one military base to the next, my extended family, and the stomping grounds for our vacations were in Northern Ontario (bilingual area) and Quebec (French). 

I feel abashed in admitting that French is not the language we use in our day to day - though Elle attends French school, English is the language we feel most at home with. (This despite attending French school ourselves). This has come from living in an English province (in my case, most of my life), spending most of our time with English peers, and like most North Americans, the unlimited access to English media. 

Therefore it is rarely through language that we share our heritage with our girls - we do it through food. Recipes handed down from our grand parents, aunts and uncles. These are the dishes that we associate with childhood, family, gatherings and celebrations. These are the recipes we have shared with each other and our daughters. And our very favorites I will be sharing here, once a month for the remainder of the year. If you follow along, you might notice a pattern that Hubby's favorites are savory dishes, while mine are desserts (laden with brown sugar and/or maple syrup).

We will begin on this cold and wintry day (at least here, in Nova Scotia) with Hubby's favorite: Fricot au Poulet - Acadian Chicken soup with dumplings. Hubby grew up with this soup, often found simmering on his grandmother's stove. It's warm and comforting and the perfect meal as we watch flurries of snow swirling about outside. 



Fricot au Poulet
(Chicken Soup with Dumplings)
Makes enough for seconds and thirds
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 chicken thighs
  • 1 small onion, diced fine
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried summer savory
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cups homemade chicken stock*
  • 4 cups water*
* our chicken stock is thick, if using storebought stock, I would use 10 cups stock


Dumplings

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cold water
1. Heat oil in large pot on medium high. Place chicken thighs in oil, and cook for 20 minutes, covered, turning over after 10 minutes. Remove chicken and let cool enough to handle. Leave any chicken fat in the pot.

2. While chicken is cooling, add onions and carrots to the pot and cook until onions have softened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and seasonings. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes.


3. Add stock and water, bring to a boil, and let simmer on low for thirty minutes to an hour, adding a bit of water if needed. While soup is simmering, cut chicken into bit sized pieces, and add to the pot.

4. To make the dumplings, stir together the dry ingredients. Slowly add the cold water, stirring to combine. Using two tablespoons, drop the dumplings into the soup, turn off the heat, cover and let cook for 10 minutes.

Elle making the dumplings
Serve and enjoy. Don't be surprised if one bowl just isn't enough.


You can find more multicultural recipes with Around the World in 12 Dishes, a group of bloggers that explore a set of countries, one per month, through food and activities. 
You can find their roundup of  Canadian dishes and activities here. 

You can find our other French Canadian recipes here.

2 comments:

  1. I adore chicken soup and yours looks scrummy. You say your stock is thick, is that because you boil it down until it is the consistency you want or do you have another trick to make it thick? Mine is always thin - it's very tasty but very thin. I like the idea of thick.

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    Replies
    1. This one is so good! My husband just leaves the stock on the stove until he later remembers it :) which does boil it down and thicken it quite a bit. Once it cools, I scoop away the fat that has risen to the top, and then add water for most soups.

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