The actor had some help from his best friend, chef Rosecleer-Marie, in the new Grey Goose Holiday Best video series

By Claudia Harmata
November 24, 2020 02:00 PM
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Like many people across the country, Thanksgiving is going to look a little different this year for Jay Ellis, who won't be able to celebrate the delicious holiday with his family.

However, that doesn't mean he won't be partaking in the festivities. In a new episode for Grey Goose's Holiday Best web series, the Insecure star enlisted the help of his best friend, chef Rosecleer-Marie, to re-create his favorite childhood Thanksgiving recipe.

"For Thanksgiving this year, we're gonna make my momma's Chicken and Gnocchi Dumplings," he tells Rosecleer-Marie in the video, premiered exclusively with PEOPLE.

Credit: Courtesy of Grey Goose
Credit: Courtesy of Grey Goose

After toasting to the holidays with a Grey Goose punch (get the recipe below), the pals dive into making the dumplings, with Ellis, 38, attempting to making the dough.

"Okay, is it supposed to fall apart like this," he says. "My momma made this looks so easy when I was growing up."

Rosecleer-Marie comes to the rescue, though not without poking fun at Ellis first. "I know 2020 has been crazy, it's been a weird year, and the way these dumplings are turning out, it's looking like the holidays are going to be a bit strange," she says.

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Credit: Courtesy of Grey Goose

The chef then pulls out some ready-made gnocchi and prepared chicken to ease Ellis' struggle. "No faith, but I appreciate you coming through like that," the Mrs. America star says.

After letting all the ingredients cook in a pot, the meal finally finished and brought Ellis back to his childhood. "I feel like a little kid," he says.

Check out Ellis' "hassle-free" twist on his mom's famous recipe below:

Paula Ellis’ Chicken & Gnocchi Dumplings

3 large carrots

3 stalks celery

1 yellow onion

½ cup (1 stick) butter

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 qt. heavy cream

1 bunch fresh thyme, chopped

2 bay leaves

Cayenne pepper (optional)

Kosher salt

Fresh cracked pepper

1 pkg. prepared gnocchi

1 lb. rotisserie pulled chicken

1-2 cups frozen peas

8 cups chicken broth or stock

1 bunch curly parsley (for garnish)

1. Cut carrots, celery and onion into a medium dice and set aside.

2. In a large stock pot, melt butter and add minced garlic, diced veggies to pot and slowly sweat until slightly tender and has a little color.

3. Slowly add flour and stir in pan. You will bring everything together to a paste-like consistency, then add the heavy cream. Continue to stir and mix until well incorporated, until you have a nice creamy consistency. Add bay leaves, chopped thyme, cayenne pepper if using, and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Allow to cook down for about 15 to 20 minutes to cook off the flour taste. Add package of gnocchi, shredded chicken and peas to pot. Cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Garnish with parsley.

Serves: 8

Active time:  20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Grey Goose Holiday Punch

1 ½ oz. vodka

½ oz. pomegranate Juice

1 oz. sweetened black tea

1 oz. prosecco

Dehydrated lemon wheel

Combine vodka, pomegranate juice, and tea in a rocks glass over ice and top with prosecco. Garnish with dehydrated lemon wheel.

Makes: 1

**These recipes were provided to PEOPLE by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. They have not been tested for home use.**