I only moved about 45 minutes away from our last house. But honestly – sometimes it feels like I’m in a whole new place. 45 minutes away means you have to find new doctors, new pediatricians, new dentists. You have to get a new library card. You have to find new “best” roads to drive on and quickest ways to get places. And you have to get used to new stores.
I had things pretty well figured out where I lived before. If there was a certain ingredient that was a little harder to come by, I usually knew the one place to go to find it. I knew what ingredients to buy where, and what to leave off of my menu plan if I didn’t want to go to a certain store, or to multiple stores. But now that has all changed!! I had this meal on my menu plan. I bought all of the ingredients, but couldn’t find any gnocchi. I guess I really wanted to make this recipe, because I even considered making my own, (something that I’ve never done, although it is on my list of things I want to try very soon.) Luckily, I found some gnocchi, after a little bit of searching, and was able to try this recipe.
And all of the searching was worth it. This Italian Chicken and Dumplings may not look like much, but this was de-lic-ious. I actually even liked it more than I thought I would. And my husband was head over heels for it. In fact, while we almost always have leftovers, there wasn’t a bit left over after dinner. And this is so packed with veggies and goodness that you can feel pretty good while eating it, too!
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Italian Chicken and Dumplings – This Italian version of a popular comfort food will keep you warm on a cold night. Store bought gnocchi make this come together quickly.
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 12 large white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 4 celery stalks (from the heart), sliced very thinly
- 1 large onion, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup fresh basil
- a handful of fresh parsley leaves
- a handful of pine nuts, toasted
- a couple handfuls of freshly grated parmesan cheese
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 (10- to 12-ounce) packages gnocchi
- Place a large pot of water to boil.
- Heat a deep skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned on all sides. Remove from the skillet to a plate and return the skillet to the heat. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet. When the butter is melted, add the mushrooms, carrots, celery and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables are softened. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in 2 1/2 cups of the chicken stock and add the chicken and any accumulated juices back into the pan. Cook until the sauce has thickened and the chicken has cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
- Place the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock in a food processor. Add the basil, parsley, pine nuts and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Turn on the food processor and stream in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- In a skillet over medium heat, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Add in the lemon zest.
- Salt the boiling water and add the gnocchi. Cook until they float to the surface, then drain and add to the skillet with the lemon butter. Cook in the butter until lightly golden at the edges, 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the heat and stir in the pesto sauce. Serve in shallow bowls topped with the lemon-butter gnocchi.
Slightly adapted from Rachael Ray’s Big Orange Book