Whenever I think of paprika, I think of Hungarian dishes. I know it’s pretty stereotypical of me but I can’t help it. Goulash heavily spiced with paprika comes to my mind when I think of Hungarian cuisine. It just comes to show you how little I know about Hungarian food. Although I do happen to like goulash, I’m sure there is more to Hungarian food than goulash. Paprika is commonly used in many Hungarian dishes. This spice is a red made from grinding dried sweet red peppers; used as a garnish and seasoning. The color varies from bright orange-red to deep red, depending on the peppers used. Most commercial paprika comes from Spain, South America, California and Hungary. Hungarian paprika is thought to be the finest, and will be labeled as from the Szeged region. In Hungary there are six classes or types of paprika ranging from delicate to hot. To maintain the stronger taste that consumers expect, some spice companies add cayenne to heat up Hungarian paprika. Paprika is often used in meat/poultry dishes and certain vegetable side dishes.
Aside from goulash, chicken paprikash is one Hungary’s most famous dishes. It is a one-pot classic dish combines five key Hungarian ingredients such as onions, green peppers, tomatoes, paprika and sour cream. The recipe can be pulled together quickly, especially if the vegetables are prepped the night before. I’ve decided to replicate a low fat version and exclusively use red bell peppers. I omitted the sour cream. Even though it adds creaminess to the chicken, do you need the extra calories and fat? I’m sure you can find low-fat variations. You can even use the non-dairy version or plain tofutti cream cheese. I contemplated about throwing in some crushed pistachios as red bell peppers and pistachios make a wonderful combination. I canceled that idea due to hubby’s nut allergy but it’s an option to consider. I absolutely love one-pot meals. They are easy to prepare and not as time consuming. This dish is perfect for a busy night or Passover meal. This dish serves well with potatoes or pasta
For this recipe, you will need:
- 3 lbs of whole chicken cut up
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 3 red bell peppers seeded and chopped
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of paprika
- Salt and pepper for taste
- Crushed pistachios (optional)
Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet with a lid. Add onion and saute over low heat until translucent. Add chicken pieces and brown lightly on both sides. Add red peppers, crushed tomatoes, garlic and paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 35 minutes or until chicken is tender (about 20 minutes if using only chicken breasts). Remove chicken to a heated platter and keep warm. In a small bowl, mix sour cream with flour. Temper mixture with some of the pan juices. Return tempered sour cream mixture to pan and simmer until juices are thickened. Return chicken to pan to rewarm. Sprinkle some crushed pistachios ontop and serve.
Yields 4-6 servings