Juicy pan-fried chicken breast with crispy, homemade gnocchi, boozy creamed leeks laced with sweet sherry and white wine, and honey-glazed Chantenay carrots
If you know me well then you’ll also know that I’m quite partial to a dinner date at the Gusto restaurants (my local Gusto Heswall in particular if we’re being fussy). In fact, I once attended a gluten-free pasta making masterclass at Gusto but I’d still rather toddle on down to table there and get some of the best pasta in town served to me instead. Until the Coronavirus lockdown came in to bulldoze normality that was. The lockdown left me no choice but to recreate one of our favourite dishes off the Gusto food menu and make it my own and I have conformation from my other half that I did, in fact, open a can of whoop-ass on Gusto with this knockout concoction.
For the homemade gnocchi recipe:
- 3 medium sized potatoes (Maris Piper or King Edward work best)
- 1 room temperature egg
- 250g (2 cups) of plain flour (and a little extra for sprinkling on your kneading surface)
- Salt and pepper
(You could also just buy the gnocchi from the supermarket – they work perfectly fine for frying too, as you will see from my Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Double Gnocchi recipe)
For the leeks:
- 2 whole fresh leeks
- 125ml double cream
- 60ml dry white wine
- 30ml sweet sherry (not essential but makes ALL the difference)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 200ml vegetable or chicken stock
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic granules
For the pan-fried chicken:
- 2 chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic FryLite Spray (or your cooking oil of choice)
For the honey roasted carrots:
- A whole packet of baby Chantenay carrots
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic FryLite Spray (or your roasting oil of choice)
- A big squeeze (about 2 tbsp) of honey
First thing’s first, wash yo’ damn hands and preheat your oven to 200° (fan)
Then while your oven fires up, you can make your gnocchi – if you’ve got shop-bought gnocchi then just skip this step.
How to make homemade gnocchi:
- Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and boil the potatoes whole for about 10 minutes (or until you can easily stick a knife through them but they’e not falling apart)
- Drain and peel the skin off the spuds (careful – they’ll be super hot) and then mash, mash, mash until they’re smooth and lump-free.
- Sprinkle some flour on a clean work surface and put your mound of mashed potatoes on there and chuck on your sifted flour.
- Make a well in the middle of the pile and crack an egg into it and then start whisking the egg around until everything starts to combine, working from the inside out.
- Season with some salt and pepper – just a little because the flavour comes later.
- Once everything is combined fairly well, knead with your hands to form a smooth loaf of dough.
- Cut the dough into four, roll the sections into long sausages and then chop into gnocchi-like dumplings and set aside for later.
You won’t need all the gnocchi dough for this particular recipe so just have it again the next day, half the ingredients or make it into potato cakes like I did:
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Made some gnocchi dough for dinner later and had a bit left over so squished it with some salt and pepper, broke it into pieces, flattened them, lashed them in a pan and turned them into potato cakes which actually turned out quite well 🤘🏼 (need more salt next time though)
Now, onto the next steps…
- Lay your carrots on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper, then spray generously with the garlic oil – place on the middle shelf of the oven whilst you do everything else, tossing a few times throughout and coating them in honey for the last 15 minutes cooking time.
- Wash and finely slice your leeks (discarding the dark leaves and root end).
- Sweat the leeks for 15-20 minutes in all the butter on a low heat.
- Once well wilted, add in your stock and white wine, turn up the heat and boil until the liquid has halved.
- Meanwhile, add garlic oil, salt and pepper to another pan on high heat and add in your chicken breasts once the pan is super hot. Leave to cook on one side until the sides start turning white.
- While the chicken cooks on its first side, toss your carrots, wash some dishes, set your table and then it will be time to get back to your leeks…
- Add 100ml of double cream into the leeks and bubble down on a med-high heat until it starts to reduce and thicken.
- Toss your chicken onto its other side after seasoning again with salt and pepper.
- In the chicken pan, make room for about 16 pieces of gnocchi (8 each), brush with some olive oil and then leave your gnocchi to fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side – take out the pan and set aside for now if they start to catch.
- Into the leeks add your sweet sherry and the last 25ml of cream and a 1/4 tsp of garlic granules, stir well and leave to bubble for another couple of minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice your chicken breasts in half (lengthways) and place back in the pan to stay warm (heat turned off) while you serve up – these can go on last.
- Spoon half of the boozy leeks onto each dish, dot the golden gnocchi around the edge and then place your chicken breast on top of the leeks.
- Pour over any remaining juices from the chicken pan and sauce from the leek pan.
- Serve your honey-glazed carrots in a separate side dish.
If you’re the kind of person who simply cannot rest without something sweet after dinner, give my Biscoff & Banana Blondies with Cookie Dough Base a go – I promise they will NOT disappoint.
If you do give any of my recipes a go, don’t forget to let me know how they turn out. I always love seeing your photos so come and share them with on: