|There is chicken there, somewhere!|
I was very keen to do this recipe, as I am constantly on the lookout for vegetable side dishes to have with pot-roast chicken. There's only so many times you can have roast potatoes, lovely as they are.
The great benefit of this recipe was that I could cook the chicken in the morning, then take the meat from the bones and re-heat it for dinner that evening - and the same for the following day. Oh, and let's not discount the using of the carcass and cooking liquid for stock and/or chicken soup! The gnocchi recipe seemed to be very easy and wouldn't be too hard on me to produce.
As it was, as a last minute addition, I decided to roast some courgettes and cherry tomatoes to go alongside the gnocchi/tenderstem broccoli dish - and I was very glad of them. Although the gnocchi dish is delicious, it would have been better served with a robust form of meat such as gammon steaks or roasted gammon. With the chicken, it tended to muscle the lovely chicken out of the way like a big, burly bouncer would do. "If yer name's not down on the list (beside the garlic), then you're not comin' in". As a consequence, it needed the acidity of the cherry tomatoes to provide the balance. When I do the gnocchi dish again, I'll make sure to do some cherry tomatoes with it unless it's accompanying something with tomato as one of the main players.
Please don't take that as a negative view of this dish, as the softness of the gnocchi provides a lovely counterbalance to the crispness of the tenderstem broccoli, and the freshness of the broccoli provides a counterbalance to the richness of the parmesan. I'll definitely be doing the gnocchi again, as quite apart from anything else, it's the first gnocchi dish I've ever really liked!
PARMESAN GNOCCHI & TENDERSTEM BROCCOLI (serves 3)
a knob of butter
1 garlic clove, grated
teensy pinch of chilli flakes
150ml vegetable or chicken stock (depending on what you're serving it with)
5-6 tbsp creme fraiche (I used a low fat version)
60g parmesan, finely grated
250g tenderstem broccoli, halved lengthways if large
1. Heat a large pan of salted water until boiling. While it's heating :
2. Heat the knob of butter in a frying pan and cook the garlic and chilli for 2 minutes.
3. Add the stock, bringing to a boil and continue boiling until reduced by three-quarters.
4. In the meantime, cook the broccoli until just tender.
5. Whisk in the creme fraiche and parmesan to the stock, to make the sauce.
6. Add the broccoli when done and retain the cooking water, to which you should add the gnocchi and cook following pack instructions (around 3 mins). Drain and add to the broccoli and sauce.
7. Toss to cover with the sauce and serve.