Fingerlicking Hungarian Chicken Paprikash

Ok. Here is a 100% Hungarian recipe. Chicken paprikash is like the pasta for Italians, pad thai for Thai, paella for the Spanish, and sashimi for the Japanese. If you never heard about it shame on you ( just kidding).  It is the one dish that everyone starts to talk about as soon as you say you are Hungarian. Nothing wrong with that of course. No wonder it is the ONE, this dish is super easy to make, healthy, homey, comforting and it only requires couple of ingredients. Just like many other dishes in every culture, Chicken paprikash varies greatly even among Hungarians. In every household the dish is a little bit different, some use more or less of this or that ingredient, some use sour cream, some use roux, but the essentials are the same. My version is pretty much the simplest one out there 🙂 make it, eat it and realize how much you love Hungarians ! it will be easy!

For this recipe you will need chicken, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, good quality Hungarian paprika, canola oil, salt and pepper. Short list, right? First thing to do:

Start chopping the onions. Don’t cry! 🙂

Pour the canola oil in a large pan and start sautéing the onions. Now chop the pepper.

Add it to the already wonderfully smelling onions. Sautee on low medium heat for about 6-8 minutes.

Chop the tomatoes.

Wash the chicken pieces. I usually use thighs or drumsticks but you can use breast. Mix it up. Just make sure that the pieces are approximately the same size. If you are using breast halve the half breast 🙂

When the pepper and onions are sautéed enough add the chicken, top it with the tomatoes, paprika, salt, pepper.

Stir it well and put the lid on. Turn the gas down to low medium. No high heat needed. Slow simmer is what we want.  For some reason there is no water needed for this dish if you are cooking it in the States. If you are cooking it in Transylvania for example you would be adding water at this point. Here, lots of mighty juice magically appears in the pan. You’ll see. Stir it from time to time and let it cook for about 1 hour. If you really love when the meat falls of the bone cook it for an hour and 18 minutes  🙂 or 23 minutes.

This is what you will get! Remember? I added no water. I did add though some super spicy jalapeno slices, because I am in love with super spicy jalapeno slices and I likey the extra kick. Now, a word on the paprika – the main spice of this dish. Use good quality paprika! Its just like curry or garam masala, you want it to be tasty and fresh. Paprika should be pretty, pretty red. Like a bright nail polish red, lets say. If it is boring brownish, dull color, its not good anymore. Throw it out. Try to get paprika from Hungary, but if you can’t, these are good alternatives and you can buy them in good grocery stores. Keep them in the fridge so they stay bright red and fresh longer. One of them is HOT! Did you see that? That’s what Bella likes 🙂

What else is left to say? NOTHING! Boil some pasta and top it with this fingerlicking dish! Back in Transylvania we make spaetzle or mashed potatoes or rice or pasta to eat with Chicken Paprikash. All is great. You just need something to soak up that divine juice. A big piece of white crunchy bread is fantastic too!

Eat it all up and pray that there will be leftovers! It is even better the next day. Husband says so 🙂

Recipe for Chicken Paprikash ( 4 servings)

– 8 pieces of chicken ( drumsticks, thigh, breast) – approximately all the same size

– 1 red or yellow onion

– 1 red bell pepper

– 1 big or 2 smaller heirloom tomatoes ( if not juicy heirloom you can use 3-4 roma tomatoes)

– 3 tablespoons of canola oil

– 2 tablespoons of Hungarian Paprika

salt, pepper to taste

Sauté chopped onions and bell peppers in the canola oil. Add the washed chicken, the tomatoes and the spices. Stir it. Cover it and cook it over medium heat for about an hour, stirring it occasionally. Serve it over pasta and top it with some sour cream if you feel very Hungarian today!

