Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash (Csirkepaprikás)

I don't have many friends in Hungary, but I've traveled there before, and have had my chicken paprikash experiences. It was definitely a dish that left an impression. [And if you're travelling a month and a half throughout Eastern Europe, and can make such a statement, surely it was hell of a meal.] It was fresh, yet very rich and had fall-off-the-bone pieces of chicken. I guess I would describe it as ang moh Katong laksa to my Singaporean friends and creamy chicken cacciatore to my Western friends. Either way, know that is good - very good.

Anyway, I've been searching for some Hungarian paprika for some time now. Actually, I've even stopped myself from buying normal paprika because I've heard Hungarian paprika is sweeter and more aromatic. I eventually found some at the local Indian grocery store - who would have thought, right?

For chicken paprikash, some people leave the tomato out, but to me, an addition of one more vegetable is definitely welcome in any recipe. I also couldn't find white bell peppers, which is the traditional bell pepper used in this dish, so I used green bell peppers instead (because red ones would be too sweet!)

Enjoy! This is so delicious. It goes really well with normal egg noodles or rice, but it's definitely best with nokedli (Hungarian 'dumpling'/egg noodle.)

Ingredients (4 servings)
  • 2 chicken legs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion (or two small onions), roughly chopped
  • 1 white pepper (I used a green pepper instead), chopped
  • [optional] 1 roma tomato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons paprika (Hungarian sweet paprika preferred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • In a heated pan, add butter, and swirl the butter around the pan.
  • When the butter starts to brown, add the chicken pieces, skin side down onto the pan.
  • Turn the chicken pieces over when they start to brown, and cook the other side until brown as well.
  • When the chicken is brown on all sides, remove from the pan, but save the drippings.

  • To the remaining butter/chicken fat mixture, add the chopped onions and fry them.
  • When the onions are soft and slightly transparent, add the green pepper and tomato to the pan.
  • Continue frying, and make sure nothing gets burnt.

  • When the vegetables are soft, add the paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper to the pan.
  • Fry the vegetables with the seasoning until evenly combined.
  • Add the chicken pieces back to the pan, then add the chicken stock.
  • Bring the contents of the pan to a boil, then cover, and set the heat on low.
  • Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are cooked and the juices run clear.

  • When the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken and place the chicken on top your choice of starch. (I used Hungarian dumplings or nokedli. Here's the recipe.)
  • Turn off the heat, and let the vegetables cool down for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, add the sour cream to the pan, and stir to combine.
  • Spoon the sauce over the chicken and nokedli, and serve.

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