Sunday, December 7, 2008

Home Cooked Goodness

Tonight's dinner was inspired by a pantry clean out. I decided to go through the fridge and cupboards and see what kind of recipe I could throw together that would use up as many items as possible from my overstocked shelves. This recipe was inspired by the Gnocchi, Chicken Stock, Frozen Chicken, and Leftover Celery in my fridge. Gnocchi is a finicky thing. It's difficult to find a recipe for store bought prepackaged Gnocchi that keeps the potato dumplings from getting too dry without using a sauce with a catastrophic calorie count. The solution is soup. While this is definitely no Cooking Light Recipe, it's a good compromise and a little lighter than the normal doughy biscuits that go with the classic version of Chicken and Dumplings. In Rachel Ray's version of this ultimate comfort food, she substitutes gnocchi for the traditional dumplings, and adds a little homeade pesto to the broth for a unique flavor. I think this would be good without the pesto too if you are in a hurry, however, the general consensus was that it definitely added something special and took the recipe up that one extra notch.

Italian Chicken and Dumplings

  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Level: Easy
  • Serves: 4 to 6 servings
  • If you love Chicken Fricassee, Chicken and Biscuits and Chicken and Dumplings here's a flavorful, Italian take on the classic. Here, basil pesto - a kid favorite, is stirred into the light gravy. For the dumplings, fresh potato gnocchi tossed in lemon butter. WOW!

    5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    2 pounds chicken tenderloins, diced into bite-sized pieces
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    4 tablespoons butter, divided
    12 large white mushrooms, sliced
    1 cup shredded carrots, store bought
    4 ribs celery from the heart, very thinly sliced
    1 to 2 fresh bay leaves
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    3 cups chicken stock, divided
    1 cup basil leaves
    1 clove garlic
    A generous handful parsley leaves
    A handful pine nuts, lightly toasted
    A couple handfuls grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    1 lemon , zested
    2 (10 to 12-ounce) packages, fresh gnocchi

    Place a large pot of water on to boil for gnocchi.

    Heat a pot with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, a turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and lightly brown. Remove to a plate and add another tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter and heat. Add mushrooms, carrots, celery, and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper. Soften 5 minutes, sprinkle in flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in 2 1/2 cups stock, slide the chicken back into the pot and simmer to allow sauce to thicken.

    Place the remaining 1/2 cup stock in food processor with basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts and cheese, salt and pepper. Turn processor on and pour in the remaining few tablespoons oil.

    Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat with the zest of 1 lemon.

    Salt cooking water and drop gnocchi in the water, cook until the gnocchi floats, drain and add to the lemon butter and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss the gnocchi 2 to 3 minutes in lemon butter until light golden at edges.

    Turn heat off chicken and stir in pesto sauce. Serve the chicken in shallow bowls and top with lemon butter dumplings.

    1 comment:

    Camille said...

    Sounds fantastic! Again, one that I will have to try. :)