Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Braised Chicken Paprikash

Braised Chicken Paprikash

This has been a favorite around our house for decades. I’m not sayin’ how many decades, but just using that word should be enough to tell you that it’s been a long, long time.

I know it was served to me in some form or another growing up and we started preparing it in our home using a recipe from our 1975 edition of The Joy of Cooking. Through the years we’ve changed and adapted the original recipe to suit our tastes and have been cooking and serving our own very different version, which is essentially what this blog is all about.

We always have the ingredients available in the house and with very little notice anyone here can whip this one up in no time. You can probably do the same – it’s the quintessential last minute supper.

Braised Chicken Paprikash
Serves: 2     Total Time: 1½ Hours


• 2 Bone-in Chicken Breast Halves, with skin
• Kosher Salt
• Freshly Ground Black Pepper
• 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
• All-Purpose Flour for dredging
• 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
• 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
• 1 Cup Red Onion, chopped
• ¼ Pound Baby Portabella Mushrooms, quartered
• 1½ Tablespoons Sweet Hungarian Paprika
• 1 Teaspoon Smoked Spanish Paprika
• 1 Container Chicken Stock Concentrate
• 1½ Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
• 1 Cup Sour Cream
• 2 Teaspoons All-Purpose Flour

Preparation Steps

Step 1. Preheat Oven to 350ºF. Season Chicken all over with Kosher Salt, Freshly Ground Black Pepper and add a dash of Smoked Spanish Paprika on the skin side.

Step 2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the Vegetable oil.

Step 3. Dredge Chicken in Flour and knock off any excess and immediately place Chicken in hot oil, skin side down and cook until the skin is browned and crispy.  Reduce the heat to medium, turn the Chicken over and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove Chicken to a plate to rest. Add the 2 tablespoons of Butter to the pot to melt and scrape up some of the cooked bits from the Chicken.

Step 4. Add the chopped Onion to the Dutch oven and sweat (cook stirring until the Onions begin to release their moisture). Add Mushrooms and cook stirring gently for 2 minutes then stir in 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil and both Paprikas stirring for 1 minute more.

Step 5. Add the container of Chicken Stock Concentrate and stir until dissolved, then add the Chicken Stock and bring to a boil.

Step 6. When the stock is boiling, return the Chicken Breasts to the liquid, skin side up. Cover and place in the oven.

Step 7. While the Chicken is in the oven, mix the Sour Cream and 2 teaspoons of All-Purpose Flour until completely blended; set aside.

Step 8. After 45 minutes, remove the pot from the oven to the stove top and transfer the Chicken to a plate covering with foil to keep hot.

Step 9. Stir ¼ cup of the braising liquid from the pot into the Sour Cream mixture to temper and thin it slightly. Bring the braising liquid to a boil over medium heat. Slowly add the Sour Cream mixture to the braising liquid, whisking until smooth. Turn heat to low and continue whisking for 5 minutes until thickened.

Serve with buttered Kluski style egg noodles, ladling the gravy over the Chicken and noodles.

Adapted from a recipe in The Joy of Cooking

Tips and Trending

~ I use my 8 quart oval Dutch oven for this dish. It’s the perfect size to handle all of the duties required – searing the chicken, preparing the braising liquid and of course the braising and finishing. I can also use the same pot when cooking this for 4 people.

Braised Chicken Paprikash with Kluski Noodles
~ Because of the intense flavors of this dish, I usually serve it with a side of steamed broccoli. The simply cooked vegetable will almost certainly get smothered with the hearty sauce and broccoli has just enough bold flavor of its own to avoid getting lost in the deal.

~ Experiment with the quantity and type of paprika you use. I’ll occasionally replace the Sweet Smoked variety with a Hot Smoked Spanish interloper for an even further departure from the original dish.

~ To serve four persons, don’t double the recipe unless you’re doubling the size of the braising vessel. (You don’t want to boil the chicken in the liquid!)  To increase the quantity of available sauce, which is the integral component in this dish, make these changes:  Double the quantity of red onion and mushrooms; increase the amount of sweet paprika to 2 tablespoons and the chicken stock to 2 cups; use 3 teaspoons of flour in the sour cream mixture. Of course, use 4 chicken breast halves!

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