Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings with Ricotta Gnocchi

PUBLISHED ON: 03.23.2012

Comfort food?  This southern style chicken and dumplings is right up there with macaroni and cheese. This stew is made slightly more contemporary with pillowy soft ricotta dumplings-it may be the best dumplings you ever eat.

This stew can easily be made in large batches to freeze or to share.  As always, my favorite dishes are those that can be served family style and can easily become crowd pleasers too.

Chicken and Dumplings with Ricotta Gnocchi
Serves 6-8
Recipe from Bon Appetit

Recipe for Gnocchi

1lb. ricotta
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour plus more
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1-1/4 cups finely grated Parmesan
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt
Chicken and Gravy
10 cups low-salt chicken broth
2-lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 celery stalks, cut crosswise into 1/4″ thick slices
1 carrot, peeled, thinly sliced
1 parsnip, peeled, cut into 1/4″-thick slices
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Shaved Parmesan
If using fresh ricotta that has excess liquid, you may need to drain it overnight.  Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set over medium bowl.  Add ricotta; cover with plastic wrap and let drain overnight in refrigerator.  If using supermarket ricotta, proceed with recipe; no draining required.
Gently mix ricotta, 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. flour, egg, Parmesan, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl just to blend ( do not overwork).  Form dough into a ball (it will be sticky); wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.  Place dough on a lightly floured work surface.  Divide dough into 4 equal portions and cover with a clean kitchen towel.  Using your hands, roll 1 portion into a 1/2″-diameter rope; cut crosswise into 1/2″-thick pieces.  Lightly dust gnocchi with flour and transfer to prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining portions of dough.  Cover gnocchi with a kitchen towel and chill until ready to cook.
Do ahead: Can be made 2 months ahead.  Freeze on sheets, then store, frozen, in an airtight container.

Chicken and Gravy
Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add chicken, reduce heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through 20-30 minutes.  Remove chicken; let cool slightly and shred into bite-size pieces.  Bring broth to a boil and cook until reduced to 8 cups, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over low heat.  Whisk in flour until smooth and cook, whisking constantly, until roux is pale beige in color, about 15 minutes (do not brown).

Scrape roux into simmering broth; whisk until thickened and broth coats the back of spoon.  Reduce heat to low and add vegetables.  Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add shredded chicken and herbs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Do ahead: Can be made 2 days ahead.  Cill, uncovered, until cold; cover and keep chilled.  Rewarm before serving.

Cook gnocchi in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until gnocchi float to the surface, about 2 minutes ( slightly longer if frozen).  Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to bowls, dividing equally.  Ladle chicken and vegetables with gravy over.  Season with pepper and top with Parmesan.


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