Sunday, April 3, 2016

Flavor Town


So I've only been using smoked paprika for a couple of years, and I adore it!  I've always used paprika, but the smoked paprika has such a wonderful flavor that I tend to use it way more now.  

I came across a recipe for "chicken paprika," which is the American version of a Hungarian dish called Chicken Paprikash.  Big chunks of chicken get browned in the skillet and then they finish cooking in this incredible sauce made with paprika.  Then it gets served over little dumplings called Nokedli, which is a lot like its German cousin, Spaetzle.  This really turned out fantastic!  We all raved over how good it is. Traditional Hungarian Chicken Paprikash uses sweet paprika, but the smoked paprika was really the star here. And they also don't use bell peppers, but I used one for a little sweet flavor.  I think boneless, skinless chicken thighs would be great here, but I had some breasts that I needed to use up.  This is definitely going to be a frequent meal at my house.  Enjoy!

CHICKEN PAPRIKASH WITH DUMPLINGS
FOR THE CHICKEN:
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 T butter
Olive oil
2 C chicken stock
2 packets gelatin
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 T smoked paprika
2 bay leaves
1 C sour cream
1 orange or red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Fresh chopped parsley, if desired

FOR THE DUMPLINGS:
2 eggs
Salt to taste
2 C flour
1 C water

For the chicken, cut the chicken into roughly 2-inch chunks. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top of the chicken stock and let it sit while you cook the chicken.

Melt the butter in a large skillet and drizzle in some olive oil. Brown the chicken pieces over high heat on all sides.  You won't be cooking the chicken all the way through, just getting some color on it.  Remove the chicken to a plate and keep it warm.  Turn the heat down to medium high.  Cook the bell pepper and onion in the same skillet until they are tender, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Stir the chicken stock.  Add the chicken stock, bay leaves, paprika, and garlic to the skillet and whisk it.  Let it come to a boil.  Return the chicken to the skillet and turn the heat down to medium low.  Cover the skillet and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is done and the sauce is thickened.  

While the chicken is cooking, whisk together the dumpling ingredients and let it sit for 10 minutes.  Bring a large pot of water to boil.  When the water is ready, whisk the dumpling mixture again.  Using a collander with large holes or a box cheese grater, push the dumpling mixture through the holes into the boiling water.  (Wear gloves.  It will be hot.)  The dumplings are ready when they float to the top.  Drain them. If desired, you can brown them slightly in a skillet with butter and salt and pepper.

Remove the bay leaves from the sauce.  Stir the sour cream, lemon juice, and fresh parsley into the chicken sauce.  Serve the chicken over the dumplings.

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