My husband is Hungarian. I adopted a last name that I had trouble spelling correctly for two years. His mother and father escaped from Hungary back in the 50’s, met each other here in Vancouver BC, fell in love, married and had two beautiful sons – Steven and Zoltan. I got one of them… Upon dating Zoltan my food-scape was opened up to a whole other world of interesting food combination’s when visiting his mum and dad’s for dinner every week. Sweet baked beans with big hunks of Hungarian sausage and big slivers of bay leaf… dishes that just shouldn’t have hard boiled eggs potatoes and pasta in them… thinly sliced cucumber marinating in a salty/sweet vinegar, sour cream, dill dressing spiced with Hungarian paprika. It appeared that each dish upon being served was heavily salted and dolloped with sour cream. Your empty plate always had a greasy residue of creamy paprika… mmmm! It didn’t take me long to fall in love with something covered in sour cream – or salt for that matter, and I decided that it was important that my children knew some of their heritage dishes as they grew up. One of the first ones I tried was Chicken Paprikash. I KNOW I am not making it the authentic way… but it still tastes great and Zol loves it. He does say “It’s not like my mums, but it’s still super good!” But what else would he say, right?
Hungarian Chicken Paprikash
2 medium onions chopped
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
5 chicken thighs (you can use legs, breast)
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons of white vinegar
1/2 cup of sour cream (more for topping)
1 1/2 cups rice
Heat oil and butter in large pot or Dutch oven. Salt and pepper chicken and then brown each side in the hot oil. Add paprika, sprinkling evenly on both sides of the chicken after it’s started browning.
After chicken has browned remove pieces from the pot and set aside. Add chopped onions to the remaining oil/butter and spices and saute till soft.
After onions have softened, remove and add chicken stock. After the liquid heats up, sprinkle flour in. Whisk well and let the sauce thicken for a few minutes.
Add sour cream and vinegar. Put the chicken and onions back into the gravy and simmer for 30+ minutes.
While simmering chicken, make your rice. 1 1/2 cups of rice with 2 3/4 cups water, chunk of butter, shake of salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. Both should finish at the same time. Pour gravy over the rice and a piece or two of chicken, big glop of sour cream. This can also be served over pasta or spaetzle or as my husband calls it nokedli. I haven’t quite gotten there yet!
Maybe have a side salad and a trip to the gym to cure all of the creamy goodness this dish provides… 😉 *d
Here’s what my husband has done his entire life with this dish… he takes every piece of chicken off the bone and then mixes it in with the gravy and rice or nokedli – salts it and devours it. Love watching him eat his comfort food…
PS. oh and for Christ sakes… remove the freaking bay leaves! My mother in law never does and it drives me nuts god bless her soul…