Monday, February 27, 2012

Secret Recipe Club: Hungarian Paprika Chicken

This month's Secret Recipe Club dish comes from the blog Cooking Whims. Megan, its editor, started cooking for the same reason many of us did: necessity. As she said,
At first, I started cooking simply because I had to. After I moved out of my parents’ house, it suddenly dawned on me that I had to feed myself (and my boyfriend) healthy meals. College wasn’t an excuse anymore. No more grilled cheese sandwiches or eggs on toast as meals for five days out of the week.
I always have Hungarian paprika on hand because it's a decent substitute for 고추가루 gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder). Just like that Hungarian spice, gochugaru can be spicy as well as sweet. That might be why my eyes were drawn so quickly to this dish. I often use Hungarian hot paprika as a substitute for spicy gochugaru in many recipes.

Since I enjoy my food on the spicy side, I used two teaspoons of hot paprika in my version of Megan's recipe, rather than the sweet paprika in hers. Just that small amount of hot paprika might not blow your taste buds at first, but your nose will be running before the end of the meal.

I just couldn't help serving this with spaetzle, which is very traditional for the dish and comfortingly old-fashioned.


Hungarian Chicken Paprikash (Paprikás Csirke) 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil (I used Sonoma Smoked Olive Oil from The Smoked Olive.)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 11/2 pounds), trimmed and cut into three-inch pieces
1 large yellow, red or green bell pepper
3 fresh or canned plum tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons Szeged Hot Paprika Powder
2 teaspoons cornstarch
8 ounces sour cream
1 box Spaetzle (10 ounces)

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and fragrant, about three to four minutes.
  2. Bring four quarts of salted water to a boil.
  3. Add the chicken, cover and cook for five minutes, but do not cook until browned and/or cooked through.
  4. Add the bell pepper, tomatoes and paprika. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink inside.
  5. While the chicken is simmering, add the spaetzle to the water and boil for 20 to 25 minutes (or follow the directions on the box)
  6. In small bowl, stir the cornstarch into the sour cream. Add to the pan and cook uncovered for five to 10 minutes, until the sauce is hot and thickened.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.

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