Well, here I am again, after a little post-Kitschmas break. I promise I'll be up and running at full speed soon, h-honest!
Today's offering (it's our anniversary, so I avoided something potentially disgusting) is a dish Dr. Husband and I tried in Canada a couple of summers ago, Nova Scotia to be precise. Rappie Pie (from the French patates râpées) is a traditional Acadian dish made with potatoes and whatever meat or seafood you might happen to have lying around. Most commonly chicken, so that's what I used.
You'll need chicken, cheesecloth, and potatoes. LOTS of potatoes. Most recipes call for 20 pounds (rappie pie is often served at Christmas or other large family gatherings, so recipes are designed to feed a crowd.) I used five pounds, and maybe could have done with ten...five pounds yielded only a medium-size mixing bowl full of grated potatoes.
Oh, did I mention the grating? The potatoes need to be grated within an inch of their lives. I cheated and used a food processor (the actual chopping blade, not the grating blade - you're not making hash browns, you want a very very tiny grate.) Some people these days use a juicer with a pulp gathering feature. Because, you see, once the potatoes are grated, you're going to wrap them in cheesecloth and squeeze all the liquid out of them.
(If you're in Canada you can order frozen blocks of already-grated-and-squeezed potatoes...but they won't ship to the U.S. Thanks, Obama.)
Keep track of exactly how much liquid you extract from the potatoes, because you're going to replace it. With chicken broth. Oh, did I mention that while you're grating the potatoes, you should be simmering a fryer or stew hen in the pot? (Honestly, for all the trouble it was, if I ever make this again I use store bought broth and a rotisserie chicken. And probably powdered potatoes. All in the name of mid-century convenience cooking, you understand.)
Mix the grated potatoes well with hot broth, equal to the amount of liquid that was extracted, then spread half the mixture in a buttered casserole dish. Layer in shredded chicken (from the aforementioned fryer), then top with the remaining potato mixture.
Bake at 350 for about 3 hours. Honest.
The chicken nearly liquefies, and the potato mixture becomes a gelatinous goo. It's really disgusting up close, now that I think of it. But hearty and warming and homey. Traditionally served with molasses. Or pickles. Or tomatoes. Or cut into squares the next day and fried in butter.
Dr. Husband had his with cranberry sauce, and I drizzled honey on mine. I think the "rules" are pretty lax, and of course Canadians are so polite no one would ever tell you if you did it wrong.
You'll notice I haven't left you an easy to follow recipe. Because there are literally no two alike. Half the fun was figuring out exactly what I was going to use, and how much of it. If you're really tempted to try, Google some recipes and have fun. Here, I'll even do the Googling for you.
Anyway, here's a video!