Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gnocchi and Roast Chicken

Last week I took the time to make gnocchi. I love gnocchi. I love the simplicity of the actual gnocchi and how you can keep it simple or knock it out of the ballpark with the toppings and sauces! Gnocchi is a potato dumpling that, when made correctly, is like a fluffy pillow of pasta with ridges on one side to catch any sauce or cheese that has been tossed with the gnocchi. I like to make mine a little rustic, thus some are smaller, some are larger, some have evenly placed ridges and others have ridges off to the side.

3 pounds russet potatoes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 pinch salt

Boil the whole potatoes until they are soft. While still warm, peel (rub potatoes with a clean, dry kitchen towel and they should fall right off) and pass through vegetable mill or ricer into a bowl.

Bring water to boil in a large pot. Set up ice bath.

Sprinkle potatoes all over with flour.

Place eggs and salt in center of well and using a fork, stir into flour and potatoes, just like making normal pasta. Once egg is mixed in, bring dough together, kneading gently until a ball is formed. Knead gently another 4 minutes until ball is dry to touch (I had to add extra flour, but this might be because I was making an exceptionally large batch).

Roll baseball-sized ball of dough into long ropes and cut off one inch by one inch size pieces (approximately). I sort of roll them over a fork, but I am sure a quick search on you tube would show you a real method.

Drop these pieces into boiling water and cook until they float (about 1 minute). Meanwhile, continue with remaining dough, repeating and watching for floating gnocchi. As gnocchi float to top of boiling water, remove them to ice bath. Continue until all have been cooled off. Let sit several minutes in bath and drain from ice and water. Toss with olive oil and you are ready to go.

I merely served these sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and parmesan, but you could go crazy with options. We like a super light tomato sauce and italian sausage cut into rounds that match the size of the gnocchi, or a creamy and rich gorgonzola sauce, or I am inclined to believe that they would be phenomenal with a fresh basil pesto. Or you could be like us and just eat them by the handful as we are prepping the rest of the meal!

We also roasted two chickens we had in the freezer...


I chicken, whole
1/2 onion "chunked"
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut in half
seasoning of your choice (I used salt, pepper, and herbs de provence on one, Korinje spice rub on the other)

Preheat oven to 450. Place carrot and part of onion on bottom of roasting pan to keep chicken elevated out of the juices (otherwise part of your chicken would be roasting and the other part braising). Remove the "extra goodies" from the chicken, do with them what you will, and pat the chicken dry. Stuff the cavity with remaining onion and garlic, place breast side up on top of veggies in pan. Rub in the seasonings of your choice all over the chicken. Roast for 1 hour 20 to 1 hour 45 minutes or until chicken is 160 degrees internally.



Margaret said...

Wow!! Those chickens look super tasty!

I don't think I've cooked chicken any way except as a boneless skinless breast. I'm such a boring cook.

Ashley Howard said...

It was really easy to make the chickens, and whole chickens can be so much cheaper than chicken breasts. Give it a whirl!