On Sunday I walked away from the Harvard Common Press with three brand new cookbooks. They hosted a brunch for the Boston Brunchers, and besides showering us with food, they also generously let us take some of their cookbooks home. (More details to come in a later post )
One book that I was drawn to was Not Your Mother’s Weeknight Cooking, mainly because of the Whip it up series. I’m always looking for new ideas for quick and easy recipes, and thumbing through it on the T ride back from the brunch, I marked tons of recipes that I’m dying to try.
This Hungarian Paprika Chicken in particular caught my eye. It’s sort of like a stew that you can spoon over a heap of egg noodles and rice. (It’s also great just piled up in a bowl by itself!) I’m a huge fan of paprika. Not only does it give dishes a vibrant color, but it also adds a sweet and/or spicy flavor–depending on the paprika you choose to use.
This recipe takes 45 minutes to make, but it’s so easy; you’ll be surprised at how fast the time flies by.
Hungarian Paprika Chicken (From Not Your Mother’s Weeknight Cooking)
Prep: 10 min Cook: 35 min
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lbs), trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces (I used about 1 lb, see My Two Cents note below)
- 1 large yellow, red, or green pepper (I used yellow)
- 3 fresh or canned plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp hot Hungarian paprika
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 8 oz sour cream (I used fat free)
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, but do not cook until browned and/or cooked through. According to the recipe, this will make the chicken tough.
- Add the bell pepper, tomatoes, and paprika. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink inside.
- In small bowl, stir the cornstarch into the sour cream. Add to the pan and cook, uncovered for 5-10 minutes, until the sauce is hot and thickened. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately — either by itself or on top of your favorite noodles or rice. Serve with a spinach salad or your favorite green veggies.
My Two Cents: This dish was silky, creamy, and the chicken was — without being too southern — like buttah. I made a few alterations to the dish, though, adapting it to what I had on hand. First, I only had about a pound of chicken thighs, so I decided to add 8 ounces of chopped mushrooms to the dish. I sauteed the mushrooms in a little bit of olive oil, then added about 3 dashes of hot sauce to them, and cooked them until they released their liquids—about 5-7 minutes. They added the meatiness I was missing from that 1/2 pound of chicken I didn’t have. Also, instead of adding 1 tsp of hot paprika and 1 tsp of sweet paprika, I put int 2 tsp of sweet paprika because that’s what I had on hand. But the dashes of hot sauce I think made up for the “hot” aspect I omitted.
I used fat free sour cream, and didn’t find the sauce too thin at all—the cornstarch really helped to thicken it up. If you want a thicker and richer sauce, use full fat sour cream, but it’s not necessary here.
Like I said above, this stew-ish dish can hold its own, but it would also taste great with rice or pasta. I had a light spinach salad on the side. And I was so glad I had leftovers for the next night!
And thanks to the Harvard Common Press for being generous enough to give me a copy of this book