Italian chicken and dumplings

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time20 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy
75ml extra-virgin olive oil
900g chicken fillets, diced into bite-sized pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
60g butter
12 large white mushrooms, sliced
225g shredded carrots
4 sticks celery from the heart, very thinly sliced
1-2 fresh bay leaves
3 tbsp plain flour
700ml chicken stock

For the Pesto

45g basil leaves
A generous handful parsley leaves
1 clove garlic
A handful pine nuts, lightly toasted
A couple of handfuls grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2 (285 to 340g) packages, fresh gnocchi
1) Place a large pan of water on to boil for the gnocchi. Heat a medium saucepan with 15ml of olive oil, over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and stir to brown lightly. b Transfer the chicken to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2) Add another tablespoon of olive oil and 30g of the butter to the pan and heat. Add the mushrooms, carrots, celery, bay leaf and salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes stirring, sprinkle in the flour and cook for 2 minutes more. Whisk in 590ml of the stock, return the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes to allow sauce to thicken.

3) To make the Pesto: Place the remaining 110ml stock in a food processor with the basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, cheese and salt and pepper. Turn the processor on and pour in the remaining few tablespoons oil.

4) In a medium pan melt the remaining 30g butter over medium heat. Add the lemon rind and set aside.

5) Salt the cooking water and drop in the gnocchi. Cook until the gnocchi floats to the surface. Drain, add to the lemon butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the pan to the heat and cook the gnocchi for 2 to 3 minutes in lemon butter until light golden at the edges.

6) Remove the cicken from the heat and stir in pesto sauce. Serve the chicken in shallow bowls and top with lemon butter dumplings.

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