INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
2 Idaho baking potatoes
1 Yukon Gold potato
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 c cake flour (sifted)
Potato ricer (you’ll need this piece of equipment)
Salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
Brown chicken glacé:
3 quarts chicken stock (see your butcher)
2 Spanish onions (chopped)
3 carrots (peeled & chopped)
2 c celery (chopped)
1 ear of corn (shucked)
2 bay leaves
1 bunch thyme
2 lbs chicken bones (see your butcher)
1 lb hen of the wood mushrooms (or your favorite mushroom if you cannot find these)
1 quart butternut squash (diced 1/2” cubes)
4 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 c Parmesan cheese (grated)
4 sprigs of chervil (or your favorite herb)
Begin by roasting your chicken bones at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. You’ll want them nice and brown. Add all of your other ingredients for the brown chicken glacé to a large stock pot, and bring to a simmer while you wait for the bones to brown.
Once they are ready, add them to the stock pot, cover, and let simmer for four hours. Meanwhile, lower the oven temp to 325, poke a few holes in each potato, and bake them for 1 1/2 hours. While this is happening, you can dice your squash and cut the mushrooms into similar sized large pieces.
Now focus on the gnocchi. You will want to have a pot of boiling salted water ready and waiting. Once the potatoes are cooked, you’ll need to work fast. Pull them out of the oven and split them length wise, scoop out the inside of each potato and process them through the potato ricer onto a flat work surface lightly dusted with flour.
If you have a bench scraper, great. If not, use a spatula or any flat, flexible kitchen tool for this process. You’ll have a pile of steaming hot riced potato. You will want to form it into a square, drizzle the egg yolk over the potato as evenly as possible, crack pepper on top, and evenly coat the potato with half the flour.
Now fold and press the warm potato, flour, egg yolk mixture over and into itself. Being careful not to overwork the potato and flour. (Overworking will create a gummy texture to your final product.) Let the steam and moisture in the potato absorb the flour.
Add the rest of the flour in stages, continuing the folding and pressing technique after each addition. Once a workable soft dough has formed, shape it into a log and cut it into three even pieces.
Roll each out, one at a time, into a long 1/2-inch diameter tube. Then, cut into inch long pieces.
Once all the dough has been cut into pieces, you are ready to dunk them all at once into the boiling salted water for about two minutes. Wait until they float, count to 30, then scoop them out and put them directly into an ice water bath. Let them cool for five minutes in the ice water, remove, and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready for them.
Back to the sauce. At this point, you’re ready to remove the bones and vegetables from your brown chicken glacé. Once you have done that, reduce the sauce by half over a medium flame.
While this is going on, you can turn the oven up to 350. Lightly coat your mushrooms and squash in olive oil, salt them, and roast for about 10 minutes. Once the sauce has reduced by half, whisk in the butter over low heat. It is important not to overheat the butter as it will break and become greasy.
Once the butter is incorporated, add the gnocchi. Stir gently over medium low heat for about five minutes. Now, carefully plate into a shallow bowl. Add the roasted mushrooms and squash, dust with grated Parmesan, and finish with your herbs.
Serve, enjoy, and have a drink. This was worth it, but not easy!