This recipe uses
all local ingredients (well, in my memory it did, but upon further consideration, it really didn't - see below), with the exception of the gnocchi, which I purchased from Trader Joe's. If you live in the Columbus area and would like to use all local ingredients, you can buy gnocchi from Pastaria Seconda in the North Market, who sells Pasta Ditoni's gnocchi. Now that I think of it, I also used extra virgin olive oil, which is from Italy, and until olive groves are found somewhere in the South of Ohio, I guess you could use bacon, lard, or local butter. . .
At any rate, to start this recipe off, you can use my favorite roasted chicken, and prepare this side dish during the last 10 minutes of roasting and while your chicken is resting. I used the poulet fermier (a French Heritage breed) I purchased from Speckled Hen Farm at the Worthington Farmer's Market last week. How was it? Well, it's different, and I overcooked it. It cooked in about 25 minutes flat; I cannot afford to overcook a $10 chicken, so, for the time being, I will stick with my good old $3.50 organic, local, hormone-free, free-range Amish birds from Weiland's. But, by all means, go out and buy one yourself - support our local farmers - I'm sure you won't overcook your chicken.
But on with the recipe. It's a little hard to tell from the picture, and I will admit this is not one of my better pictures, but there really are nice summer veggies and fungi under the chicken. The technique I used to make this sauce is one I haven't tried before in a pasta and it just kind of came to me on a whim. I have to admit it was quite tasty, and added a lot of delicious, rich, chickenyness (I have an English degree, and am therefore qualified to make up words) to the dish. It's also something which would be good and hearty on a cold winter day, and could easily be adapted using winter squash and thyme, which are still lovely with chicken.
Gnocchi in Rich Chicken Broth with Summer Vegetables - serves 2
1 medium red onion, cut into small dice (Elizabeth Telling Farm CSA)
2 medium shallots, cut into small dice (Cottage Garden, North Market Farmer's Market)
salt & pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced (Elizabeth Telling CSA)
1 cup (2 handfuls) shitake mushrooms, washed, stemmed and cut into slivers (Toby Run Growers)
2 ears sweet corn, kernels cut off and cob "milked" with back of knife (I like to do this right over the pan)
1 small red chile, seeded, ribs removed, and cut into a very small dice (Pop & Judy's Garden Patch)
1/2 cup chicken stock (North Market Poultry and Game)
1/2 cup white wine (you got me! This was riesling from Australia!! of the *gasp* grocery store variety!)
pan drippings from roasted chicken
2 balls fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes (oh dear! got me again!! From Italy!)
2 large red tomatoes, peeled and seeded, if desired, and cut into 1" chunks (from my yard)
about 15-20 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (also from my yard)
If you are going to serve this with chicken, begin the process about 10 minutes before your chicken is done. Cook the gnocchi according to package directions in salted water, drain and set aside. In a large saute pan over medium heat, sweat the onions and shallot, with a little salt, in a little olive oil until they start to become transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about 1 minute, being careful not to burn it. Add the shitake mushrooms, corn and the chile, stirring frequently. If your pan becomes dry, deglaze it with a little chicken stock.
At this point, remove chicken from the oven. Place the chicken on a platter, cover loosely with foil, and set aside to rest. Scrape all of the pan juices and brown bits into your saute pan. If anything sticks, deglaze the roasting pan with a little wine and scrape everything up, and then add that to your pan. Add the remaining chicken stock and wine and bring the heat up to high. Reduce by 2/3. Add the mozzarella and stir so that it melts into the sauce. Add the gnocchi and stir to coat, grind a few cracks of black pepper over. There should be enough liquid to generously coat the gnocchi, with a little more broth for a sauce. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Turn off the heat and toss in the tomatoes and basil. Transfer to plates and top with chicken pieces as desired.