Cheffrey and Niamh Cook….. Chicken Parmesan and a masterclass in Fresh Potato Gnocchi…..

By Simon    

February 25, 2014

We had the absolute pleasure of being cooked for and dined here at Heart Kitchen by Jeffrey Moran III, trainee chef from Earls Restaurant in Banff, high in the Canadian Rockies and our snow crazy daughter, Niamh. So to tantalise our tasty buds, they cooked up a fresh potato gnocchi, parmesan filled chicken meatballs in a rich tomato sauce served with lovely steamed & sauté broccoli.

  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yields: 6 Generous


1 Kg Potatoes - King Edward or a Maris Piper

1 Medium Egg

250 Grams 00 Flour

1 Heaped tbsp Salt

2 Pinch Black pepper freshly milled

600 Grams Organic chicken

3 Cloves Garlic

1 Medium Onion

100 Grams Parmesan

1/2 tsp Dried mixed herbs

1 Bunch Parsley

1 Handful Basil leaves

1 Medium Egg free and organic

Scattering Salt and frehley milled black pepper

1 tbsp Olive oil

4 Cloves Garlic

2 Medium Cans of chopped tomatoes

1 Heaped tbsp Tomato puree

100 Grams Parmesan

80 ml Single cream

Scattering Salt and frehley milled black pepper


This catapulted me right back to my early college days, being chosen to represent my year in a live cook off at Hotel Olympia preparing fresh gnocchi to the crowds and that feeling of this budding chef Jeffrey preparing it for me felt amazing. There is something quite comforting and satisfying in the making of a simple and delicious Gnocchi, cooking the potato in its skin to keep them fluffy and dry and dreaming up a beautiful sauce to coat these little pillows of joy in.

To make the Gnocchi - Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water until tender, drain and peel them while still ho and pass them through a potato ricer into a bowl. Stir in the beaten egg and season with salt and pepper, add 1/3rd of the flour to form a soft, pliable dough. Onto your work surface make a mound with the remaining flour, turn the soft dough onto the mound and start to knead, adding a little more flour if the dough still sticks to your hands; the trick is to feel the gnocchi coming together till pliable soft and light in your hands, love it and then love some more and remember the more of the extra flour you add the heavier your gnocchi will become. Store your dough covered in a cool fridge until required.

Roll out on a well floured surface and cut 2 to 4 cm lengths ready to plunge into boiling salted water.  The other way is to fill a piping bag with the soft dough and using a large nozzle, pipe directly into a pan of boiling salted water, cutting off at the desired lengths with a sharp knife quickly.

Gnocchi is ready when it floats back to the top of the water, 2- 4 mins.

To make the Chicken Parmesan and simple sauce - In a food processor, add chicken, garlic, onion, parmesan, dried and fresh herbs, seasoning and an egg.  Give it a good whizz up and shape into approx 20 balls, cover and chill.  In a heated pan add a tbsp olive oil and gently fry the crushed garlic for 1 min, add puree and continue to cook for a further minute, add the chopped tomatoes, parmesan and cream heating gently, taste and adjust seasoning. In a pre heated oven 180c bake the lovely little chicken balls for 10 mins, once golden add to the blipping tomato sauce along with the cooked gnocchi stiring it all together.  Scatter with a large handfuls of grated parmesan and finely chopped parsley. Today Jeffrey served with steamed and sauté broccoli in butter........ serve immediately straight to the table and devoir with gusto with a nice, crisp white wine and love.

Thank you Jeffrey and Niamh...... delicious, what a lovely trip down memory lane!





The gnocchi is cooked when they float back up to the top of the water, 2-4 mins




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