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Old 27th April 2011, 04:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

Ingredients
6 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 rib celery, thinly sliced
2 cups prepared potato gnocchi (about 11 ounces), thawed if frozen
2 cups frozen peas (8 ounces)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken, (about 1 large chicken breast)
Freshly ground black pepper
Hunk of good Parmesan

Instructions

Put chicken broth, garlic, butter and sugar in a large
saucepan over medium-low heat, bring it to a simmer, and cook, uncovered until the garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and continue to simmer until almost tender, 2 minutes. Bring to a full boil, stir in gnocchi and, cooking until the gnocchi are al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in frozen peas and chicken and turn off the heat. Season with salt —take into consideration that Parmesan cheese is salty,
and a generous amount of pepper, to taste. Ladle the soup into warmed shallow bowls and shower each with freshly grated cheese.


Gnocchi
Kosher salt
1 pound russet potatoes
3 to 4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon gray salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting board and dough

Directions
Preheat the oven
to 425 degrees F.
Spread a layer of kosher salt on a baking sheet and arrange the potatoes on top (see Cook's Note). Bake until a bit overcooked, about 45 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle, cut in half, and scoop out the flesh.
Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer or grate them on the large holes of a box grater. You should have about 2 cups. Make a mound of potatoes on the counter with a well in the middle, add 3 of the egg yolks, thecheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix in the potatoes and mix well with hands. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the flour over the potatoes and, using your knuckles, press it into the potatoes. Fold the mass over on itself and press down again. Sprinkle on more flour, little by little, folding and pressing the dough until it just holds together, (try not to knead it.) Work any dough clinging to your fingers back into the dough. If the mixture is too dry, add another egg yolk or a little water. The dough should give under slight pressure. It will feel firm but yielding. To test if the dough is the correct consistency, take a piece and roll it with your hands
on a well-floured board into a rope 1/2-inch in diameter. If the dough holds together, it is ready. If not, add more flour, fold and press the dough several more times, and test again.

Keeping your work surface and the dough lightly floured, cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 1/2-inch in diameter. Cut into 1/2-inch-long pieces. Lightly flour the gnocchi as you cut them. You can cook these as is or form them into the classic gnocchi shape with a gnocchi board, ridged butter paddle, or the tines of a large fork turned upside down. Rest the bottom edge of the gnocchi board on the work surface, then tilt it at about a 45 degree angle. Take each piece and squish it lightly with your thumb against the board while simultaneously pushing it away from you. It will roll away and around your thumb, taking on a cupped shape -- with ridges on the outer curve from the board and a smooth surface on the inner curve where your thumb was. (Shaping them takes some time and dexterity. You might make a batch just for practice.) The indentation holds the sauce and helps gnocchi cook faster.

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