RECIPE: Chicken Paprikas

fearlessemJanuary 11, 2007

Hi all --

I made this last week and thought it was really delicious. Note that I didn't have hot hungarian paprika on hand, so I subbed in about half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and a half a teaspoon of chili powder instead. I also cut down on the amount of butter, using just a tablespoon or so...

Chicken Paprikas

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2001

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

3 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika

2 teaspoons hot Hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon

3 tablespoons butter, bacon fat, or lard

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 cup chopped, seeded, peeled tomatoes

1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup sour cream

Season the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the sweet and 1 teaspoon of the hot paprika, and 1 teaspoon salt.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and remaining tablespoon of sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon of hot paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Add enough stock to cover the chicken and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 25 minutes, adding more stock as needed.

Uncover and add the sour cream. Cook gently until incorporated and warmed through, about 2 minutes. Season, to taste.

Emily

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caliloo

I make Chicken Paprikash a lot - my mom is from Budapest and I gerw up eating a lot of traditional Hungarian dishes. This recipe is close to what I make, but I never use tomatoes. Also, I think the sauce benefits from having some bones cooked into it, I usually add a few chicken wings and remove them before serving. They provide that richness that is lacking in boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Also, I always serve it with nockerl - the Hungarian version of spaetzle.

Alexa

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 1:48PM
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gardenlad

The tomatoes threw me, too, Alexa. Friend Wife is Hungarian, and we often have traditional dishes. In fact, I'm making beef paprikash this week.

I also thought that was a lot of liquid. I usually use wine with my paprikash dishes, adding only about a half cup.

I have a cookbook that purports to be an introduction to Hungarian cookery. Yet neither nockerle nor spaetzle is mentioned. The nearest thing in the book is csipetke.

Makes ya wonder.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 3:01PM
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khandi

Hi! Gardenlad, my husband is Hungarian/French (his grandmother came directly from Hungary - he never met her). I would love to make him a Hungarian dish that I know he would love! It would be nice for our daughter to taste some of her ancestors' dishes too. So, if you're willing to share a recipe or two that you've made and liked, I'd really appreciate it! TIA

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 3:28PM
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fearlessem

Well I can't attest to the authenticity of the dish, just the yumminess! :-) I really liked the tomatoes in there, and think I remembered adding a few extra in fact -- I used home canned, so they were quite soft and kind of just melted into the sauce. Also, with two full pounds of of chicken, I needed at least a cup of broth to cook it in, and think I used the cup and a half...

Looking forward to any other hungarian recipes...

Emily

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 3:36PM
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gardenlad

Y'all know, of course, that "authentic" is a slippery concept.

Take paprikash: There is a basic technique, modified as each housewife adds her own touches. I learned the technique from Friend Wife's aunt (her mother, God save us, could burn water) when she was visiting from Hungary. Doesn't make it any more or less authentic.

With that proviso, here's my basic technique, which I've used with beef, chicken, and game:

In a skillet heat 5 tbls lard with 5 tbls paprika*. Add about a cup of chopped onions, and cook until transluscent. Add the meat, cut in bite-sized pieces, and brown on all sides Add a half cup red wine, cover, and simmer until meat is tender and cooked through.

Remove from heat. Add a half-cup or so of sour cream, Mix well so the sauce forms and coats the meat. Reheat gently until warmed through, sprinkle with chopped dill, and serve.

Paprikash dishes are most often served with soft noodles. But we prefer spaetzle or nockerle, as Alexa does.

*Here in America we think of paprika as being either the Spanish dry, or Hungarian sweet. In fact, in Hungary and other central European countries, paprika covers a wide range of heat levels; from sweet to scorching. It's nothing for a housewife to have 10 or 12 different paprikas on hand. But, no matter the heat level, paprika is used with a much heavier hand than we do.

Hungarians are very big on cold soups. While I don't care for the following, myself, Friend Wife's family loves it:

Cold Cherry Soup

2 lbs sour cherries, pitted
1 cup or more sugar
1 stick cinnamon
4 cups water
2 tbls flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup red wine

Simmer the cherries, sugar and cinnamon in the water until the cherries are tender. Remove the cinnamon. Blend the flour with 3 tbls cold water until smooth. Thin with 3 more tbls water andstir into the hot soup. Heat to boiling. Chill. Before sering, stir in the cream and the wine.

