Creamy Pesto Chicken with Gnocchi

2015-04-25 16.13.13

This dish is one of my all-time favourites, originally adapted from the Australian Women’s Weekly. Sometimes I don’t make it for months, and then I suddenly remember it with glee. It never disappoints. This recipe is from the good old days when food was just food, taste and texture were what really mattered, and if people wanted to lose weight they went for a run rather than cutting out a whole food group. It has carbs, it has fat, it has meat and it is SUBLIME. Creamy and soft and comforting – the best of the best in the winter food genre. If you had too much red wine the night before, it will save you. By all means make your own gnocchi if you have oodles of time, and if you’re a veggie, swap out the chicken for additional mushrooms. Mmm…

Creamy Pesto Chicken with Gnocchi

400g chicken breast fillets
1 tblsp soy sauce
300g mushrooms, sliced
500g fresh potato gnocchi
250ml cream
125ml dry white wine
60ml basil pesto
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tblsp fresh basil leaves
salt & pepper, to taste
parmesan, to serve
serves 4

Heat a large saucepan of water until it comes to the boil. Add the gnocchi and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the gnocchi rise to the surface of the water. Turn off the heat and drain well. Slice the chicken into small, thin cubes and toss over the soy sauce. Add half the olive oil to a large frying pan (medium heat) and cook the mushrooms and garlic until softened. Remove from the pan. Add the remaining olive oil and cook the chicken, tossing once it starts to brown, until just cooked through. It should take no more than a few minutes. Add the pesto, wine and cream to the chicken, stir to combine, and bring to the boil. Drain the mushrooms (they always release an annoying amount of liquid once cooked, and it thins out the sauce too much if you add it) and add them to the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the cooked gnocchi to the hot sauce, toss to combine and serve with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper, shaved parmesan and fresh torn basil leaves.

*Note: Gnocchi don’t reheat very well. Rather be a glutton on the day. If you do have left overs, reheat them in short bursts in the microwave, but don’t overcook – they will go chewy.

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