Gnocchi with Chanterelles

This is admittedly a luxurious dish, since chanterelles are not widely available, and are very expensive when you can find them.  Today, the chanterelles in our local branch of the NYC market Citarella, were so plump and golden, that I couldn’t resist. 

I often make a roast chicken for dinner on Sundays–something about that scent wafting through the house makes the day feel festive and comforting. Instead of making potatoes to accompany the chicken, I decided we’d have pasta as a first course, then chicken as our second course, then salad afterwards.   

Gnocchi are a great accompaniment to roast chicken (and roasted meats in general).  They cook quickly, but need to be eaten as soon as they’re ready.  The wild mushroom sauce is also a very quick preparation, but unlike the gnocchi, it can be made about 15 – 20 minutes ahead and reheated at the last second before the gnocchi get tossed in. 

I cannot over-emphasize the importance of the chicken broth that I use in many of my stewy, saucy dishes.  This dish is no exception.  Once the mushrooms are cooked to golden perfection, add some chicken broth and simmer on the lowest of heat until the sauce emulsifies–it will also reduce a bit. The broth gives the whole sauce its body and complexity, and, along with white wine, turns sauteed mushrooms into a sauce. 

The timing of this meal is easy–simply allow 45 minutes to 1 hour to make the chicken.  After the chicken comes out of the oven to rest, serve the gnocchi.  The chicken can sit, loosely covered with foil for up to a half-hour without losing too much heat.  After everyone is done with gnocchi, carve the chicken and serve.  In addition, we had some sauteed spinach (boiled ahead, drained, squeezed, then sauteed at the last moment). 

After the chicken, we had a brilliant salad, the centerpiece of which was an unexpected treat from my neighbor Beppi–arugula from his garden!  It never ceases to amaze me that greens like arugula continue to thrive in cold and frost.  This makes them stronger, more peppery than summer arugula.  Therefore, to tame the arugula, I added some sweet,  juicy clementine sections.  The greens and clementines were tossed with red wine vinegar, agave and olive oil.  Then I garnished with pomegranate seeds–a messy, endeavor, but beautiful to look at and delicious!

Gnocchi with Chanterelles

serves 4

2 1-lb packages of vaccuum packed or frozen gnocchi

1/2 lb fresh chanterelle mushrooms

6 shallots, chopped finely

2 tbls olive oil

2 tbls butter

1/2 c white wine

1/2 c chicken broth

1 tbl fresh chopped parsley

salt and pepper to taste

grated parmigiano for sprinkling

Place a large pot of salted water on to boil for the gnocchi.

With a damp paper towel, wipe any loose soil from the surface of the chanterelles, then dice into large bite-size pieces. 

Place the shallot, oil/butter and mushrooms in a broad skillet and saute for a minute on high heat for about 3 minutes, until mushrooms begin to turn golden. 

Add white wine and reduce until only a syrup remains.  Add broth and reduce heat to low.  Simmer, uncovered until gnocchi are cooked.  Add parsley.

 

Add gnocchi to sauce and saute for about a minute, or until all is combined.   Add additional pasta water if mixture is too tight.

Serve immediately, with plenty of grated parmigiano on the side.

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