Wednesday, October 8, 2008

  Montalcino Chicken with Figs and Buttered Gnocchi

So, for the first blog I even went as far as to take a picture of the final meal. Now, let me be honest. This didn't turn out quite the way I wanted it to turn out and part of the reason is that I got so frustrated trying to open the actual bottle of wine (we have so many gadgets in our kitchen and we dont have a normal wine opener). So by the time I got to the step of pouring the wine I kind of poured two thirds of the bottle instead of one third and that just screwed up the entire dish. (Its good if you are a huge wine drinker, but I'm not and the colour the dish ended up kind of reminded me of grilled octopus).

So I obviously did a few different things from the actual recipe. It calls for dried figs, I perferred to use fresh figs. It said to use nutmeg on the gnocchi but I perferred cinnamon. It said to use frozen gnocchi but I perferred to us fresh. (I got lucky my friends mother had just sent me over a huge bag of fresh gnocchi today that she made!)
So here is my verison of this very yummy meal!
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 pound thick cut pancetta (cut into sticks) (you can subsitute this with bacon if you don't have pancetta on hand but make sure to cook it until its very very crispy)
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken cut into big chunks
small bowl of flour (for dredging)
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
8 fresh figs, washed, peeled, quartered
1/3 bottle of dry red wine (this is very important, only 1/3 bottle)
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh parsely, coarsely chopped
1 lemon zest
1 tablesppon fresh thyme
12 to 16 oz of gnocchi (fresh or frozen: if fresh cooking time is 4 minutes, if frozen its 8)
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg (or cinnamon)
3 table spoons chopped chives
Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat with the olive oil and pancetta (or bacon). Brown the meat for a few minutes, shouldn't take longer than 4 minutes, remove it using a slotted spoon and put aside.
While the pancetta is cooking, salt and pepper the chicken chunks and dredge them through flour. Once you take the pancetta out of the frying pan, added the dredged chicken in there and cook for a few minutes (about 5 minutes or just enough for them to brown slightly). Now keep the chicken in the pan but push them towards the edge and now add the figs, garlic, and onion in there and cook for about 2 minutes (not too long because garlic can burn quickly and that smells horrible and tastes very bitter). Now add the 1/3 bottle of wine. Cook it down for a while (until about only 1/3 cup of liquid remains). Now add the cup fo chicken stock, lemon zest and parsley, thyme. Reduce heat to where food is simmering and go make the gnocchi.
Boil the pot of water with a bit of salt. Once water is boiling add the gnocchi. You know the gnocchi is cooked when it rises to the top of the water. Drain and set aside.
In a medium size skillet melt down the butter and brown it. Add the drained gnocchi to this. Raise the temperature to medium high and lightly brown the gnocchi, season it with salt, pepper, nutmeg (or cinnamon). Turn to coat the other side and then add the chives, toss and remove from him.
Plating: Put the chicken with fig sauce in a shallow dish and then pile the gnocchi on top of it. Garnish with the pancetta or bacon. I went ahead and also garnished with fresh figs, lemon, and a bit of tomato. We already zested the lemon so instead of trashing it, I sliced it up a bit to add a bit of colour to the plate.

  Introduction to me.

First of all, allow me to introduce myself. I'm Jenny but I'm often referred to as BabyJ, BabyJamazing, or to shorten it up, BBJ. I love food and lately I've been seeing a lot of foodie blogs as well as joining groups on facebook for food. So that mixed with the inspiration from a friend to join blogspot, I'm here. :)

The basics about me are: I'm a 27 year old female living in Canada (although raised in Texas). I've been married for less than a year and I'm extremely happy. Everyday that passes without my husband ending up dead is a great day. I have been known to throw temper tantrums. I'm stubborn and hard headed and yes, very opinonated. I don't tolerate any kind of disrespect and believe me, if you try to dish it out to me, I hope that you are able to take it back because I give it 20fold. But don't get me wrong, I'm not a bitch. I'm actually a very down to earth and lovable person.

So back to the blog. I started this blog to share with everyone what types of food I cook at home with my husband. We are both big foodies and we love to cook. The biggest difference between the two of us is that he follows a recipe to the T whereas I love to experiment and end up having amazing creations. Both of our food is great but I really like adding a little touch of myself therefor, I can't follow a recipe. I kind of perfer to experiment and use the cook book as a guide.

I guess thats about it for now!

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