Author Topic: Chicken Paprikas  (Read 2298 times)

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Arianoor

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Chicken Paprikas
« on: July 03, 2012, 07:21:23 PM »
There is this stellar Hungarian restaurant fairly near here that I have been going to for literally decades.  I always have the Chicken Paprikas, it is heavenly.  *drooling just thinking about it*

"Mama", the lady who started the restaurant with "Papa" thirty or more years ago, gave her recipe to a local news paper awhile back.  I've had the recipe for months but only got brave enough to use it last night.  I'm a really good cook, but this recipe is vague in the extreme and I didn't want to disappoint myself when it turned out wrong.

So, long story short, it turned out wrong.   :(  It was pretty close, but not right, it wasn't orange enough, for one thing.  I was hoping that someone on here has cooked it before and could perhaps give me some hints? 

Novak's Chicken Paprikas
Servings: 6
.
1 large chicken, cut into serving pieces
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large green pepper, finely chopped
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 cup sour cream
4 tablespoon Flour
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Sauté onion, green peppers and tomato in 1 Tablespoon oil. Sauté on medium heat until onions are clear. Stir in Paprika. Add wine. Add chicken, salt and white pepper. Cover and simmer until meat is tender. Remove chicken pieces to casserole dish. Add 1 cup water to pot. In a small bowl whisk 1 cup cold water into 4 Tablespoons flour until smooth. Then strain. Whisk the mixture into boiling broth from which chicken was removed. Cook until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in sour cream. Serve over spaetzle, rice or potatoes.


I made sure to use Hungarian Paprika.  I used a dry white wine, two chicken breasts with ribs and two thighs (bone in and skin on, I skinned and deboned them while the sauce was thickening), white pepper and black pepper because the recipe disagreed with itself, and regular full fat sour cream. 



QueenfaninCA

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Re: Chicken Paprikas
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2012, 07:38:01 PM »
Just checked a few recipes online. Almost all of them use 2 or 3 Tbsp of paprika. I'd try increasing that.

lady_disdain

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Re: Chicken Paprikas
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2012, 07:59:14 PM »
It certainly seems like there is too little paprika for a large chicken. It may also need a few others tweaks. It seems like too little liquid to me (only half a cup to both cook the chicken and make the sauce). I hate it when people mess with a recipe before publishing it. If you don't want to share, don't. But if you do, then please share what you are saying you are sharing.

Zilla

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Re: Chicken Paprikas
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2012, 01:12:06 AM »
I agree with others, increase the paprika.  I would salt/pepper the chicken before adding, and salt/pepper lightly the sauce to taste as well.  (I mention the salt as I saw it was only mentioned once to taste in the ingredients)

EmmaJ.

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Re: Chicken Paprikas
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2012, 10:43:00 AM »
There are quite a few types of paprika - smoked, hot, sweet, etc.  There is a type called Hungarian paprika and I'm betting that's what she used.

Did you use paprika that has been sitting in your pantry for a long time?  If so, the flavor may have faded.

Good heavens.  I just re-read your original post and saw that you did indeed use Hungarian paprika.  My apologies for just scanning your message. 
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 10:45:21 AM by EmmaJ. »

Arianoor

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Re: Chicken Paprikas
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 05:54:33 PM »
So, I tried again and it was really, really close!  DF liked it so much, that we ended up ordering pizza last night, because I was intending on serving the leftovers, but they magically disappeared at lunch time! 

I doubled the paprika, increased the flour by 1.5 times (the last batch was too thin), and only used chicken thighs (which is all I've ever been served at the restaurant).  Something I forgot to mention in the OP, I used an immersion blender after adding the first cup of water.  The sauce is supposed to be uniformly orange, Mama must have some mad knife skills to chop the veggies fine enough to create that without one!

It's still a little off, which I think may be the fault of the sour cream.  At the restaurant, they serve cucumber salad with sour cream on it, and it tastes quite different from "normal" sour cream that you buy at the grocery store.  I assume that they use the same stuff in the paprikas, but haven't a clue where to find it.  I know that you can make sour cream, but wouldn't know which method/ingredients to use to yield their result.  Any secret knowledge about sour cream?  Are there specialty stores that have it fresh?


Missy2U

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Re: Chicken Paprikas
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2012, 12:56:27 PM »
Could they be using yogurt or yogurt and sour cream?

Sophia

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Re: Chicken Paprikas
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2012, 01:07:26 PM »
Just something to make you feel better about your first attempt. 

A very good friend of mine is a very good friend of a well-known chef.  The chef confided in my friend that when he demonstrates a recipe, he NEVER does it precisely as he really does.  He will leave something out, or chop stuff the wrong size.  Something so that it won't be as good as when he makes it.  Apparently this is common.  Then if anyone says anything he says that is why he is the chef.  He has the knowledge and experience. 

