02 Feb Poutine (Gravy Fries with Cheese)
I was at a friend’s house for Sunday brunch and we had a gluten free version of Poutine, a dish I’ve never tried before. I loved it! Poutine is fries or tater tots smothered in brown gravy and traditionally served with cheese curds (but they’re not my thing) or melty cheese. So I got to thinking (a few drinks will do that to me) that I should create an all-natural, gluten free, “clean” as possible version of Poutine. It took a few tries but in the end, I think it was a success!
To healthy-ify traditional Poutine without sacrificing flavor, I used frozen unsalted crinkle fries that you bake (not fry) from Whole Foods. I found that as long as you season them well and get them nice and crispy, they’re delicious. I made an all-natural gravy with pre-made stock (see my favorite brand in the ingredient list) and bone in, skin on chicken thighs (save the meat for another dish- we’re roasting these off for the pan drippings to add to the gravy) and gluten free flour. And I tried to go light on the cheese.
Serve this delicious dish at your next party or during a football game. To make this recipe dairy free, use vegan butter or the chicken drippings in place of the butter for the gravy and skip the cheese. According to my Canadian friend, no cheese makes it just Gravy Fries. But Gravy Fries are pretty delicious too.
Poutine (Gravy Fries with Cheese)
Makes about 6 to 8 Servings. Serving size would be about a big handful- it’s party food!
- 4 bone in skin on chicken thighs
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 onion, quartered
- 5 large garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 3 ½ tablespoons real butter or vegan butter
- 3 slightly heaping tablespoons all-purpose gluten free flour (I like Namaste brand)
- All natural gluten free low sodium chicken stock (I like Saffron Road brand because it tastes amazing- if you can find this stuff, try it!)
- ¼ heaping teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 1 ½ cups all natural gluten free chicken stock 2 bags of frozen all natural fries (I like Whole Foods unsalted crinkle fries)
- 2 cups real shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
- Chives, sliced for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and arrange on sheet pan along with lemon, onion and garlic. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes or until chicken skin is crispy. Note: As the chicken thighs etc. cook, they will form flavorful juices and crusty brown stuff on the bottom of the pan that we will add to the gravy for flavor. The chicken thighs can be saved for another dish.
- Once chicken thighs are done, set aside. Place fries on a large clean sheet pan in a single layer (you may need to use two sheet pans.) Season with salt and bake according to package directions.
- In the meantime, heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Melt butter (or use drippings from the chicken thigh pan or vegan butter to make it dairy free) and whisk in the gluten free flour. Keep whisking to form a roux (a mix of butter and flour to thicken the gravy) for approximately 5 or 6 minutes or so until the mixture becomes very lightly golden brown. If it starts to burn, lower the heat.
- Pour in stock and whisk continuously until a gravy forms. Lower heat and allow to very gently simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, scrape the bottom of the pan that you used to bake the chicken thighs with a spatula and add all brown bits and juices right into the gravy (this will add a ton of flavor!) Squeeze in just a few drops of the lemon and add ¼ teaspoon of sugar (I’m telling you lemon and sugar add so much flavor to this). Next, give it a taste. Does it need salt or a touch more lemon? Add it!
- Once fries are very crispy, arrange them in sort of a pile like I did in the picture. Top with cheese and broil for a couple of minutes until cheese is nice and melty. Pour gravy on top and garnish with the chives. Enjoy!
SO, WHAT’S THE NUTRITION BALANCE?
This recipe is designed to be all natural, gluten free, party food. It’s about as healthy as I can make a Poutine!! It’s mostly carbs and fat so try to have some protein on the side for balance.