It’s funny – of all the cuisines I enjoy cooking, reading about and experimenting with (Thai, Mexican, Italian, Indian…), I have been neglecting the ethnicity I am primarily made up of: Hungarian.
In an attempt to get acquainted with the cuisine of Hungary, I decided to make chicken paprikash one afternoon.
As I’ve mentioned before, paprika is one of my favourite spices to cook with. The paprika I used in this recipe came straight from Hungary courtesy of our good friend and former housemate Joe Halasz. He moved there three years ago, returning back to Canada just once since then to attend our wedding last September.
A fellow food lover and excellent cook, Joe gifted us with a basket bursting with paprika of all kinds plus a wreath of dried peppers, various Hungarian liquors and a cookbook featuring authentic Hungarian dishes.
I doubt this recipe would do the original paprikás csirke justice (or even come close), but it is a tribute to my Hungarian roots nonetheless.
Recipe: Chicken paprikash
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 lb wide egg noodles (I used the whole wheat version)
- 1/4 cup sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup sour cream
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, season both sides with salt and pepper add to the skillet. Brown the chicken on both sides, turning once, about 5 minutes per side (do not cook through at this stage). Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Drain off some of the oil and return skillet to heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, paprika, bay leaf and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and return the chicken to the pan. Cover and cook, turning once or twice throughout cooking, until chicken is done, about 15 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the egg noodles. Cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large serving platter.
Remove the chicken from the sauce and arrange over egg noodles. Bring the sauce to a boil again and cook until it has thickened slightly. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sour cream. Return to the heat and let simmer for several minutes to thicken it again. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the chicken and egg noodles. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve immediately.