Weekly Winnter: Little Fluffy Pillows of Cheesy Wonderfulness

gnocchi dumplingsYou know you’re doing something right when your husband comments, “this is seriously restaurant-quality good”.  And then it is very, very quiet while we both devour our dinner.  That’s what happened last night.  Now, the funny thing is I have made this recipe before.  And it was good.  So good, in fact, that I was certain I had already declared it a “Weekly Winner”.  I went back and checked.  But I have doubts as to whether it could have possibly been this good.    Very little I have made has been this good.

The recipe itself is mis-named.  It is Chicken and Dumplings.  But dumplings don’t even begin to describe what is in the bowl with the chicken.  Actually they are gnocchi.  Ricotta gnocchi to be exact.  And when said gnocchi is made with hubby’s home-made ricotta, well….. wow!  It is a time-consuming recipe, but it is not difficult.  Just a lot of steps and you do need a good afternoon to do it right.  Your efforts and your patience will be rewarded.  And if you can, try to find a husband or someone to make you home-made ricotta.  You can make it yourself, I suppose, but where’s the fun in that?    The recipe comes from Bon Appetit.  Try it, it will rock your world.

Chicken and “Dumplings”



1 pound ricotta

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour plus more

1 large egg, beaten to blend

1 ¼ cups finely grated Parmesan

3/4 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

½ tablespoon kosher salt

Chicken and Gravy

10 cups low-salt chicken broth

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs

¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 celery stalks, cut crosswise into 1/4″-thick slices

1 carrot, peeled, thinly sliced

1 parsnip, peeled, cut into 1/4″

1 leek, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4″-thick slices

¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

¼ cup chopped fresh chives

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Shaved Parmesan


Gnocchi –

If using fresh ricotta that has excess liquid, you may need to drain it overnight. Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a medium bowl. Add ricotta; cover with plastic wrap and let drain overnight in refrigerator. If using supermarket ricotta, proceed with recipe; no draining required.

Gently mix ricotta, 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. flour, egg, Parmesan, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl just to blend (do not overwork). Form dough into a ball (it will be sticky); wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into 4 equal portions and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Using your hands, roll 1 portion into a 1/2″-diameter rope; cut crosswise into 1/2″-thick pieces. Lightly dust gnocchi with flour and transfer to pre-pared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining portions of dough. Cover gnocchi with a kitchen towel and chill until ready to cook.

Chicken and Gravy-

Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add chicken; reduce heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through, 20–30 minutes. Remove chicken; let cool slightly and shred into bite-size pieces. Bring broth to a boil and cook until reduced to 8 cups, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour until smooth and cook, whisking constantly, until roux is pale beige in color, about 15 minutes (do not brown).

Scrape roux into simmering broth; whisk until thickened and broth coats the back of a spoon. Reduce heat to low and add vegetables. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add shredded chicken and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook gnocchi in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until gnocchi float to the surface, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to bowls, dividing equally. Ladle chicken and vegetables with gravy over. Season with pepper and top with Parmesan.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Weekly Winner:  Restaurant-Worthy Gnocchi that Anyone (yes, even you) Can Make. | Donna's Quick Qi

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