Creamy Chicken Gnocchi w/ Squash and Spinach

Well, this is some crazy shit we are facing in our world currently, is it not??

People buying up toilet paper like the mills are going out of business, panic purchasing food, and then some are going about the business of living like nothing is changed.

I hope all of you are holding up out there, and while I understand these times are trying and maybe no one cares what we are noshing on during this “crisis,” I’d like to keep some structure in my life and just do what I do.

I will be honest here and tell you that I started to backslide a bit.

I almost fell into the old pity pot and then I stopped in my tracks. I had the fleeting idea that it was real bullshit to have worked so hard getting my life together only to have some damn virus arrive and shut the world down along with my course of action.

It was a 7 day depression and I gave in to it. I drank. I smoked. I cried. I got up and did it again. I snapped out of it, logged back off the social feeds because DAMN people are ignorant when it comes to not spreading false information or using reliable news sources. Then of course I logged back on, because in addition to having finally leveled off this crazy life, I also have my family in it again and I want to be around for them as well as stay informed.

All that being said, I think we could use a combination of comfort and economic food choices right now. I’m going to do my best to give you those, but I’m also going to live my life as I normally do as much as possible. Hell, they say out of chaos comes structure or some shit like that. Here’s to hope.

I love gnocchi, since the first time I ever had it presented to me. I had a client named Mildred, an old Italian lady, and her daughter made me a dish of these lovely little potato dumplings with Italian sausage and peppers, covered in homemade tomato sauce. I was forever changed.

I made this with sautéed chicken breast, but it is the perfect recipe for using leftovers. I happened to have grape tomatoes and a butternut squash, plus there is always spinach here. Heavy cream, butter, a touch of white wine and garlic make the sauce. Topped with shaved Parmesan, it all came together and made a silky, hearty, robust pool of goodness. Have you ever eaten food that feels like a hug?? There ya go.

This recipe has one pot capabilities, which makes me love it even more.

Let’s cook some gnocchi!! This makes a pretty big pot, so invite a couple of people for dinner.

What You Need:

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast or leftover cooked chicken cut into chunks.

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 c white cooking wine, I used Chardonnay

2 pkg gnocchi (this company makes a GF version)

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1/2 c sweet onion, chopped

1 c fresh spinach

1/2 c grape tomatoes, halved

1 1/2 c heavy cream

1/4 c butter

2 Tbsp minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

What You Do:

In a Dutch oven or large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil.

While this is going on, prep.

Season your chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder. You can cube or slice the chicken before or after you cook it. Up to you.

Cube the squash, halve the tomatoes and dice the onion. If needed, remove stems from spinach.

Gently add gnocchi to boiling water and prepare as package directs.

Drain gnocchi and set aside, reserving 1 cup of the boil water.

Add olive oil to the pan and set heat to medium high.

Sauté the chicken until cooked through, but be sure not to dry it out.

Remove the chicken from pan and set aside.

Add the white wine to pan and deglaze with a wooden spoon.

Add butter to the pan.

When butter melts, add the squash and onion to the pan.

Cook until squash is tender to a fork.

Add the garlic to the pan and stir until the smell permeates the air. I had to say it. I love the word “permeates.”

Add the cream to the pan and stir.

Toss in the chicken.

Add in the gnocchi.

Start adding salt and pepper to taste.

Let it simmer until spinach is slightly wilted.

When the chicken and gnocchi are hot and the sauce is thickening, add the spinach.

If it gets too thick, use the reserved water from boiling the gnocchi to thin it out.

Turn off the heat, add the tomatoes and let it hang out for a second.

Dish it up.

Grab some bread and top your dish with shaved Parmesan.

This is so good, you guys!! Think of it as Italian chicken and dumplings, and if you serve it to friends, be sure you point them to my recipe, please.

I love you so much, Cookers. Please be good to everyone during this time of confusion and bewilderment. No one expects an event like this. I’d like to see us all rise above our differences right now and treat the world as one huge dinner table. Stop hoarding and start helping. Shit like that.

Until next time, may your homes and hearts be peaceful, Chelle.


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