Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chicken Paprikash Recipe (Paprika Chicken)

Chicken Paprikash
Here's my updated recipe for Chicken Paprikash, which is warm and comforting for fall!

(Updated with better photos, a better recipe, and step-by-step instructions October 2013.)  I've been updating photos on my oldest posts for over five years now, and there's something so satisfying about taking a favorite recipe that was hidden away in the archives and showing it off so current readers will want to try it.  Sometimes I decide I can improve the recipe as well, and with this favorite recipe for Chicken Paprikash I realized that now I'd prefer the recipe with less meat and more of the roasted red peppers that make this dish so flavorful.  Of course Chicken Paprikash is a traditional Hungarian dish that usually includes a roux made of flour and chicken fat or butter, but if you like chicken, onions, roasted red peppers, paprika, and sour cream, I bet you'll like my diet-friendly version just as well.

One thing I do want to emphasize is the importance of using real Hungarian paprika for this recipe. You can find it sold in nearly every U.S. grocery store, usually sold in a tin rather than a glass jar. I'm a fan of Szeged Sweet Paprika and Szeged Hot Paprika, but any brand of Hungarian paprika will be better than the stuff your mother used to sprinkle on deviled eggs!

Start by simmering a can of chicken stock (or 1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock) until it's reduced to 3/4 cup.  Of course homemade stock is always better, but reducing the canned stock makes it more flavorful.

Drain a can of tomatoes so you have just the tomatoes and no juice.  (You can save the juice and freeze for another use.)

Cut up a large onion into pieces that are fairly large.

Drain a 12 ounce jar of roasted red peppers and cut into pieces 1 - 2 inches square.

Trim two large chicken breasts to remove most of the visible fat, and then pound with a meat mallet (or something heavy) until the breasts are and just over an inch thick.

Cut the pounded chicken into cubes about 1 1/4 inch square.

When all the ingredients are ready, season the chicken cubes with 1 tsp. sweet paprika, salt, and fresh-ground black pepper.

Heat a couple of teaspoons of olive oil and cook over medium-high heat until chicken is well browned, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove the chicken to a plate.

Add a little more oil and brown the onions.  Then add the rest of the sweet paprika, the hot paprika, and the ground caraway seed (if using) and cook about 1 minute.

Add the drained tomatoes and roasted red peppers and cook about 2 minutes.

Add the reduced stock and cook 2-3 minutes.

Then add the chicken pieces and any juice that's drained out on the plate, turn heat to LOW, and simmer a couple of minutes (until the chicken is hot.)

Turn off the heat and let the dish sit for a minute or two (to be sure it's not so hot that the sour cream will curdle) and then gently stir in sour cream.  Season with a little more ground pepper if desired and serve immediately.  This is good over rice or noodles, but I enjoyed it served plain as a stew.

And here's the original photo of this recipe from 2006, which was the only picture in the original post!


Chicken Paprikash (Paprika Chicken)
(Makes 4 servings, recipe adapted from Paprika Chicken at Epicurious.com, with quite a few changes by Kalyn.)

Ingredients:
1 can (14.5 oz.) chicken broth, simmered to reduce to 3/4 cup (or start with 1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock)
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained until fairly dry
1 large onion, chopped in fairly big pieces
1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained well and cut into pieces about 1 - 2 inches square)
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness and cut into cubes about 1 1/4 inches
1 tsp. + 1 T sweet paprika (I use Szeged Sweet Paprika)
salt and fresh-ground black pepper (to taste, for seasoning chicken before browning) 
2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil (or slightly more if you don't use a non-stick pan)
1 tsp. hot paprika, sometimes called sharp paprika (I use Szeged Hot Paprika)
1/2 tsp. ground Caraway seed (optional)
3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream (more or less to taste)

Instructions:
Put the chicken stock or broth into a small pan and simmer over medium heat until it's reduced to 3/4 cup.  Drain the canned tomatoes into a colander placed into the sink (you can catch the juice and freeze for another use if you'd like.)  Drain the roasted red peppers into another colander.

Cut onions into fairly large pieces, at least an inch square.  Cut drained red peppers into pieces about 1 1/2 inches square.

