Localizing your comfort foods

I get in food ruts sometimes, but there are always those comfort foods you come back to again and again. Those foods that feel like home.

I’ve been trying to make these comfort foods in as localized of form as I can. How much can I grow myself? Which pieces can be substituted for native similarities?

This garlic chicken and rice meal has been part of my favourite meals for a time, and I have recently substituted all the ingredients to be local (minus a lil lemon juice this time, which I could sub for a vinegar or maybe sumac next year). Soo delicious.

Recipe: Garlic chicken with wild rice “risotto”

3 chicken breasts, deboned and skinned
1.5 cup plain yogurt
8 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
one lemon, squeezed
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp dried chili
3 cups wild rice
1 cup butter
2 tsp flour
1 tbsp olive oil

Combine yogurt, 4+ cloves garlic, half of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper into a bowl. Prepare chicken so it is deboned into cubes and mix into yogurt mixture until completely covered. Cover and leave in the fridge until ready to prepare, up to 4 or 5 days, but at least 24 hours.
Prepare wild rice to normal directions minus about 10 minutes and set aside.

Heat up oil and butter in a large frying pan until melted. Add remaining onions, garlic, pepper, and chili and fry until onions are translucent (about 2 mins). Add flour slowly stirring into butter until it thickens. Add chicken to frying pan until lightly browned and shred into smaller pieces with a fork. Add rice to the pan and stir. Add rest of lemon. Lower heat and let sit covered for approximately 15 mins. Remove from heat and salt.
Serves 4-6 ppl

The yogurt makes the chicken super tender and flavorful, and the wild rice gives everything a nice nutty flavour.

What are your favourite comfort recipes? Can they be converted to entirely local? What native versions can you swap in?

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