JoieGirl7

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Re: Chicken Paprikas
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2012, 11:48:51 PM »
It's only going to be uniform in color and consistency if you continue to blend it.  The sour cream will separate out and the paprika kind of moves around.

My mother was from Hungary and this was a staple of our growing up.  My mother also used a whole chicken but I have modified the recipe to be a little less fatty--altho for personal preference reasons, I used chicken thighs.

If you want to try a simplified version here are the mechanics.  And for one thing, I don't use exact amounts--never have.  Doesn't matter.  You kind of can't add too much paprika!
 
Here is what I do....
I start by sautéing a couple of chopped onions in olive oil.  It's better it butter, but whatever.  Goulash and paprikash start out the same way--onions and butter and paprika. I love the smell.

The onions can be chopped any way that you like.  Sauté until they are almost translucent.  Add salt and pepper.  And sprinkle paprika all over the thing.  Add your chicken and sauté it as well until it is cooked a little on the outside.
 
Add 2 cups of chicken broth (I add low sodium broth) and let the whole thing just simmer for a bit until all the chicken is cooked and its coming together.
 
Keep adding paprika until you are satisfied with the taste and the color.   Just before serving I add the sour cream.

This is do in a particular way.  I take some of the liquid from the sautéed mixture and put it in a bowl and immersion blender it with sour cream--usually a whole small container of it and maybe more depending on how I feel.  Then, I add that back to the rest of it.
 
It's a little runny but I serve it in a bowl over spaetzle or egg noodles.  You can add mushrooms when you sauté the onions too but I don't usually do that.
 
The reason that it is pronounced Paprikash is that in Hungarian an "s" has a "sh" sound all the time.  Also, in Hungarian, the first syllable of the word gets the emphasis.  So, its PA-pri-kash.

Various Hungarians have various recipes due to geographic areas.  Some Hungarians come from enclaves in the middle of other countries that used to be part of Hungary.

But, the basics are onions, paprika, butter, chicken, (liquid--broth or from a whole chicken) and sour cream.  You can adapt your own way of doing it and make your own kind of chicken paprikash.

And remember, if you like a deep color, just keep adding paprika!

wheeitsme

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Re: Chicken Paprikas
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2012, 11:56:36 PM »
I'm sorry, but I have to sing this...

"Oscar: The fourth Polish Christmas dish I bring to the party
 Four baked paprikas...
 
Archibald: Now, what is a paprika?
 
Oscar: It's a bell pepper stuffed with meat.
 
Archibald: I see.
 
Larry: Three Simmered gwumpkies,
 
Jimmy: Two steamed pierogis,
 
All: And a boiled potato topped with dillweed."

Sigh.  Thank you.  I had to get that out of my system.  :-[
 


Your dish sounds delish.  ;D
 

kkl123

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Re: Chicken Paprikas
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2012, 05:56:24 AM »
Howdy!  We drive down to Novak's a couple of times a year just to eat there. 

Really good quality Hungarian paprika is pretty orange and looses flavor and turns rusty brown with age. 

Also, the closest I've come out here to the sour cream I grew up with is Tillamook's "natural" -- that's what I use when I make it at home.  I also use half hot Spanish paprika (pimenton) in mine, El Rey brand.  Had it that way in a restaurant in BC and it took me a number of tries to work out what was different.  (Spanish Table in Seattle carries it if you can't find it locally.)

You also know it's cherry soup season, right???


Venus193

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Re: Chicken Paprikas
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2012, 06:58:17 AM »
Just something to make you feel better about your first attempt. 

A very good friend of mine is a very good friend of a well-known chef.  The chef confided in my friend that when he demonstrates a recipe, he NEVER does it precisely as he really does.  He will leave something out, or chop stuff the wrong size.  Something so that it won't be as good as when he makes it.  Apparently this is common.  Then if anyone says anything he says that is why he is the chef.  He has the knowledge and experience.

It's common in a sense beyond commonplace.  Rather than derail this thread I will start another.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Chicken Paprikas
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2012, 01:45:58 AM »
So, I tried again and it was really, really close!  DF liked it so much, that we ended up ordering pizza last night, because I was intending on serving the leftovers, but they magically disappeared at lunch time! 

I doubled the paprika, increased the flour by 1.5 times (the last batch was too thin), and only used chicken thighs (which is all I've ever been served at the restaurant).  Something I forgot to mention in the OP, I used an immersion blender after adding the first cup of water.  The sauce is supposed to be uniformly orange, Mama must have some mad knife skills to chop the veggies fine enough to create that without one!

It's still a little off, which I think may be the fault of the sour cream.  At the restaurant, they serve cucumber salad with sour cream on it, and it tastes quite different from "normal" sour cream that you buy at the grocery store.  I assume that they use the same stuff in the paprikas, but haven't a clue where to find it.  I know that you can make sour cream, but wouldn't know which method/ingredients to use to yield their result.  Any secret knowledge about sour cream?  Are there specialty stores that have it fresh?

Could they be using creme fraiche?