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Pseudo-Southern

Posted: Friday, Sep. 07, 2012

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

Chef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including designing and developing his all-grilled restaurant concepts, a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlotte’s Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers and competed in the Iron Fork competition both years. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season.For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troy’s Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple approach directed toward the home-cook/viewer.His feature on Rising began in August of 2007, and since has become the most anticipated part of the show. During that time Troy has prepare over one thousand of his creative original recipes live on-air and has made several cooking appearances on the night time show, WCCB News Edge. Chef Troy teamed up with The Fresh Market as a sponsor for “Troy’s Everyday Eats" in April of 2011. Troy shops each week at The Fresh Market for the ingredients used on the show, he says, "The Fresh Market sponsorship is something I have pursued for a long time. I love shopping at their markets because everything is always so fresh. They have a large variety of organic and sustainable food options. As a consumer and chef, I couldn't ask for anything more". Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south”. Vivian had this to say, “Troy’s take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try.” Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and Examiner.com and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.

Creating an entire cooking style by combing or fusing different styles together is nothing new and neither is putting a twist on one particular type of food. A large part of the fun in cooking is taking a classic and presenting it in another way.

Take chicken and dumplings for example. Traditionally, a simple stock is made by simmering a whole chicken with a few vegetables. When the chicken is tender the meat is pulled of the bone, bones roasted and saved to make an additional stock.

The stock is reduced to intensify the flavors. The picked chicken is added back to the stock and is reduced slightly. To make the dumpling a basis biscuit dough is made, cut into small pieces and dropped into the simmering stock to cook; the result is a perfect, simple comfort food.

To twist this dish up just a little bit, I decided to replace the biscuit dough with a pillowy, light potato dumplings…or gnocchi. Gnocchi is an Italian dumpling that is made with baked or boiled whole potatoes which are passed through a ricer. Gnocchi can even be made with ricotta cheese. Roasting the chicken and presenting it on top of the gnocchi keeps it luscious and moist.

Putting these to concepts together makes perfect sense but can’t completely be called “Southern” comfort food because of the slight twist made to the dish. Therefore I call this style, Pseudo Southern. Unbeknown to me I have been twisting up southern cuisine for years. A while back I decided to put a bunch of these recipes together in my new cookbook, “It’s That Simple-Pseudo Southern,” which is due out later this fall.

Enjoy this recipe and twisting up a few of your own.

Roasted chicken and potato gnocchi dumplings

Chicken:

• 1 Whole Chicken-halved
• To Drizzle-Olive Oil
• To Taste-Chef Troy’s Spice Mix

Base:

• 1 Tablespoon-Olive Oil
• 2 Tablespoons-Unsalted Butter
• 1/4 Cup-Carrots-peeled, small dice
• 1/4 Cup-Onions-small dice
• 1/4 Cup-Celery-small dice
• 2 Cloves-Garlic-fine dice
• To Taste-Kosher Salt/Black Pepper
• 2 Tablespoons-All Purpose Flour
• 5-6 Cups-Chicken Stock-store bought or made from bones of roasted chicken
• 2 Tablespoons-Parsley-leaves only Chopped
• ½ Cup-frozen Peas
• 1 Recipe-Potato Dumplings-see recipe below

Dumplings:

• 3/4 Pound-Russet Potatoes-washed, boil until tender, 25 to 30 minutes
• ¼ Cup-Parmesan Cheese-grated, plus extra for garnish
• 1 Each-Egg-slightly beaten
• 1/8 Teaspoon-Black Pepper
• 1/4 Teaspoon-Kosher Salt
• ¾-1 Cup-All Purpose Flour

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and an iron skillet to medium heat
2. Rinse and pat completely dry chicken, and place on a sheet tray skin side up
3. Drizzle with oil, rub all over and season with Spice Mix.
4. Place in skillet, skin side down and cook until skin is crispy, about 5 minutes.
5. Flip chicken halves, place in oven and roast until tender, 45 minutes, or internal temperature 160 degrees.
6. Remove and allow to cool while making the base.
7. Warm the olive oil and butter in a large pot or Dutch oven
8. To make base add carrot, onion, celery and garlic, season with salt/pepper.
9. Cook stirring frequently until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
10. Add flour and stir to coat vegetables.
11. Add chicken stock a cup at a time, stirring continuously until all has been incorporated.
12. Reduce heat to medium low; stir periodically while picking chicken and making dumplings.
13. Remove skin from chicken, pick off meat in bite size pieces, discard skin and bones.
14. Cover chicken to keep warm while making the dumplings.
15. Peel skin off of boiled potatoes, and pass through a ricer or fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl.
16. Add cheese, egg, salt/pepper to bowl and half the flour.
17. Gently mix adding a little more flour at a time to form a soft dough.
18. Cut dough into 8 pieces; roll each into a long rope about 1/2” thick.
19. Cut each rope into pieces about an ½” long.
20. Place finished potato dumplings onto a heavily floured baking sheet covered with a towel.
21. Add dumplings to base, a few at time to make sure they don’t stick together.
22. Once dumplings are all floating remove from pot with slotted spoon; place in center of individual bowls.
23. Any remaining gnocchi should be placed in an ice bath to stop cooking.
24. Drain and toss with a little oil to keep from sticking together.
25. Top gnocchi with some roasted chicken, ladle base over both just to cover.
26. Garnish with parmesan, parsley and serve.

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