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This is a recipe for Chicken Paprika, a recipe my father brought over from Hungary. It is simply marvelous. (It bears no relationship to Cacciatore.)
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 -1 1⁄2 pint sour cream
- 6 chicken thighs
- 1 pint whole milk
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon chicken base
- 1 cup unbleached white flour, unsifted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- Sauce procedure: Cut whole chicken into it's constituent parts (breasts, thigh, etc.) and remove skin. Remove skin from thighs. (trim fat deposits and rinse all chicken thoroughly) This step is critical.
- Cut all chicken pieces in half. This exposes the crucial bone marrow. The more marrow you expose, the better the sauce. I chop the wings into 4 or five pieces. Do not add giblets and neck.
- In large pot, combine chicken, salt, Paprika, chicken base, and enough water to just cover the chicken pieces.
- Cook, partially covered, at such temperature that a simmer to very gentle boil is achieved. You want just a bit of bubbling.
- Do so until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and easily removed from the bone--About 1.5 hrs. (I cook the chicken until it is on the verge of falling off the bone. This extracts maximum flavor from the chicken.)
- Strain mixture to separate liquid and chicken. Place chicken into a warm serving dish.
- Return liquid to pot, and vigorously mix in sour cream and milk. I use a whisk for this. Carefully bring the sauce to a boil and remove immediately from heat. Failure to remove promptly will result in very messy boiling over!
- Set burner to it's lowest setting and return pot to the burner to keep sauce hot. The sauce is basically finished at this point. You may wish to fine tune by adding more salt, sour cream, Paprika, and/or chicken base. I sometimes add a 1/2 cup or so of heavy cream for added richness. You may also want to skim most of the liquid fat from the sauce surface.
- Noodles procedure: Combine flour, salt, and eggs in a hemispherical bowl large enough to accommodate mixing.
- Add about 1/2 cup water and proceed to blend ingredients with a fork until well blended. The consistency your striving for is such that the dough is clearly wet, adheres to the bowl, and is loose enough to slowly spread out when a dollop is applied to the cutting board. Add enough water to achieve this. I've never measured how much water I use, but think it's about 1/2 cup plus some. Actually, the consistency is not critical. I'm guessing you've made noodles (or dumplings) like this, and that additional, excruciating explanation is not necessary.
- Set a Dutch oven (good size pot) 2/3 full of water to boil. At this point, obviously the dough goes into the water. I place a good size dollop on a small cutting board and use a gently curved, sharp knife to cut perhaps 1/2" size blobs which are then vigorously swept off the board into the boiling water.
- They are done when they float to the surface. A perforated spoon is used to remove the noodles from the water which are placed in a warm serving bowl.
- I cut perhaps 3-4 dozen noodles, let them cook (very quick), remove, and proceed to add the next 3-4 dozen until all of the dough is consumed. If it looks like boiling over is about to occur, add some cold water.
- Finally: At this point you should have a pot of wonderful sauce, a bowl full of chicken pieces, and a bowl of noodles. For serving, place a good serving of noodles and half (maybe less) as much chicken into a flat bowl. Apply enough sauce to almost cover noodles and chicken.
- You may want to salt to taste. My wife likes pepper on it. I do not. In any case, Viola! That's it. I really want you to try this, as everyone on both sides of our family loves it. My instructions are laborious because attention paid to various details will produce a superb dish, while an average effort with average ingredients produce a result that is only very good.
My Hungarian grandma called this "chicken and dropped noodles". I almost always use either a whole chicken cut up or thighs, WITH the skin to boil. Only when I take the meat off of the cooled, cooked chicken do I remove the fat/skin...it is so much more delicious this way! After the chicken has been cooked, I re-add the meat to the broth, along with some finely chopped onion, carrot and celery, salt and pepper. I heat the broth until the veggies are softened, then cool slightly again. Then the sour cream and paprika are added. The drop noodles are the same as this recipe, but dropped by small spoonfuls into boiling, salted water and then added to the chciken/broth after they are cooked. This always tastes more delicious the day after!
Chicken paprika is made out of chicken breasts only. If you use a whole chicken, than it is called: porkolt. The name of the game is: white meat = chicken breasts.
Only one variation my Dad does with this recipe, he leaves skin on for. The fat has all the flavour and he fries his with a lot of Hungarian paprika and browns it first. Everytime I go see my Dad, he knows I want Chicken Paprikash and makes it for me ever time. He keeps showing me how to make it but I would rather him make it for me. For one day he will not be around to make it and then I will pick up the family tradition. My Grandparents made this all the time when we went to see them. Nothing beats Chicken Paprikash my friends.......