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.
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!
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 🙂