Whatever Hungarian stereotypes you’ve been fed in your lifetime, I can almost reassure you that I heard them all. Being partially of Hungarian decent, some of these stereotypes are plausible. At risk of unintentionally offending some of my relatives’ sensibilities (please forgive me), Hungarians are known for their many qualities; some not so sterling but their goulash and various ethnic cuisines that I immensely enjoy often put my stereotypes that I have of them to rest. They sure know how to constructively use paprika. My maternal grandparents (who’ve long passed on) strong Hungarian heritage provided cultural traditions and meals that I was once unfamiliar with. One particular dish seemed to have stood out for me. Melt-in-your-mouth chicken and Hungarian rice smothered in a rich, creamy paprika-spiced sauce. Simple, inexpensive, utilitarian meals meant to fill empty growling bellies.
While Hungarian dishes are not particularly glamorous, I always find them comforting and packed with flavor. In efforts to duplicate her mother’s recipe, my mother served this creamy tender chicken dish and it was one of my favorite chicken dinners I’ve eaten. I made this dish and served it to my hubby. I will definitely be bookmarking this recipe for holidays and other future special occasions. The sour cream tenderizes the chicken as it’s cooking. For a lighter rendition, I suggest using low fat sour cream or cream cheese. I used vegan cream cheese as vegan sour cream is a scarcity where I live. You can even do without the cream altogether if you are trying to watch your waistline.You can exclusively use chicken breasts, thighs, or drumsticks. I used a whole chicken. This comforting winter Hungarian chicken recipe serves well with whole grain rice or whole wheat noodles. This chicken dish can also be prepared and cooked in a slow cooker. This chicken recipe is well worth keeping in your files to make over and over again, and they are make-ahead meals that keep well in the refrigerator for days. Just simply reheat them covered in a low heat oven for 30 minutes.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 3 lbs of whole chicken quartered
- 2 ounces Romanian sausage chopped (optional)
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon of hot/smokey paprika
- 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup of low fat sour cream of your choice
- 1/2 cup of tomato paste
- 2 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons of corn starch
- 2 tablespoons of water
n a large pot, heat 1 teaspoon canola oil. Add kielbasa and cooked until slightly browned all over, about 5 – 7 minutes. Add onions and pepper to skillet and cook until the onion is soft and lightly browned, about 7 more minutes. Remove from heat and add the paprika, ground pepper, garlic and tomato paste. When fully incorporated add broth. Add chicken to the pot, cover and simmer slowly over medium low heat, basting occasionally with the sauce. After 30 minutes, turn chicken pieces over, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 45 minutes more. Remove chicken from the pot. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and tofutti sour cream until smooth. Then add it to the sauce and mix it in. Keep the sauce warm but not boiling.
Yields 6 servings