What are the traditional Acadian dishes?

Chicken Fricot

Chicken fricot – also called chicken soup – is by far the most popular in Acadia.  Years ago, it was mostly made with chicken.  Fricot was a festive food.   When visitors came by or festivities such as frolics, bees or evening gatherings brought together many people, the Acadians always killed a chicken to make a fricot.  Even today, almost all Acadian families make their fricot with a chicken or young hen.

  • 1 chicken
  • fat
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 12 cups (3 L) water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon summer savory
  • 5 cups diced potatoes
  1. Cut up chicken.  Brown it completely in fat.
  2. Remove chicken and fry onions.  Add flour.  Cook for 1 or 2 minutes.
  3. Add water, chicken, salt, pepper and summer savory.  Cook until chicken is tender (approximately ½ hour for a young hen and 1 ½ hour for a chicken).
  4. Add potatoes and cook for about 20 minutes.

Variation:  People often add dumplings to their fricot.  In this case, the flour is left out and the dumplings are added to the fricot 7 minutes before the end of cooking time.  It is important not to take the cover off the pot while the dumplings are cooking.

(BOUDREAU, Marielle and Melvin GALLANT, « Fricot à la poule », La cuisine traditionnelle en Acadie, Moncton, New Brunswick:  Éditions d’Acadie, 1975, p. 38.)

Râpure

This meal is to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island Acadians what poutine râpée is to Acadians from south-eastern New Brunswick. This festive food can always be found on the menu when receiving guests.  In certain areas of New Brunswick, it is called  pâté à la râpure or chiard.

Even if the basic ingredients are almost the same everywhere, the general aspect of râpure varies considerably according to regions, and even according to families.  In certain areas it is made with pork, while in others it is made with chicken, or even seafood.   Sometimes, only grated potatoes are used, and other times, people use mashed potatoes or stale bread.

  • 2 pounds (1,010 g) fatty pork
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 4 large potatoes, mashed
  • 12 large potatoes, finely grated
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • pepper
  • summer savory (optional)
  • coriander
  • fat
  • crisp fried salt pork
  1. Boil potatoes to be mashed.
  2. During this time, dice meat and grill in pan.
  3. Add onions. When ingredients are nice and brown, remove them and set them aside.
  4. Grate uncooked potatoes and squeeze out water by pressing potatoes in a cotton bag or with your hands. (You can rince the grated potatoes in cold water before squeezing them in order to get rid of the pink colour they have taken due to air exposure.)
  5. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together, including meat.
  6. Place fat in an oven dish (8 x 15 inches) and incorporate râpure mixture. Place crisp fried pork on top of preparation.
  7. Bake for at least 2 hours at 180° (350°) or until top is well browned.

Variation:  Chicken can be used instead of pork, or both can be used.

(BOUDREAU, Marielle and Melvin GALLANT, « Râpure », La cuisine traditionnelle en Acadie, Moncton, New Brunswick:   Éditions d’Acadie, 1975, p. 118.)

Traditional Meat Pie

Meat pie is found throughout Acadia.  This meal is essentially served at Christmas time, even though people have it on other occasions.  It would however, be impossible to have a Christmas Eve dinner without meat pie.

Meat pie is prepared with pork, to which chicken and hare are often added, and sometimes beef.  In spite of its universality, every region does not make it the same way; it varies as much in its ingredients as it does in it the way the crust is prepared.  A distinct difference exists between northern New Brunswick meat pies, on the one hand, and those from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island on the other hand.

But people everywhere eat meat pie alone, either for breakfast, supper or for a snack.  In the Petit-Rocher and Campbellton areas, Petits cochons (little pigs) are preferred.  The preparation is the same, except for the fact that the meat is placed on a 6 inch bread biscuit which is then closed in the shape of a half-moon. ()

Meat pies can be preserved several days if kept chilled.  People heat them in the oven before eating them.

(BOUDREAU, Marielle and Melvin GALLANT, « Pâté », La cuisine traditionnelle en Acadie, Moncton, New Brunswick:  Éditions d’Acadie, 1975, p. 99.)

Meat Pie

In the past, meat pie was only made with one kind of meat, and most often it was pork.  Nowadays, people prefer mixing one or two other meats, which makes it less fattening and gives it a different taste.

For 3 or 4 meat pies:

  • 2 pounds (1,010 grams) pork
  • 2 pounds other meat (hare, beef, chicken)
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • salt and pepper
  • choice of spices:  summer savory, powdered cloves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • crust (see further)
  1. Cut pork and beef in ½ inch cubes and rest of meat in big pieces.
  2. Place meat in pot along with onion, salt, pepper and enough water to cover ingredients.  Cook gently for about 1 ½ hour.  Add water if necessary.
  3. ½ hour before the end of cooking time, add spices and 2 tablespoons onion.
  4. Cool, remove meat from bones, cut in small pieces and replace in juice.
  5. Thicken juice with flour mixture and boil for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Cool before placing in crust (see further).

(BOUDREAU, Marielle and Melvin GALLANT, « Pâté à la viande », La cuisine traditionnelle en Acadie, Moncton, New Brunswick:  Éditions d’Acadie, 1975, p. 100.)

Crust for 3 or 4 meat pies:

  • ¾ pound (1 ¾ cup) lard
  • 6 cups (816 grams) flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¾ cup (150 ml) lukewarm water
  • 1 to 1 ½ cup (225 to 325 ml) lukewarm water
  1. Incorporate grease and flour to salt.  Add egg.
  2. Dissolve yeast and sugar in ¾ cup lukewarm water and let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Make a whole in centre of flour and pour in dissolved yeast and 1 cup lukewarm water.   Mix gradually to flour in order to obtain a dough that is firm enough to be rolled.   Add lukewarm water if necessary.
  4. Roll dough and place it in pie plates.  Pour in meat garnishes and cover with another layer of dough.
  5. Let rise at room temperature for about 15 minutes.  Cook at 400° (200°) for about 30 minutes.

(BOUDREAU, Marielle and Melvin GALLANT, « Croûtes à pâté » La cuisine traditionnelle en Acadie, Moncton, New Brunswick:  Éditions d’Acadie, 1975, p. 103.)