There’s no season for comfort food-- we need comfort food all the time. It’s there to provide us with comfort on the hardest of days and is there to celebrate the happiest moments too. But it’s definitely during the winter that we crave large plates of comfort food the most. Now that spring is on its way, we’ve rounded up a list of our favourite comfort food recipes and recommended wine pairings to sip alongside your meal to tide us over until the weather begins to warm up. Worried about your cooking skills? Have no fear-- all of them are super easy to make… because that’s what ultimate comfort is all about. You’re welcome!
Garlic Herb Butter Roast Chicken
Recipe from Cafe Delights
Not much is better than an easy-to-make and even easier to prepare roast chicken. And when roasted with garlic butter, rosemary, lemon, parsley, and a hint of white wine? We’re talking about the ultimate comfort food, here! This Garlic Herb Butter Roast Chicken has unbeatable flavour and can beat the pants off any store-purchased rotisserie chicken. Wine Pairing Recommendation Thirty Bench Small Lot Rosé 2017 from The Wine Shops. Medium-bodied and dry, this rosé has a clean, refreshing mouth-feel, with flavours of red berries and rhubarb. This elegant pink wine blends 50% Cabernet Franc, 32% Pinot Meunier, 9% Pinot Noir and 9% Merlot with the colour coming, saignée-style, from the Merlot. It opens with ripe nectarine, strawberry, maraschino cherry and pimento aromas. There's lovely mouthfeel, with tangy acidity bringing notions of sour apple and pink grapefruit. Cheers! Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins Total Time 1 hr 25 mins Ingredients
- 1 2-3 kg whole chicken, at room temperature with giblets and neck removed from the cavity
- ¼ cup of melted unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine, (OPTIONAL) -- Use a dry wine like a Sauv Blanc or Chardonnay
- 1 lemon, halved
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 head of garlic roughly peeled and cut in half horizontally through the middle crosswise
- 3 fresh whole rosemary sprigs
1. Preheat oven to 430°F | 220°C (400°F or 200°C fan forced). Line a baking tray with foil, or lightly grease a roasting pan.
2. Discard neck from inside the cavity and remove any excess fat and leftover feathers. Rinse chicken (including cavity) under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels.
3. Pour the olive oil, melted butter, wine (if using) and the juice of half a lemon over the chicken, under the skin and inside the cavity. Season chicken liberally on the outside and inside the cavity with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the parsley.
4. Rub the minced garlic over the chicken, mixing all ingredients together over the chicken and under the skin.
5. Stuff the garlic head into the chicken cavity along with the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halve. Tie legs together with kitchen string.
6. Place breast-side up into baking tray or roasting pan. Roast for 1 hour and 15-20 minutes, basting halfway through cooking time, until juices run clear when chicken thigh is pierced with a skewer.
7. Baste again, then broil for a further 2-3 minutes, until golden.
8. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve, drizzled with pan juices and remaining lemon half cut into wedges or slices.
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Recipe from Damn Delicious
This recipe is mac and cheese at its best! Not only is it rich, creamy, delicious, but it’s so much healthier than traditional mac and cheese, too. Talk about being the mac and cheese of our dreams. This a recipe that you can make at any time of the year. As a matter of fact, you can make this 365 days out of the year because the recipe calls for canned butternut squash puree, but you are more than welcome to puree butternut squash yourself. We just don’t want like to risk losing a finger or a hand in the process of cutting up these squashes. Looking to put a spin on this? You can sub out the butternut squash for pumpkin or sweet potato puree depending on the season (or your mood) so you can have the trifecta of mac and cheeses at any time of the year. Here’s how to do it! Wine Pairing Recommendation Trius Rosé 2017 from The Wine Shops. Everyone loves Rosé, and the Trius 2017 is a delicate pinky coral colour with a fresh aroma of watermelon, strawberry, cranberry, peach and pink grapefruit. This rosé has a burst of refreshing fruit flavours including red berries and melon. Currant, pomegranate, red berry tea and a touch of spice linger on the clean, fresh finish. Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 20 mins Total Time 35 mins Ingredients
- 8 ounces medium pasta shells
- 6 slices bacon, diced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped sage
- 1 ¼ cups half and half
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 (15-ounce) can butternut squash puree*
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 10 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, about 2 ½ cups
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Drain excess fat; transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
3. Melt butter in the skillet. Add garlic and shallot, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
4. Whisk in flour and sage until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
5. Gradually whisk in half and half, milk, butternut squash and Dijon. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
6. Stir in pasta and cheese until melted, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
7. Serve immediately, garnished with bacon and chives, if desired.
Chicken Pot Pie
We saved the best for last because chicken pot pie is the king is all comfort foods and we guarantee that this will be a family favourite. Chicken pot pie is a true classic that tastes best on colder days when you’re in need of something warm and comforting. This recipe for chicken pot pie makes two golden beauties chock-full of chicken, potatoes, corn, and peas. You can serve one at dinner and then save the other for a busier night when you don’t have much time to make dinner. It’s also a great chicken pot pie to serve when company comes over. Wine Pairing Recommendation Signature Series Ice Cuvée Rosé from The Wine Shops. A wonderful bouquet of strawberry, peach juice, watermelon and currant. This blend includes 10% Cabernet Franc and a dosage of Cabernet Franc and Vidal icewine added in. This is such a magical wine with strawberry, citrus, watermelon, raspberry, spice, honey and toast on the nose. Simply delicious in the mouth with a sweet, vigorous bead of bubbles, lush red fruits of raspberry and strawberry and just a kiss of sweetness to balance out the acidity. Prep Time 40 mins Cook Time 35 mins Total Time 75 mins Ingredients
- 2 cups diced peeled potatoes
- 1 - ¾ cups sliced carrots
- 1 cup butter, cubed
- ⅔ cup chopped onion
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 - ¾ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1- ½ cups whole milk
- 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 4 sheets refrigerated pie crust
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Place potatoes and carrots in a large saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, covered, 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.
2. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Stir in flour and seasonings until blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in chicken, peas, corn and potato mixture; remove from heat.
3. Unroll a pie crust into each of two 9-in. pie plates; trim even with rims. Add chicken mixture. Unroll remaining crusts; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in tops.
4. Bake 35-40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.
Freeze option: Cover and freeze unbaked pies. To use, remove from freezer 30 minutes before baking (do not thaw). Preheat oven to 425°. Place pies on baking sheets; cover edges loosely with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 350°; bake 70-80 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°. There you have it! As we say our goodbyes to winter in the coming weeks, take advantage of the cold weather and indulge in some of our favourite comfort food recipes before Spring begins to roll around. Bon appetit!