I don’t do a lot of cooking in the middle of NaNoWriMo, but the bf was supposed to go to a board game thing today, so I was in charge of dinner.

He didn’t end up going because we went out for breakfast, which turned into a long drive to see the autumn leaves, which turned into a visit to one of my favorite antique shops and the new library and Kroger. So by the time we got home it was basically pointless, but I had already said I would make dinner.

Curse me and my good intentions.

ANYWAY. Gnocchi is on sale at my usual store, so I decided tonight’s dinner would be chicken gnocchi soup à la Olive Garden. I started out with this recipe from Cinnamon-Spice & Everything Nice but ended up making some modifications.


It’s really simple, even if your stove hutch falls on your head in the middle of the recipe.

(True story.)

It’s also delicious and easy to modify. What could be better for a NaNoWriMo dinner?


3 T butter                                            1/3 C all-purpose flour

2 T olive oil                                         4 C chicken broth

¾ C onion, diced                                1 ½ C half & half

½ C carrots, diced                               2 C chicken breast tenders, cooked and cut into pieces

1/3 C white zinfandel                         1 lb potato gnocchi

4 gloves garlic, minced                       3 C baby spinach, stems removed

salt and pepper, to taste                      1 T fresh basil, chopped

Parmesan or Romano, grated

The recipe originally called for celery, which I deleted because celery is gross and I didn’t want to buy a whole package for the ½ cup the recipe calls for. The white zin is my addition, inspired by the nice crispy bits left in the bottom of the pan I used to cook the chicken. And also by the fact that I forgot to add the garlic in with the carrots and onion and ended up cooking it far later in the recipe.

But more on that later.

Directions, per my Modifications

  1. In a large pot, heat the butter and oil over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the onion and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir often.

This is when I cooked the chicken. I heated the butter and oil for the chicken in a pan at the same time I was heating the butter and oil for the veggies. Then I cooked the chicken on medium-high heat until each side was golden-brown. Once it was done, I set the cooked chicken aside in a bowl.

  1. Stir the flour into the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Once the flour is incorporated, stir in the chicken broth 1 cup at a time. Then stir in the half and half.
  3. Once this step is complete, ignore the soup for a minute and reheat the chicken pan. Add the garlic and sauté for thirty seconds. Remove pan from heat, hold it over the soup pot, and deglaze with wine. This should get the garlic and browned bits from the chicken into your soup for some extra flavor.

Also, wine.

  1. Bring soup to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and add the cooked chicken in. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. While the soup simmers, prepare the gnocchi according to package directions. Add the gnocchi to the soup along with the spinach and basil and simmer until the spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with Parmesan or Romano if desired and serve with good, crusty bread.

Buon appetito!

One thought on “Chicken Gnocchi, NaNoWriMo Style

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