The Harbinger Online

Artist of the Week: Isaac Hendry

Name: Isaac Hendry

Grade: 12

When He Began: “Probably when I was about five. It was a way for me to connect with my mom.”

Favorite Meal To Cook: Braised chicken with homemade gnocchi (an Italian potato pasta), roasted root vegetables, braising jus, and shaved parmesan (This recipe will be featured in the Kansas City Star on January 18th).

Advice: “You need to have a persisting passion. You need to be patient, optimistic, but you need to be able to persevere. You need to be patient, but you need to have a sense of urgency as well. Don’t do it unless you love it.”

Future: “I plan to go to school in North or South Carolina and work for, hopefully, either Chef Tom Condron of The Liberty of Charlotte  or Chef Graham Daley of Peninsula Grill of Charleston.”


Chicken and Gnocchi (Serves 6)

For the Spice Sachet:

6 peppercorns

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

5 stems fresh parsley


For the chicken:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

10 chicken thighs

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, minced

1/2 medium onion, minced

1 1/4 cups white cooking wine

2 cups chicken stock


For the gnocchi:

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes

2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided

3 egg yolks

2 tablespoons goat cheese

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups bread flour

3/4 cup cake flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Assemble the spice sachet by placing peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves and parsley into the center of a 6-inch square of cheesecloth. Draw up each end of the square, keeping all spices in the center, and tie ends together with a piece of cotton twine to create a bundle. Set aside.
  3. To braise the chicken: Into an oven-safe cast iron Dutch oven, melt butter and olive oil together over high heat.
  4. Place chicken thighs, skin side down, in pot for 2 minutes, or until skin turns golden brown. Flip chicken and allow it to cook on other side. After 1 minute, turn heat down to medium, and add garlic, shallot and onion and sauté until translucent.
  5. Pour in white wine, reduce heat to medium and allow liquid to reduce to about ½ cup.
  6. Pour in stock and add spice sachet.
  7. When liquid comes to a boil, remove from stovetop, cover pan tightly with lid and place into oven.
  8. Braise chicken for 2 hours, or until it is falling off the bone. Allow mixture to cool before deboning chicken. Reserve all thigh meat and strain all pan juices for later use. Place chicken pieces and pan juices into separate containers and place in refrigerator.
  9. To make the gnocchi: while chicken is braising, spread 1 tablespoon olive oil onto a large baking sheet. Add potatoes to baking sheet, covering with oil and seasoning with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Place in oven to roast for 55 minutes.
  10. Into a medium mixing bowl, stir egg yolks, goat and Parmesan cheeses, basil, pepper and 1 teaspoon salt together. Set aside.
  11. When potatoes are fork tender, remove from oven, cut in half length-wise and allow to cool.
  12. Add 8 cups water to a clean Dutch oven, season with reserved 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  13. Press cooled potatoes through a ricer and place into a separate large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of riced potatoes.
  14. Add egg yolk / cheese mixture into the center of the potatoes. Stir until ingredients are just incorporated.
  15. Add bread and cake flours to mixture. Fold mixture together by hand, without kneading. Gently work mixture until a soft dough forms. Do not over mix.
  16. Onto a lightly floured surface, gently roll dough out into a log that is ¾-inch wide. Using a sharp knife, cut dough log into ¾-inch pieces.
  17. Grease a clean baking sheet with reserved 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.
  18. Place 12 pieces of cut dough into boiling water. When dough pieces float to the top of the pot, turn heat off and allow boiled gnocchi to sit for 30-45 seconds in the water. Carefully scoop gnocchi out using a fine mesh sieve and place onto prepared baking sheet.
  19. Repeat process until all dough is used and gnocchi are cooked. Place tray of gnocchi into refrigerator.

To serve: Skim the fat off of cooled, reserved pan juices and place into a large sauté pan. Melt fat over high heat and add gnocchi to the pan. Sauté until gnocchi become caramel colored. Add in reserved chicken and braising liquid and heat through.

Dish can be garnished with additional salt and pepper, butter and shaved Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Note: Hendry prefers Montrachet, French goat’s milk cheese. He may also add ½ cup sautéed Enoki mushrooms, ½ cup fresh peas and 3 roasted carrots, cut into a 1-inch dice, when heating chicken and braising liquid.

Per serving: 569 calories (38 percent from fat), 22 grams total fat (6 grams saturated), 162 milligrams cholesterol, 58 grams carbohydrates, 24 grams protein, 2,376 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.


Chocolate Chip Carrot Cake

1 1/2 Cups of Flour

3/4 Cup of Sugar

1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar

1 1/4 Tsp of Cinnamon

1/2 Tsp of Salt


Beat Together:

3 Eggs

3/4 Cup of Oil

1 1/2 tsp of Vanilla

Gradually mix into dry mixture


Stir in:

2 Cups of Grated Carrots

2 Cups of Chocolate Chips

1/2 Cup of Walnuts


Pour into greased and floured 13×9 pan and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes



3 Oz of Cream Cheese

1/4 Cup of Margarine

2 Cups of Powdered Sugar

1 Tsp of Vanilla

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