A plate of Poutine; French fries with Ancho Chile Gravy and cheese curds.


Poutine with Ancho Chile Gravy is my version of the unusual Canadian favourite. Originating in the province of Quebec, classic poutine is a bowl of French fries and gravy topped with cheese curds. The combination of flavours and textures is delightful and variations of this dish can be seen on restaurant menus across Canada. From pulled pork to lobster there is no end to the unique interpretations of poutine and there are breakfast and dessert versions too.

Calgary Poutine Week

Calgary Poutine Week is a fun food event in support of the charity, Mealshare. For an entire week in April local restaurants serve stand-out versions of poutine. For every poutine sold in participating restaurants, a simple, healthy meal goes to a youth in need through the charity partner. Best of all there are vegetarian, gluten free and vegan options. Check out Poutine With Purpose and follow #PoutineWithPurpose on social.

But you don’t have to go to a restaurant to enjoy poutine. People with food restrictions know they can create their own fun food event right in their own kitchen. The night I made this poutine I also cooked chicken wings so I would have the tasty brown bits from the bottom of the pot to make my Ancho Chile Gravy.

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Poutine with Ancho Chile Gravy, a Canadian invention.

Ancho Chile Gravy

This is the same gravy I make to serve with my Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey. It has southwestern flavours from poblano and ancho chiles and is thickened with masa harina. There is a little kick but it isn’t spicy hot, perfect for poutine I thought. There will be more gravy than you need for poutine so plan to have roast chicken soon after and use up the rest of this Ancho Chile Gravy.

Brown Gravy

You can certainly make poutine with any brown gravy. I might try it another time using the brown gravy from this recipe for Salisbury Steak. Instead of the Salisbury Steak I would make tiny meatballs and after all the poutine recipe names I read, I might just serve Poutine with Gravy, Cheese Curds and Meatballs.

Cheese Curds

Cheese Curds have a mild cheddar-like flavour with a unique springy texture and can be white or orange in colour. Aside from using cheese curds in poutine people eat them as a snack, but they do lose their texture so should be enjoyed within a few days of purchase. If you’ve never tried them you should.

Frying Potatoes

The crispiest French fries are soaked in cold water to remove some of the starch which prevents them from sticking so plan accordingly. Then they should be twice fried for maximum crispiness. Just get yourself set up, cook them once and let them cool. Then when everything else is ready, do the final frying and serve them piping hot.

Deep frying is a technique that takes a little practise. You probably have to make French fries a few times before you get the exact temperature and time to cook your fries perfectly. Making notes is the quickest way to remember how you did it.

Get The Tools

mandoline slicer is the tool to make evenly cut potatoes for French fries or thin sliced potatoes for scalloped potatoes. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with my mandoline, if you own one you might know what I mean. A good chef’s knife also works well to cut potatoes by hand.

Do you deep fry at home once in awhile? If you own a deep-fryer then you’re set. I don’t. I just don’t deep-fry often enough that I ever wanted to buy one. But I do enjoy all kinds of deep fried treats so I have a great system for deep-frying in my flat-bottom wok. It’s not just the wok but also the long-handled strainer for turning and removing food from the oil, a thermometer and a few clean up tools. I have a large pyrex measuring cup that I put in the sink making it easy to pour the oil into. When the oil is completely cooled it is easy to pour back into the original container to be used again.

Well, are you going to try some poutine? Let me know in the comments below if you did.

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Poutine with Ancho Chile Gravy

This is Poutine with Ancho Chile Gravy. Poutine is a French Canadian specialty; French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds.
Author: Cinde Little
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Poutine with Ancho Chile Gravy


Ancho Chile Gravy

  • 2 fresh poblano chiles (substitute with Anaheim chiles or green bell peppers)
  • 2 dried ancho chiles
  • ½ cup soaking liquid
  • ¼ cup masa harina
  • 2-3 cups gluten free chicken stock (you want 3 cups total of pan juices and stock)
  • salt and pepper to taste

French Fries

  • 2 lbs potatoes
  • oil for frying


  • 4 oz cheese curds


Make Gravy

  • Blacken ancho chile in heavy skillet over high heat until the colour darkens slightly and become fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer ancho chiles to medium bowl and add enough boiling water to cover. Let stand until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from liquid and pull chile away from stem, cut into large pieces. Reserve ½ cup soaking liquid.
  • Char poblano chiles over a gas flame or under a broiler until blackened on all sides. Place in a plastic bag and steam for 10 minutes. Remove from bag, peel and seed chile. Cut chile into large pieces.
  • Puree ancho and poblano chiles with soaking liquid. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared up to this point 1 day in advance.)
  • Add additional broth as needed to measure 3 cups total. Bring to a slow boil.
  • Reduce heat, sprinkle masa harina over the pan juices and whisk until mixture thickens, scraping up brown bits, about 2 minutes.
  • Add chile puree and simmer another 5 minutes to blend flavours. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve with turkey and stuffing.


  • Cook chicken pieces in frying pan until browned. Remove and season or serve with your favourite sauce. (See notes for suggestions.)
  • Return pan to stove and add 2-3 cups chicken stock. Bring to a slow boil.
  • Reduce heat, sprinkle masa harina over the pan juices and whisk until mixture thickens, scraping up brown bits, about 2 minutes.
  • Add chile puree and simmer another 5 minutes to blend flavours adding more chicken stock if needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper.


  • Cut potatoes into even sized pieces for French fries and put them into cold water for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours. Drain well on a tea towel before frying.
  • Heat oil to 350-375°F. Line tray with paper towels.
  • Working in batches cook potatoes until pale brown, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to paper towel to drain and cool. Continue until all potatoes are cooked once.
  • Working in batches repeat process frying until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes.


  • Put French fries on plate, salt and pepper to taste. Pour gravy over top and sprinkle with cheese curds. Serve immediately.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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