Sunday, April 21, 2013

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

I thought I had posted this recipe, but apparently not. It's quickly become an old standby at our house, meaning I didn't think it was a new one anymore! ;) The hubby LOVES chicken noodle soup, and while I don't mind it, this soup is a similar enough to make him happy, and different enough to make me happy. Winner all around! It's a pretty versatile soup, you can change whatever you want (pretty much) and it comes out awesome.

Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Makes about 6 servings

 1 tablespoon olive oil
 1 small onion, diced
 3 stalks celery, diced
 3 cloves garlic, minced
 2 carrots, shredded
 1 pound cooked, cubed chicken breast
 4 cups chicken broth
 1 (16 ounce) package mini potato gnocchi
 1 (6 ounce) bag baby spinach leaves
 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
 2 tablespoons cold water (optional)
 2 cups half-and-half cream
 salt and ground black pepper to taste


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, garlic, and carrots in the hot oil until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in cubed chicken and chicken broth; bring to a simmer.
Stir gnocchi into the simmering soup and cook until they begin to float, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in spinach; cook until wilted, about 3 additional minutes.
Whisk cornstarch into cold water until smooth. Stir cornstarch mixture and half-and-half into simmering soup. Cook until soup thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

To start off, I make this recipe using a Rotisserie chicken. I have never tried it with regular chicken, and while I think it would still be good, I like the added flavor of the rotisserie seasonings. Plus all the meat that comes off of a rotisserie chicken is the perfect amount for soup. Anywho, so pick off all the meat and set aside. Boil the carcass and skin for several hours to make stock. (at this point I usually add some additional chicken bullion to the broth, do this to taste). I then dice 3-4 stalks of celery, 1 onion, and 1 bunch of organic carrots (trust me, I am not on the organic train for the most part, but definitely AM for carrots!), which equals to be about 5-6 smallish carrots. Then follow the recipe as directed. I haven't put spinach in it, because for many years, I've had a phobia of cooked spinach. I recently tried it in the Zuppa Toscana soup, and it was fabulous, so I think I'll start adding spinach to the final product. It is great served with nice crusty bread, and a fresh green salad. Definitely a keeper around this household! I haven't tried freezing it yet (the leftovers are equally awesome and tend to go quickly), but that is my next task. I'll let you know how it goes! 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chicken Oscar Bearnaise

There isn't really a recipe for this, per se. I had it at a restaurant one time and did my best to recreate it. It's pretty forgiving, so try it however sounds best to you! It's super easy to throw together, and looks great on a plate - the most excellent of company food. ;)

Chicken Oscar
Time: About 20 minutes


1 Chicken breast per person
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive oil
1/3 can of crab per person (not imitation - it has to be real! I usually used the canned lump crab)
Asparagus - 3-5 stalks per person
Garlic Salt
1 package of Bearnaise sauce, made according to the package directions


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pound chicken breasts flat. Cover with flour, salt, and pepper until fully coated.
2. In a shallow baking dish, place the asparagus spears. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil and garlic, shake or stir until all the spears are coated with a light coating of oil. Use Garlic salt and pepper to taste. Put in the oven and roast for 10-15 minutes.
3. Once the asparagus is roasting, heat several tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan on medium high - once hot, add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until brown and fully cooked through.
4. Make Bearnaise sauce according to package directions.
5. To plate: Place 1 chicken breast on a plate. Place 3-5 spears of asparagus on top. Put ~1/3 can of crab meat on top (you don't need to heat it up prior - the heat from everything else takes care of it), and cover with bearnaise sauce to taste.

I looked it up, and it most of the time this is made with veal. I like the chicken option better. :) It's a fun recipe that looks cool, and all the flavors blend together really well. Enjoy!