Trim the chicken breasts until all the visible fat is gone.  (I save the scraps to make homemade chicken stock).  Pound chicken with a meat mallet or something heavy until they're an even thickness, about an inch thick.   Cut chicken into large cubes (about 1 1/4 inches square).  Season the chicken cubes with 1 tsp. sweet paprika plus salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste.

Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook chicken over medium-high heat until the pieces are nicely browned on all sides and barely cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.   Remove chicken to a plate.  Add the other tsp. of olive oil and the onions and cook until unions are browned, about 4 minutes.  Add the 1 T sweet paprika, the hot paprika, and the ground caraway seed (if using) and cook about 1 minute more.

Add the tomatoes and peppers and cook about 2 minutes.  Add the reduced chicken stock and cook 2-3 minutes (until the stock is bubbling hot.)  Then add the browned chicken cubes and any juice that's accumulated on the plate), turn heat to LOW,  and simmer just until the chicken is heated through, about 2-3 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the mixture sit for a minute or two. (This is VERY IMPORTANT so it's not so hot that the sour cream will curdle.  The mixture should have completely stopped simmering when you add the sour cream.)  Add the sour cream and stir gently to combine.

Serve hot.  This is great with rice or noodles to soak up the juice, but I also like it just served in a bowl like a stew.  I wouldn't recommend freezing for this recipe, but it will keep for a few days in the fridge and can be reheated in the microwave or in a pan on the stove (with low heat, don't let it boil.)

South Beach Suggestions:
Served alone as a stew, this recipe is a great dish for all phases of the South Beach Diet. For phase two or three, serve over Dreamfields Macaroni. whole wheat noodles, or brown rice. For a Phase One meal, I'd love this with a simple side dish like Roasted Broccoli with Garlic.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Recipe Ideas for Hungarian Paprika:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Hungarian Pot Roast with Sour Cream and Paprika Gravy ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Hungarian Beef Paprika Stew ~ The Shiksa in the Kitchen
Al's Famous Hungarian Cucumber Salad ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Mushrooms Paprika ~ Lisa's Kitchen
Pork with Paprika, Mushrooms, and Sour Cream ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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31 comments:

Pille said...

Kalyn - anything paprikash is bound to be good, and your recipe sounds delicious! (just for the record, my favourites are chicken paprikash and mushroom paprikash)

sher said...

Well, give your brother my thanks for getting you to start this blog! :):) The paprikash looks great.

Ivonne said...

You know I've always been looking for a reliable recipe for this dish. Now I have one. Thanks, Kalyn!

christine said...

I've been looking and looking for a good Chicken Paprikas recipe. This I will serve to my houseguests this weekend. Thanks for bringing it forward from your archives!

Erika said...

Thank you for sharing! My first attempt at Paprikash several months ago was so disappointing. I'm looking forward to giving your a try.

stacey said...

Paprikash! You're such a master! There is a Czech beer garden close to my place and the best thing on their menu is the Chicken Paprikash-- that is when the grill isn't fired up with $3 burgers and kielbasa!

wolfenlion said...

Kalyn, this is delicious (even without the peppers and caraway seeds - I'm all out). My husband, who is German and makes wonderful German meals, even approved of this dish. He forgave me of course for using boneless skinless chicken instead of a whole cut up chicken. I even used Penzey's sweet hungarian and sharp paprika. It's wonderful and the flavors build as you eat the dish. This is a very satisfying phase one dish!

Jan said...

Searching through recipes I notice that a few of them say not to use fat free sour cream. Can you please tell me the reason for not using fat free sour cream? Unfortunately it's all I have in the house right now. Thanks so much.

Kalyn said...

Jan I avoid fat free sour cream because it usually has added sugar.

Anonymous said...

Fat free sour cream curdles easier from the heat than full fat. If you want to use reduce/fat free sour cream, try serving it on the side to be stirred in after the dish has cooled a bit.

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, I said in the recipe not to use fat free sour cream. I haven't had any problem with low fat sour cream.

Anonymous said...

This was delicious!!! I didn't have any peppers on hand so I added some mushrooms instead - this was a big hit, thanks for such a great recipe!

- Katie C.

Kalyn said...

Katie, so glad you liked it. This is a recipe that's been on my "needs new photos" list for years, but it's a great recipe.

