Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chicken Paprikash

Chicken was the star of dinner two nights this week, because one of our area supermarkets was having a special on boneless, skinless chicken breasts: buy one package, get one free. For the first chicken dinner of the week, I tried a brand new recipe for Chicken Curry, and the result was delicious.

For the second chicken dinner, I wanted to expand my chicken recipe repertoire, but instead of exploring new culinary territory, I wanted to re-visit an old favorite: a Chicken Paprikash, a Hungarian dish.

The first time I tried Chicken Paprikash was back when I was single. I was preparing for a solo vacation to Eastern Europe, including stops in the Czech Republic and Hungary. When Anne and Ray heard about my upcoming adventure, they invited me to their home for a home-cooked meal of their favorite Hungarian food. Ray’s family immigrated to the United States from Hungary, and Anne learned how to cook Hungarian food from her mother-in-law. She must have learned well, because that meal was delicious – particularly the Chicken Paprikash.

So as I was pondering what to have for the second chicken dinner of the week, I thought back to the taste of Hungary I had years ago courtesy of Anne and Ray. But I knew my new version would have to be modified. Anne spent hours in the kitchen; I wanted dinner on the table in much less time.

While my rendition of Chicken Paprikash is quick to prepare, it is also delicious! You can serve this accompanied by noodles, homemade dumplings, or if you have the time, homemade spaetzle.

Makes 4 servings

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 -inch wide strips
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 medium onion, thinly sliced into half moons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons flour
1 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
½ cup sour cream

Season the chicken strips with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add chicken to hot oil. Cook for 3-5 minutes stirring constantly until the outside of the chicken is white and no pink color is evident. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Cook the onion until tender, about 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Then add the flour and paprika; cook for another minute, continuing to stir often.

Add the chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover and stir occasionally until thick and bubbly, another 3-5 minutes. Return the chicken to the mixture and cook for another 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat and add the sour cream to the skillet, stir to combine, and heat through for 2-3 minutes.

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