As you can probably guess from both of these dishes, is that I love the taste and texture of doughy things. And this simple chicken and gnocchi dumpling soup, with a California twist, doesn’t disappoint my craving for southern food.
Now days, I don’t always have time to make dumplings from scratch. And honestly, my dumplings from scratch don’t always come out perfect. Many times I’ve ruined batches of chicken and dumplings due to my not-so-perfect dumplings. Sometimes the dumplings don’t cook all the way, or they have made the soup way too thick. This is why I now use pre-made organic Italian gnocchi, instead of making dumplings from scratch. Using packaged gnocchi is so much quicker, takes only 2 to 3 minutes to cook, resulting in a successful batch of delicious chicken and dumplings every time.
My hubby grew up in Southern California and had never tried chicken and dumplings before meeting me. The first time I made chicken and dumplings, he was a bit skeptical about trying. He said “he liked it”, but he didn’t have seconds and never asked me to cook it for him again. That was until I used gnocchi as dumplings, and added some thyme and heat – which I call my California twist. This batch of chicken and gnocchi dumpling soup has a savory flavor with a hint of heat coming from the jalapeño and cayenne pepper, and perfect billowy dumplings. From now on, this is the only batch of chicken and dumplings that I will ever make – and that he will ever eat.
Sadly, as I write this post, parts of Texas and Oklahoma are experiencing flooding by relentless rain. Last year at this time, I rented a house on Lake Granbury, along with my Mom and Sister. The three of us went there to visit my late Father’s family. Unfortunately, when we booked our trip, we had no idea that the lake had dried up due to Texas’ drought. Regardless, it would not have stopped us from visiting our family. It was so sad to see that the lake hardly existed and boat docks were no longer functional. I’m guessing Lake Granbury is full of water by now, I’m just praying and hoping for everyone’s safety.
- 4 bone-in, skin-on organic chicken breast halves
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup All-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- ½ cup finely chopped carrot
- ½ cup finely chopped celery
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- 6 cups organic chicken broth
- 1 package Italian Gnocchi
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Pour flour onto a plate and dredge chicken in the flour and shake off excess. Set aside.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Carefully turn the chicken over and brown the other side. Remove chicken and place on a plate.
- Add the onion, carrot, celery, jalapeno, cayenne, and thyme to the pot or Dutch oven. Cook until the onion is softened, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Return the browned chicken to the pot and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and can be easily shredded with a fork.
- Turn off heat and remove the cooked chicken, allowing it to cool for a few minutes. Remove the skin and bones and discard. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken, and then put it back into the pot.
- Return pot to a medium heat, add shredded chicken, and then stir in the heavy cream. Bring to a boil, add gnocchi and continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.