I’m no pasta lover (sorry Italy…and Nigella) but I am an occasional fried gnocchi lover. OK I may have been a tad patriotic on the cooking method but it turns out that fried gnocchi are a bit like mini roast potatoes. Bitesized. Dangerous. But delicious. After a continuous dose of Thai and Asian inspired dishes recently, followed by a delicious and flavour packed trip to Morocco, I fancied a bit more of a classic this evening. French poussin and mustardy creamy leeks were a delicious and comforting contrast to my ‘Englishly’ cooked Italian potato dumplings. Crispy and golden and seasoned with smoked salt.
- 250g gnocchi
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tsp smoked salt (optional)
- 2 large leeks
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 250ml single cream
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- Handful flatleaf parsley, chopped
- 1 x poussin
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place your poussin on a baking tray and smother the skin and legs with about 30g of the butter and season well.
- Place in the centre of the oven and roast for about 40-45minutes until cooked. Baste with the juices a few times during cooking.
- Once cooked, leave to rest before serving.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter with a splash of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Slice the leeks in halve vertically and slice into chunks. Gently and slowly soften the leeks for about 15 minutes of so until really soft. Add the garlic and cook out for another few minutes.
- While the leeks are softening and the poussin is cooking, cook the gnocchi. Boil in salted water for 2 minutes and then drain well. Leave to dry out a little for a few minutes.
- Heat a frying pan on a high heat and add the sunflower oil. Fry the cooked gnocchi with the smoked salt in the oil until crispy and golden. Keep warm.
- When the poussin is nearly cooked and ready, turn the heat up a little with the leeks and add the cream. Simmer a little to thicken.
- Season well and add the mustard and all but a handful of parsley and stir thoroughly. Keep warm while you carve the poussin.
- Remove the meat from the oven or from where it has been resting. Carve off the breast and wings.
- Serve the creamy leeks in a warmed serving bowl and top with the poussin. Scatter round some fried gnocchi and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.
- Drizzle with a dash of lemon infused or plain extra virgin olive oil and serve!
WINE: This dish being creamy and weighty is delicious served with a classic wine pairing. Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc with some oak ageing and some natural acidity. Try this Mulderbosch, 2013 Faithful Hound White from Stellenbosch available at Armit Wines.