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 Recommended
Hungarian Paprikás Csirke
The Participant Observer Recipe of the Month is for Hungarian Paprikás Csirke or "Chicken Paprikash". Requiring only a few ingredients and simple to make, this is a great dish for when the weather turns chilly.

Paprikash

As mentioned in our previous recipe for Goulash, Hungarians are rather fond of growing and consuming paprika. Please refer to that article for more cultural information about Hungary and its food. Many recipes for Paprikash stress that, unlike many other spices, paprika is best when it is relatively new. If you have an old can or jar of it that's been sitting in your kitchen cabinet for a while, it is advisable to purchase new. Paprika adds color and flavor to dishes, but the color will outlast the flavor if stored for a long time. This dish depends on the flavor of the Paprika. It can be either spicy or sweet paprika, or a combination of the two. Spicy paprika is very mild in comparison to chili powder, but it does have a little bite. If you only have the sweet variety, a pinch of cayenne powder with spice the dish up. Smoked paprika is another option. For a regional variation you can finely chop a red pepper and cook it with the onions. Many people enjoy the Pride of Szeged brand, which can be bought on Amazon.

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks, or whole chicken legs skin-on
  • 1 tablespoon oil, or lard
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or crushed
  • 3 tablespoons Hungarian paprika (Sweet or Hot), the best you can find.
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 14 ounce canned crushed or finely diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth/stock
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound of egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley finely chopped

Preparation:

  1. Heat the oil or lard to medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large heavy frying pan.
  2. Working in batches, brown the chicken on all sides.
  3. Set fried chicken pieces aside.
  4. Turn the heat under the pan to medium.
  5. Sauté the onion in the pan for 4 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic to the onions and fry for an additional 3 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the paprika and flour over the onions and garlic, and cook for another 4 minutes.
  8. Add the diced/crushed tomatoes and the broth/stock to the pan and mix thoroughly.
  9. Cook for an additional half hour.
  10. Heat a large pot of water and cook the noodles according to package instruction.
  11. When the chicken and sauce are finished, mix in the sour creme.
  12. Salt and pepper the sauce to taste.*
  13. Drain the noodles and stir in the butter until it completely melted and mixed in.
  14. Serve the Paprikash over the buttered noodles and garnish with parsley.
* You may find it easier to temporarily remove the chicken from the sauce and then mix in the sour cream, salt and pepper. Afterward, return the chicken to the pot and make sure the pieces are well-coated with sauce.

* We are huge fans of Muhlen egg noodles which can be found at the Continent European Deli. You can also find German noodles at World Market for more money.

Recipe: T. Johnston-O'Neill

Photos: Shari K. Johnston-O'Neill
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