Friday, January 23, 2015

Chicken Paprikash

I had a chance to taste chicken paprikash for the first time in my life when my then future mother-in-law made on her 71th birthday as everyone in her family requested because she was known to make the best chicken paprikash.   It was 15 years ago!  And if you think she was Hungarian, you are wrong.  She was born and raised in Oklahoma with the Native American blood in her.   But that was not the case.  She married to her husband whose parents immigrated to the US from Hungary early in 1900s.  I think that is the reason why my mother-in-law had become the best cook of chicken paprikash.  She was taught to perfect it by the original and most authentic Hungarian lady first hand -- her mother-in-law, who i'd never had a chance to meet.   Unfortunately, that was the only first and one time I’d ever tasted chicken paprikash from her, and unfortunately,  I’d never had a chance to learn from her.  That’s a shame! 

The hubby has been asking me to make chicken paprika for years, but I’d never have a chance to fulfill his request.   It’s not because I don’t want to, but I was concerned that I would not meet his expectation he used to get from his mother.  Basically, I just can’t withstand the criticism!   It may sound pity but I think you know why, do you?

Today I have the courage to cook this dish with confidence after I’ve learned how easy that is to cook chicken paprikash.   My mother-in-law had been collecting a bunch of cookbooks and hundreds of recipes she cut out from newspapers and magazines, and I’ve found two chicken paprikash recipes from her collections.  I've read and compared them carefully.  Both recipes are almost identical, except one doesn't use tomato sauce and the other doesn't use flour.  And both don’t add baby potatoes, green Anaheim pepper and garlic in their recipes.   
The added ingredients is my version of chicken paprikash that give the dish more interesting texture without interrupting the original intense flavor of the Hungarian paprika.  For the flour I think it can be skipped if you like the sauce to be a little thinner.  But if you want to add the flour for the thicker sauce, you may want to add more liquid of water or chicken broth to the pan to make enough sauce for every serving.    The result was approved by the hubby who missed his mother dearly while eating my Chicken Paprikash.   Let’s cooking, shall we?

 What you need:   for 4-5 servings  
 2 1/4 lbs. Chicken drumsticks
1 medium white or yellow onion, sliced (about 2 cups)
2 large green Anaheim pepper or bell pepper, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
2 cups baby golden potatoes, washed clean
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
4 tbsp. Hungarian paprika
1/4 cup tomato sauce
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour (optional)
2 tbsp. cooking oil or butter
Cooked noodles to serve with (I used Linguine pasta) 

1. wash and pat dry the chicken drumsticks, then seasoning with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
2. set a large frying pan or pot over medium high heat and add cooking oil or butter, add chicken drumsticks  into the pan and brown them on both side – about 5 minutes on each side.
3. after finish browning the chicken, take them out to a bowl and set aside.
4. then add chopped onion, garlic, and pepper into the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are wilted.
5. add paprika into the pan, stir quickly to combine
6. add tomato sauce and chicken broth and stir in incorporate all of the ingredients.
7. add the chicken back to the pan as well as the baby potatoes
8. reduce the heat to simmer and cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for at least 50 minutes to an hour until the chicken drumsticks are tender fall-off-the-bone
9. serve with cooked noodles of your choice and enjoy!

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