Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Veronese... kinda...
This post should be titled: How I didn't follow the rules while attempting to duplicate Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Veronese recipe.
For starters, I didn't EVEN have time for the two hour marinade time the chicken required since I decided to make this yesterday right before I left work. I get off of work at 3:30p. So I ran to the store to get a few things that I didn't have at home that I needed for this. Like gnocchi... because I wasn't even about to attempt to make that from scratch on a Tuesday.
I am not Super Woman people.
I got home at 4:30p.
My girls get home, starving and cranky at 4:45p... Clearly, two hour marinade was not happening.
I threw the chicken in a bowl with the lemon, rosemary (mmmmmmm rosemary) and garlic (which I wanted to add SO MUCH MORE OF... I love garlic) as soon as I walked in the door.
Like before I even unloaded the groceries.

Then I got to work julienning (Is that even a word?) my zucchini...
Now, a month or so ago, Ryan over on This Is Reverb did a post about a breakfast casserole and he used a mandoline slicer.
That is what I retained: MANDOLINE SLICER
So for Christmas, Emilee got me a plain old, no attachments mandoline slicer. I naively thought yesterday that I could use it for this soup.
Oh, the things I learn.

Now here is where I really just threw the directions out the window.
This recipe calls for two things that I did not want to do:
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced (julienned)
Ok, let's start with the onion. While I was IN Wal-Mart, I called my mom. The conversion went like this:
Me: Hey, what the hell is a vidalia onion?
Mom: It's a sweet onion, like a Georgia onion.
Me: Uhm, ok. Do they have those at Wal-Mart?
Mom: Sure.
Me: [standing in front of the onion selection] Uh... what color are they?
I usually buy one of the three major onion types depending on what I am using it for: Yellow, White, Purple
I didn't know Yellow = Sweet.
Now I do.
Additionally, onions make me cry when I cut them.
So, I usually try and scam a daughter into doing it for me... usually Amanda because she says if she chews gum, her eyes won't water. And guess what! I have gum she can chew. But here was the dilemma: I needed the onions VERY. FINELY. CHOPPED. so that the daughters wouldn't bitch about them being in the soup and I knew Amanda would do a rough chop so I wasn't sure how to proceed.

Then I looked over at the stupid red bell pepper. Here's something you may not know about me - I loathe and abhor bell peppers, any color. I know that when a recipe calls for them, it is important to include them because they bring flavor, but I don't want to bite into them.
Not at all.

So, as it happens, I received a Bullet Express for Christmas. I love my Bullet Express. We use it just about every day. And I had the brilliant albeit not following the recipe idea to throw my onion and red bell pepper into the food processor attachment and chop them up that way. Into teeny tiny pieces.
It didn't go down like that.
It turned them into an onion and bell pepper smoothie.
So, you know, do with that what you will.
I did what any fly by the seat of your pants cook would do and say Oh Well and moved on. I threw the zucchini into my oil and started to saute it. As it was cooking, I slowly added the onion and red bell pepper mix to it. It smelled heavenly.

As it was cooking, I mixed my heavy cream, ricotta cheese and parmesan together into a bowl and checked the directions.

And realized I had a problem.
The problem was two fold. First, I had doubled the recipe. Second, I didn't have a pan large enough to combine all of my ingredients. I had a pot, sure, but the recipe called for a pan.
I also realized I needed to start boiling some water for the gnocchi.
And start my chicken.
I did both simultaneously. Because I rock.
When the little gnocchi started to float, I poured them into my strainer and then took the pot I had cooked them in and put my cream and cheese mixture in it with my sauteed veggies and the gnocchi and turned it onto medium.

The chicken with the rosemary smelled so good.
It didn't brown though because I was cooking it too low.

I stirred the cream and veggie mixture pretty constantly to keep it from sticking or burning or exploding. As the cheese melted, it went through some interesting texture changes.

I added the chicken pieces as they cooked since I had crammed so many of them in there and all...

Then it was done... and so very good. We ate it with HUGE chunks of garlic bread with parmesan melted on it. There is no picture of that though because WE WERE HUNGRY.

I, being such a good follower of recipes and directions and rules, didn't add anything additional of course.

What? I didn't do that! Who put that picture there?
I would never do that... even if it's...

From the Olive Garden recipe website...

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced (julienned)
½ zucchini, sliced, (julienned)
Salt to taste
4 chicken breasts, sliced in ½” strips
2 small branches rosemary
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of ½ lemon

Veronese Sauce
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup ricotta cheese
14 fl oz heavy cream

2 qt water
6 oz all-purpose flour
2 eggs
2 lbs russet potatoes
2 tsp salt
OR (if you are in a hurry and can't cook worth a crap, like me)
1 lb gnocchi (potato dumplings), cooked according to package directions

NOTE: You may make your own gnocchi by following the steps below, or you may purchase them already made.

WASH potatoes and place in water. Cook potatoes until soft (cook time will depend on size of potatoes). Remove potatoes from water and cool in refrigerator.
PEEL cooled potatoes and push them through a fine grater (rice grater) until mashed; do not over-mash potatoes or they will get tough.
COMBINE potatoes, flour and eggs in a mixing bowl. Mix well until dough does not stick to hands (add small amounts of flour at a time if needed).
DIVIDE dough into 4 sections. Roll out each section into a long rope. Cut each rope into ½” pieces. Push fork tines on each piece for the classic gnocchi appearance.
BRING water to a boil in a sauce pot. Drop in gnocchi and cook until they float.

Chicken & Sauce
COMBINE garlic, lemon juice, rosemary and chicken slices in a mixing bowl. Let marinate for at least 2 hours.
COMBINE Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese and heavy cream in a mixing bowl and set aside.
HEAT sauté pan on medium high. Add extra virgin olive oil, onions, bell peppers, and zucchini. Saute until onions are translucent (do not brown).
ADD marinated chicken slices and cook until slices are brown on all sides and internal temperature is 165°F. Reduce heat and add sauce mixture. Bring to a simmer.
DRAIN cooked gnocchi and add to pan with chicken, vegetables and sauce. Stir to coat gnocchi with sauce.
SERVE gnocchi topped with extra Parmesan cheese.

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so eloquently put by katehopeeden at 12:26 AM
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