Chicken & gnocchi with spinach and peas in a lemon cream sauce

Ladies and gentlemen: what kitch has for you today is another creation out of guest chef Neil’s kitchen.  This started off as a vegetarian dish to which Neil added chicken for protein, but it could certainly swing back to veg in a heartbeat.  He pulled off a cream sauce made with no butter and no cream- amazing!  And it tastes great.  The sauce has a soft heat from the red pepper being simmered into the milk, add to that a zing from the lemon, the sweet crunch of the peas… I could go on and on- just make it.

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts

½ cup flour

Olive oil

1 cup frozen baby peas

1/2 cup evaporated skim milk

1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes

1 garlic clove, smashed

3 cups packed baby spinach (3 ounces)

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 pound gnocchi

1/4 cup grated parmesan

Directions

  • Put on a pot of salted water to boil for the gnocchi
  • Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks, season with  salt & pepper  and dredge in flour
  • Heat a large skillet to medium heat and add some olive oil, cook the chicken
  • Set cooked chicken aside on a dish
  • Simmer peas with evaporated skim milk, red-pepper flakes, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in the skillet, covered, until tender
  • Add spinach and cook over medium-low heat, uncovered, stirring, until wilted. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice.
  • Cook the gnocchi according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain gnocchi.
  • Add gnocchi & chicken to the sauce with the cheese and some of reserved cooking water and stir to coat. Thin with additional cooking water if necessary

J