Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chicken Paprikash

Chicken Paprikash, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

I know, I know. I don't even have to say it. The dish pictured above is clearly not the prettiest of dinners. But as your mother used to say 'you can't judge a book by it's cover'. And frankly sometimes looks have nothing to do with whose got it going on, and let me assure you, this dish has it going on. I actually didn't realize it was so ugly until I started taking photographs and editing. Hungarian chicken paprikash is considered, by far, one of my top three favorite comfort foods. I've swept many a discerning palates off their feet with this hungarian staple. It's got that warm, earthy, down home good cooking taste to it. The kind that warms your belly and your bones. It's the culinary equivalent of a thick fleece blanket. Upon serving I've had some diners look at their plates excitedly others questionably. To the concerned I usually smile, nod, and say something pseudo-reassuring like "it's Hungarian stroganoff with chicken", because I figure everyone had a mom or an aunt who made a kick ass slow roasted stroganoff. It's an american classic stroganoff. It's not frightening (well, not to most), therefore I always feel that comparing it to a classic dish helps the eater feel at ease, and so far it's done just that for those who seem skeptical upon first glimpse. The ingredient that imparts the smoky unique flavor the dish bursts with, Hungarian Paprika, is not hard to find in your groceries spice aisle. You should not have to go to a specialty store to seek it out. It is a gorgeous vibrant red with a much more intensely flavorful kick than your standard paprika. Some call it sweet, some call it smokey, I call it 'delicious'. In fact, I've replaced Hungarian Paprika for most recipes that call for it (I particularly love it sprinkled over deviled egg salad). The wonderful thing about this dish is it's simplicity. You simply grill up some chicken, onion, and sweet bell pepper, dump a healthy serving of Hungarian Paprika all over, cover with chicken stock and reduce until chicken melts in your mouth like butter. Finish off with a healthy dose of sour cream and a side of mashed potatoes and you've got yourself an incredibly satisfying dinner in no time flat!

Recipe: Hungarian Chicken Paprikash


2 Tablespoons of extra virigin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast cubed
1 very large sweet onion roughly cubed
1 bell pepper of your choosing (I prefer red, orange, or yellow because they're sweeter)
4 rounded tablespoons of Hungarian paprika (start with about two, I prefer a LOT of paprika, probably even more than the recipe calls for, it's really a matter of taste, you can add more when the dish is finished if it's not paprika-y enough for you)
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock (or enough to cover, see below)
1 cup of full fat sour cream (you can use light, but not fat free, I like full fat because it's thicker, producing a thicker sauce in the end)


1. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
2. Place cubed chicken breast in skillet. Grill until chicken has browned.
3. Throw in cubed onion and sweet pepper, season with salt and pepper. Once the onions have become translucent (about 5 minutes) add hungarian paprika and saute for about a minute.
4. Pour enough chicken stock into skillet to cover the chicken and vegetable mixture completely. Reduce heat to medium-low.
5. Cook down for about 30 minutes. Liquid should reduce to to 1/4 of it's original. The more liquid before you add the sour cream, the less thick the paprikash will be.
6. Remove from heat and add sour cream.
7. Serve with mashed potatoes.


Sook said...

I think the picture looks great! When I saw it, I started drooling! :) This dish looks very good. I want to try it.

Velva said...

I thought the picture looked wonderful. Chicken paprikash is a wonderful family meal that can be enjoyed anytime. This dish is warm, comforting and soul satisfying.

miss mallory opel said...

Wow, thanks for the compliments. I have to admit, those close to me gave me a sideways glance and a grunt or a 'yeah, that's not so pretty' when I inquired about the picture. So, it's nice to read your compliments!

chow and chatter said...

oh this looks awesome I have paprika and never really know what to do with it

RachelleLouise said...

Sounds so savory and comforting! I'm going to have to try making this one!