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Ham, Mozzarella and Caramelized Onion-stuffed ChickenChicken dishes are often the “conservative” option on restaurant menus and can be a little bland. This, however, is a very flavourful recipe that can be served with simple mashed potatoes, pasta, risotto, or even a salad.Roast Chicken with Root VegetablesJulia Child often commented that a cook’s ability is determined by how perfectly he or she roasts a chicken. She was a believer in trussing the bird to preserve its juices, as well as for presentation. Very few people are prepared to make the effort to truss their chicken, so this recipe focuses more on the timing and basting of the bird during the roast. Locally produced free-range chickens are generally available at specialty grocery stores or your local farmers’ market. For simplicity, the root vegetables accompanying this dish can be placed in the same pan as the chicken, but the higher moisture content may prevent the chicken from developing a crispy skin. I suggest cooking them separately to achieve the ultimate roast.Cajun Honey Barbecued ChickenI love the use of a whole bird, wasting nothing. This recipe is a nod to the recipes of Louisiana, as “Cajun” is derived from “Acadian,” referring to the French Acadians expelled from Nova Scotia in 1755. This is an important part of our heritage in Nova Scotia, and I have always been amazed at the widespread cultural influences around North America that have resulted from such a horrible period. Although one does not typically think of spicy Cajun dishes as being Nova Scotian, I certainly feel there is a connection and one that should be shared and celebrated. Should you not have a barbecue for this recipe, you can simply roast the chicken in a 400F (220C) oven for 40 to 50 minutes.Turkey Pot PieThis has become a bit of an “after Christmas dinner” tradition for my family and me, as it uses up a significant quantity of turkey leftovers on Boxing Day. However, you could take the same steps with cold chicken and obtain an equally delicious result anytime of the winter. For me, the key with meat pies is consistency, as I do not like extremely runny fillings. I prefer a bottom and a top crust, made in the style closer to a British meat pie. If you’re rushed for time, you could assemble the filling and bake it in a casserole dish covered with just a top crust of pastry or sheet of store-bought all-butter puff pastry.Thai chicken curry recipeWhen my friend and colleague Marie Nightingale wrote Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens in 1970, I am quite sure she would never have considered including a Thai green curry recipe as a featured entree. But the one thing that always impressed me about Marie — my Nova Scotia culinary idol — was her love of all the wonderful new dishes and flavours introduced to the province. Honestly, can you even imagine our cities and towns without sushi restaurants? I certainly can’t. I don’t know if Marie ever made any curry, but I do know that she was immensely proud of every hardworking young chef and cook who enriched Nova Scotia’s culinary landscape. In Halifax, Thai restaurants are incredibly popular — the food is full of bright, balanced flavours and endless variety. Like Marie, I’m grateful to live in a city that embraces so many different types of cuisine.
"Cooking locally and seasonally isn't a trend. It's the way it's always been. And this will always be true of great food.