It has been a while since I have posted any new recipes and some of my regular followers may be wondering why. August was a crazy month! Between getting a lot of unexpected hours at work, shopping for a new car, and dealing with a serious bout of headaches, I didn’t see much of my kitchen last month. I consumed more than my share of take-out and all the while longed to be back in front of my stove. Things have finally started to settle down(fingers crossed) and I am now back in the kitchen, cooking up a storm.
I just got back from a trip to Ely, Minnesota, where I was visiting my relatives and breathing in some much needed fresh air. I spent a lot of time during my stay talking with my mom and some of my aunts and uncles about their food memories growing up in Ely. I learned so many unexpected things and left the north country with a renewed passion for cooking simple, traditional food. You can expect to see much of this passion translated into the recipes I will be posting for the next while. My mother’s family comes from Italy and Slovenia, so many of the recipes will be of that origin. My father’s family is mostly Hungarian, so some of the recipes(including this one) will come from there as well. I will continue to use healthy swap outs for some of the ingredients to keep things figure friendly, but refuse to compromise too much on the flavor.
This is my first go at making chicken paprikash. I think it turned out pretty damn good. Just to make sure, I had my friend Bridget, who has spent much time in Hungary and considers herself a paprikash expert, taste test the final product. She said it was delicious, but thought I should have used slightly less sour cream, so I have altered this recipe accordingly. She also explained that my cooking process was a bit different than a traditional paprikash and that she adds a few more ingredients as well, such as Hungarian peppers. I think it is worth repeating: This is NOT a traditional chicken paprikash. It is my version of the dish.
Serves 3 to 6 people
- 6 Chicken Thighs(bone-in, skin on or off…your choice)
- 1/2 inch slice of Salt Pork
- 1-2 Tbs Olive or Canola Oil
- 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
- 10-12 Mushrooms, sliced
- 5 Tbs Paprika(preferably Hungarian)
- 12 ounces Lite Sour Cream
- Salt and Pepper to taste
In a dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat, add a tablespoon of oil and the salt pork. Allow the salt pork to cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until most of the fat has rendered out. Remove the pork and set it aside.
Add onions and a pinch of salt to the pot and let them cook until they begin to brown, stirring occasionally. In the mean time, season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
Add the chicken and a bit more oil if need be to the pot and brown the chicken thoroughly on both sides.
Stir in the mushrooms and paprika and cook for one minute more. Be careful not to burn the paprika! Return the salt pork to the pot.
Add enough water to the pot to almost cover the chicken and with a wooden spoon, stir everything together, and scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Once the liquid is bubbling, turn down the heat to medium low and cover the pot. Let the chicken simmer for 45 to 50 minutes. Chicken should be very tender.
Remove chicken from the pot and set it aside. Remove the slab of salt pork as well and discard.
Whisk in the sour cream, a bit at a time, until you have a smooth sauce. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and paprika if need be.
Return the chicken to the pot and coat it in the sauce. Let everything cook for a few minutes more before serving.
I served my paprikash with a medley of fresh summer veggies. I would also recommend trying it over a bed of egg noodles or with some potato dumplings. Try using the leftover sauce for breakfast over toast and eggs, it’s delicious!