And, of course, no Hungarian recipe collection would be complete without a gulyas (goulash). As with paprikash, gulyas---which is similar to a ragout---involves a basic approach, with all sorts of variations on the theme. Here's a simple one:

4 lb beef chuck or remp cut in 1 1/2" pieces
2 strips bacon or equivalent salt pork
6 onions, coarsely chopped
3-4 tbls paprika
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 green peppers, coarsely chopped

Brown half the beef in its own fat in a large skillet; transfer to a kettle or Dutch oven and repeat with other half. Rinse the skillet with a cup of water, scraping up any brown bits, and add to the meat. Cover and cook slowly over low heat.

Chop the bacon and fry in skillet; add the onions and brown lightly. Stir in the paprika and salt, then combine with the simmering meat. Stir in the uncooked green peppers and continue cooking slowly for about 2 hours or until meat is very tender.

Hope these help.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 4:49PM
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gardenlad

>Well I can't attest to the authenticity of the dish, just the yumminess! :-) I really liked the tomatoes in there,Which, when all is said and done, Em, is all that really counts.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 4:53PM
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woodie2

Thanks, Em, this sounds great to me.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 5:14PM
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ann_t

I made recently, similar to Gardenlad's version. Sauted onions with 2 or 3 tablespoons of paprika, add the chicken pieces, and then chicken broth. Cover and simmer until the chicken is tender. I also added garlic, which I don't think is traditional. Just before serving, mix two more tablespoons of paprika into a cup of sour cream and then mix in with the chicken. Do not let the sauce boil once you have added the sour cream. Serve with spaetzle. I've never had paprikas with wine or tomatoes either , but I have seen other recipes with both. One of those dishes that you can make to suit your own tastes.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 11:19PM
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gardenlad

I've done it with both wine and stock, Ann, and the wine seems to make a richer sauce. It certainly makes a darker one.

Whether or not that matters depondent sayeth not.

As to the garlic, as I said above, what counts, at base, is your taste preferences. No, it's not traditional. But so what?

Good point about not letting the sauce boil. I did say to reheat gently, but sometimes forget that people do not always understand those terms.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 7:05AM
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san_

i haven't spent much time here recently and i hate to see all that i've been missing! i very much appreciate gardenlad's well said (IMO) comment: "Y'all know, of course, that "authentic" is a slippery concept. Take paprikash: There is a basic technique, modified as each housewife adds her own touches..." i just LOVE to try other people's versions of lasagna and pastitsio, for instance. i am now convinced there are as many variations as there are cooks but haven't had a bad one yet. but back to the reason for posting...

i've never had this dish and would like to make something that wouldn't be considered a sin against the "original concept". i think emily's recipe sounds really good--is there any reason why it shouldn't be made with whole pieces of chicken? (i can't tell you why but i generally just don't enjoy little chunks of chicken, except in chicken salad or a casserole dish that is one of ted's favorites...) and if i didn't use tomatoes (which actually sound quite good to me), would you just use the rest of the recipe as written? TIA!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 5:24PM
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gardenlad

San, skinless/boneless chicken pieces is actually an Americanism. An Hungarian housewife would use a disjointed chicken, leaving both the skin and bones in place.

Depending on your viewpoint (and the size of the chicken), when disjointed you get either six or eight pieces.

Other than that, use Em's recipe or any variation thereof.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 5:49PM
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fearlessem

Hi San --

I think this would be just fine with whole pieces of chicken... Just would probably require a slightly longer cooking time and also might require a little more liquid to make sure the chicken is more or less covered...

Let me know what you think!

Em

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 6:50PM
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chase_gw

san I use a whole cut up chicken when I make my parikash other than that it's pretty much like em's, without the tomatoes. I think I may add tomatoes next time though, sounds interesting.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 8:57AM
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rulintz

It seems it has been a while since anyone has posted on here but I have come up with a recipe for chicken paprikash soup that uses no roux's check it out at
ChickenPaprikash.com. There is a comment section where you can let me know what you think.
Thanks, Chef Rick

Here is a link that might be useful: Chicken Paprikash Recipe

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 6:04PM
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