Saturday, April 25, 2009

Waiter, there is too much pepper in my paprikash...

I love When Harry Met Sally. I've seen it approximately a million times and had fun imitating Billy Crystal imitating some eastern European fellow talking about paprikash and pecan pies many more times than that. One thing I have never done, however, was actually eat paprikash. Until this week.

Turns out this stuff is good. Really, really good. It's also easy and very nutrient dense. What more could you want in a dinner? And you get to talk like Billy Crystal all night... "have fun storming the castle!"

Chicken Paprikash

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced (or equivalent dark meat, or chicken pieces)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, plus some olive oil plus some bacon grease
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 oz of mushrooms, sliced (could be replaced with green bell pepper or omitted)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 to 1 cup sour cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons of paprika*
  • salt and pepper

Sautee the onions and mushrooms in butter, seaonsed lightly with salt and pepper, until well cooked but not too browned. Remove from pan and cook the chicken in more butter along with the garlic. (If I had had skin-on pieces of chicken I would have reversed the order of cooking here) Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper and paprika. Cook until the paprika is well blended into the fat and getting fragrant.

Add the vegetables back into the pan of chicken and add the chicken broth. Bring to boil and then drop to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through (this took just a minute or two with sliced boneless breast, it would take considerably longer with bone in pieces. Add more broth or water if you will be simmering for a longer time).
Lower the heat and stir in the sour cream. Let the mixture heat until it is warm, but do not boil or the cream sauce may break. Taste for seasoning, adjust salt and pepper and serve over butter noodles, spaetzle or rice.

* I only had cheap paprika in the house so I upped the flavor with the addition of some hotter ground pepper. I used approximately 2 teaspoons out of the 3 tablespoons of Ancho, New Mexico and Chipotle chile powders. So that's about 1 tsp New Mexico chile, 1/2 tsp Ancho, 1/2 tsp Chipotle and 2 tbs plus 1 tsp paprika. If you use good quality paprika you will get more flavor out of it so can reduce or eliminate the hotter chiles. I liked the little bit of a kick.


  1. Ooooh, yuuuum! Now I have a HUGE craving for chicken paprikash! I'm gonna have to make some!