Let me know how it went 🙂

XXOO

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School Life

Many of you have been asking for pictures and description of the new place where we live, of the campus where I am happily biking every single day now and about the whole new Berkeley experience. I have to say, Berkeley is the best place so far where i ever lived. Berkeley is sunny. Is small and bikeable ( did i just make that word up?) The people are nice, friendly and super welcoming, the restaurants are so good and there are so many of them ! It is a whole new world. I am planning on writing a weekly restaurant review post very soon, I am figuring out how to do it right now. But I do want to write and post pictures about our eats in this magical foodie town! For today though, while all of you are eating mouthwatering BBQ out there and drinking tons of alcohol and celebrating this awesome Monday off holiday; and for those of you who are not Labor Day-ing, today I have Uc Berkeley campus pictures. A lot of them. Enjoy 🙂

Well, now you know how the Berkeley Campus looks like!

If you want to know how it feels like come and visit and I promise after showing you around I’ll take you out for the most delicious dinner too!

Happy Labor Day!

XXOO

Very Good Banana Bread

No. I was telling myself: no. No NO NOOO! I can’t bake again, i just made the cinnamon bread  and honestly there is just so much sugary dough one can eat, right? But there they were: three sad, browned, old bananas on the counter, talking to me. They said: banana bread is healthy. It is good for you. It is easy to make. Dan would love it. They also said wasting food is a sin. I listened.  I agreed. And I made a Very Good Banana Bread.

The name of the recipe is coming from when I first made this bread from the Joy of Cooking book about three years ago and after having couple of bites I started to write the recipe down for myself (the book wasn’t mine). I was writing it in Hungarian and  I put the title down : “Nagyon Jo Banana Bread” , meaning Very Good Banana Bread. I knew that it was a keeper recipe. The bread is tasty, moist, healthy, smells heavenly, everyone loves it and it seriously takes 10 minutes to put together. No kidding at all.

Here is what you will need:

See? I wasn’t lying about those bananas. They do look sad. You will need flour too 🙂 I forgot to put it there 🙂

If you have a standing mixer use that. If you have a food processor use that. If you only have a hand mixer that is great too. The recipe is not fussy. I used my food processor because I did wanted to be quick.

Mix the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl.

Put the sugar and butter in the food processor ( or in a mixer). Beat it for 2-3 minutes until it is creamy.

It should look like this:

Now start beating it again and slowly add the flour mixture. All of it. It should get dry, grainy and have the consistency of brown sugar. Like this:

I know, it looks dry. But not for long. Start beating it again and slowly add the two eggs.

Beat it until the eggs are incorporated and stop. How easy was that? Put the mixture in a bowl.

Peel your very sad bananas and mush them. Mush Mush Bananas. 

Add the bananas to the dough. Add blueberries if you fancy blueberry banana bread.    (I really fancy! ) Add walnuts or almonds. Add chocolate chips if you want the kids to love you. Add nothing 🙂 It will still be delicious. Don’t add more than a cup of extra ingredients. That would be too much. Once I added two cups of blueberries and the bread fell apart it was so moist! Don’t do that. 1/2 cup of blueberries+ 1/2 cup of walnuts is what I did here. Brake up the walnuts with the bottom of your cup.

Gently fold in all the ingredients. Get your bread pan out. Grease it. Pour in the delicious batter. Is your oven on? It should be on 350 F. If it is not on turn it on now!

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the toothpick sticked in the middle comes out clean. Don’t burn your hands. Tadaaaa!

Meet Very Good Banana Bread:

Slice Very Good Banana Bread:Eat Very Good Banana Bread:

Yummm yummmmm!

Very Good Banana Bread – Recipe

Turn on the oven to 350F.
Grease a bread pan.
Mix together:
– 1 1/3 cups of flour
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Beat with a mixer for 2-3 minutes:
– 5 1/3 tablespoons of butter
– 2/3 cup sugar
Slowly beat in the flour mixture until you will have the consistency of brown sugar. It will get dry and grainy. Slowly beat in 2 large eggs ( lightly beat the eggs beforehand).
Fold in until just combined:
– 1 cup mushed very ripe bananas ( about 2)
– 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans or almonds ( or all three)
or
– 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
or
– 1/2 cup  blueberries
Bake for 50-60 minutes, test it with a toothpick to see if its baked!
Enjoy!

XXOO