Chicken Paprikas a la City Cousin

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You have seen recipes for Fran’s Chicken Paprikash and my “quick” Chicken Paprikash.  Now, its time for the City Cousin version of the real thing.  This is similar to Fran’s version but not exactly the same.  Over the years I have learned that, although basically the same, there is quite of variety of the same recipe, each one a little different from the next.  One that I recently saw even called for pressure-cooked chicken.  At any rate, if nothing else, this points out that recipes need not be followed exactly, unless you’re baking.  So, if you want to substitute, substitute.  If you want to add something, add it.  If you don’t want to use it, don’t.  Although, in this particular instance, I would not recommend omitting the Paprika but feel free to use hot Paprika if you like things a little spicy.  You will need

Chicken pieces – I used 6 thighs (bone in, skin on) and 2 boneless, skinless breasts, split – I think bone-in tastes best, but, in my house, its boneless, skinless breasts (figure 1 or 2 pieces per person)
2 cups ± chopped onions (I use the frozen ones already chopped)
¼ cup ± Hungarian paprika (Sweet or Hot, dealers choice – Fran grows and grinds her own)
Salt and pepper
Dumplings (I use any pasta that has ridges or crevices to hold sauce – Fran makes her own)
2 cups sour cream
Oil for browning chicken

sauteed onions

 

 

 

Lightly saute the onions in a few tablespoons of oil.  Remove them from the pan and set aside.  This will help flavor the oil used for browning the chicken and later, the sauce.   If you leave them in while you brown the chicken, they will burn.

season chicken

 

Season the chicken pieces lightly with salt and pepper and generously with paprika.  After all, that is the heart of the dish.  Place the chicken pieces in an oiled, preheated skillet ( medium to medium-high heat), seasoned side down.  Season the second side (now the top) of the pieces.  Six to eight minutes per side should do it.  After all, at this point, the chicken does not need to be cooked through.

paprikaed chicken

 

 

Depending on how much chicken you are using, you may have to brown the pieces in batches based on how many pieces fit in the skillet.  Just place the browned pieces on a plate or platter and tent loosely with foil.  If your chicken looks like the chicken in this picture, you are on the right track.  It is not burnt.  The paprika is, as the TV chefs like to say, “carmelized”.

simmer chicken

After all the pieces are browned/carmelized, remove them from the pan and pour off any remaining oil but do not  wipe out the pan.  All those little morsels on the bottom of the pan contain wonderful flavor.  Return the onions to the pan, return the chicken pieces to the pan and almost cover with water (or you can use chicken stock).  Cover and simmer for about an hour, or until the chicken is tender (fork or knife tip in and out with no resistance).  While the chicken is simmering, prepare your pasta according to package directions.  When the chicken is done, remove it from pan.  Add the sour cream and mix well to blend.  Return the chicken to the pan and allow to heat through.  Serve the chicken over pasta or dumplings, add sauce and get ready to say “yummmmm”.

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