I’m a big fan of one-pot meals. Living on a boat, I have very little counter space and the dishwasher is me for the most part so the less items, the better. My prep surfaces are on top of the sink, stove and fridge so I need to stage all ingredients, chop and measure, and be ready to go. This recipe comes together in about 20 minutes and thickens as it sits: serious comfort food!
Our local Grocery Outlet has a nice assortment of gnocchi and I’ve tried several and don’t have a favorite. I’ve made my own gnocchi but it is a pretty big mess and takes time and just the right amount of kneading and boiling to get them just right. And honestly, once you cover those little dumplings with sauce, it’s all good!
The secret in this dish is definitely the roux. It’s important to get the butter-veggie-flour combo smooth, adding the flour slowly and stir, stir, stir to avoid lumps. This creates the base for the meal.
Variations: There is lots of room for personal taste in this recipe. First off, you can remove the chicken altogether to make a side dish to feed about eight instead of a main course serving four. It would present nicely and stay warm for a long time in a covered casserole dish. Vegetable broth can be substituted for chicken, as can milk for the half and half. You could use fresh herbs instead of dried by doubling, and add basil, fresh or dried. I grated fresh parmesan, but gruyere or a white cheddar would be good, too. The biggest question is how thick you want it. I served this so thick a spoon could stand in it, but it can be thinned by adding more stock.
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1.5 cups)
- 3 ribs of celery, diced (about 1.5 cups)
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 16 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 pint half and half
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 16 ounces gnocchi
- 2 cups cooked chicken, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups spinach, chopped (plus a few whole leaves for garnish)
- In a Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter and then add the olive oil, onions, celery and garlic and sautee until all veggies are soft (about 4 minutes).
- Slowly sprinkle the flour over the veggies, stirring constantly to avoid any lumps.
- Add 8 ounces of broth and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently as it thickens.
- Add the remaining 8 ounces of broth, then slowly add the half and half. Stir until fully combined.
- Stir in the rosemary, thyme and pepper.
- Add the gnocchi and chicken. If you want a thinner dish, stir in more broth, a half cup at a time. Cook until the mixture is bubbly, about 3-5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and fold in the cheese. Cover and let cook for 3 minutes for cheese to melt.
- Stir then remove from heat and fold in the spinach. Season to taste with salt and additional pepper. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Garnish with spinach leaves or julienned basil.
Serves 4 as a main dish.
Go To Tuesdays are weekly recipes from products purchased at the Alameda Grocery Outlet, 730 Buena Vista Ave.
Please let me know if you made the recipe and liked it or would suggest changes. And also feel free to suggest future recipes.