Anonymous said...

what size can of tomatoes do you use?

Kalyn said...

It's a regular 14.5 oz. can of tomatoes; will edit to clarify that. Thanks.

Matthew Hatfield said...

Where is this delicious-sounding Czech beer garden you speak of?

Kalyn Denny said...

Matthew, since that comment was in 2006, I doubt Stacey will come back and let you know, but it sounds good!

MissyCooks said...

I would like to try making this, but I was wondering if maybe this recipe could be modified for the slow cooker?

Kalyn Denny said...

MissyCooks, you could probably adapt it, but you'd need to reduce the amount of liquid and not add the sour cream until the very end. Since I haven't tried it, I can't say for sure how it would work.

MissyCooks said...

This was great, wound up preparing according to directions. Didn't have sharp paprika, so substituted a small amount of cayenne as indicated.

Kalyn Denny said...

Missy, glad you enjoyed it. And boy does this ever need a new photo! I need to make it again.

Unknown said...

Greetings from Hungary! I was glad to read that you are interested in Hungarian cuisine. However, that's not exactly the way we do our traditional chicken paprikash. Let me tell you the recipe I had learned from my grandmother: we cut the onion in very small pieces, heat some goose fat and cook the onion in it. Add 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, stir it quickly, and add 2 tablespoon hot chicken stock, stir it again: ground paprika dissolves best in hot fat, this is how it can convey its colour and flavour to maximum effect – much more than in vegetable oil! But you should avoid to burn it, otherwise paprika would become bitter (that's why we add some chicken stock right after the paprika). We usually use a whole young chicken, cut in 8 pieces. Add the chicken pieces, some salt, and cook them for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock, one tomato cut in small pieces and a clove of garlic also in very small pieces and let cook it on a low heat as long as the chicken will be ready. Finally, turn off the heat (as you wrote), add some sour cream, and stir it. We serve it with galushka (a Hungarian noodle). I prefer to cook this meal in my cauldron in the garden, this way the open fire gives an extra flavour to our chicken paprikash. There is a photo about my chicken paprikash: http://husosfazek.blog.hu/2011/01/22/az_en_paprikascsirkem

Kalyn Denny said...

I certainly did not make any claims that this an authentic recipe for Hungarian Chicken Paprikash! However, since my blog is focused on healthy cooking, your traditional version won't work for me. Thanks for sharing though; always fun to see the authentic dish.

exchangingfire said...

It sounds like husosfazek is sauteing the paprika at the beginning of her cooking to release extra flavor into the dish. An Indian dish I made recently recommended doing the same thing with my curry blend. Often professional chefs toasting or saute spices and herbs to help release the flavor - I think this could easily be done with the paprika using a bit of EVOO instead.

I think I'll try with dish with some added spinach or kale to make it more nutritarian-friendly. Thanks so much for offering up another good recipe - I've been craving some good Chicken Paprikash and I'm eager to try this out.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

The gorgeous color of the paprikash really comes out in the new photo. And I agree: use real Hungarian paprika! It makes a huge difference.

Kalyn Denny said...

ExchangingFire, I did saute my paprika, first when I browned the meat and then when I sauteed the spices with the onions. It's the use of goose fat and whole pieces of chicken in the recipe by Husosfazek that won't work for my way of cooking. I do like the idea of adding some greens to this!

Thanks Lydia; and yes nothing but real Hungarian paprika in my kitchen!

Pam said...

I like the idea of revisiting old posts and updating the photos. It's amazing what I thought was such a great photo about 6 six years ago, now looks ghastly to me.

Sam Hoffer @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Chicken Paprikash is one of my old favorites. You've done a splendid job of lightening it up and I love the idea of serving it as a stew. I've found that the noodles can be heavy for my taste today.
Sam

Kalyn Denny said...

Pam, isn't that the truth! I cringe now when I see some of my old photos. And even after five years, I still find plenty of bad ones to re-shoot!

Thanks Sam. I find this is plenty satisfying without the rice or noodles, or you could offer that as a choice if there are some family members who want them.

Al F said...

Great recipe! I would only add that one cooks the onion only to the point of translucency. Browning the onion makes it a German dish, not Hungarian.

Kalyn Denny said...

Al, very interesting. I didn't know that.

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