Sunday, May 11, 2014

Special Occasions

Sometimes I want to make a special meal, maybe for my husband or my mom or even the kids' birthdays.  I will sometimes spend hours making a special meal, but sometimes I don't want to work that hard.  My husband and daughter both love gnocchi, so I created this dish for them.  It wasn't really a special occasion, but it tasted like a meal that should be eaten on a special occasion.  And it wasn't too time consuming either.  While I have been planning on attempting to making homemade gnocchi, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.  But, even so, this Chicken Gnocchi Alfredo is so good you won't mind the store-bought version at all.  And the Alfredo sauce is easy to make.  You'll be surprised at how good it is.  Enjoy!

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 lb pancetta, diced
Olive oil
2 lbs gnocchi
2 C heavy cream
1 stick butter
1 clove garlic, minced
5 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 1/2 C shredded Mozzarella cheese

Boil the chicken breasts until they are cooked all the way through.  When they are cool enough to handle, shred the meat.  Cook the gnocchi according to package directions.

In a small skillet, brown the pancetta until crisp.  Drain.  In a large skillet, drizzle in some olive oil and cook the shallot until tender.  Add in the cooked gnocchi, pancetta, and shredded chicken. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the broiler.  For the Alfredo sauce, melt the butter in a small pot.  Add in the cream and heat until it just starts to bubble.  Season it with salt and pepper and add in the garlic. With the burner either off or very low, add in the Parmesan cheese a little at a time and whisk continuously until it is all melted.  Don't add too much at a time because it will either clump or turn grainy.  When all of the cheese is incorporated, add the sauce to the skillet with the chicken and gnocchi and stir.  Pour this mixture into a 9 x 13 pan.  Sprinkle the Mozzarella over the top.  Place the pan under the broiler to melt and brown the cheese.

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