Romanian Chicken Paprikash

>> Friday, May 27, 2016

Romanian Chicken Paprikash

This gorgeous dish comes from Joe's high school friend Pam Friel Swan, who learned it from her mother-in-law. When she sent it to us, she labeled it Marie's Puppedykash. We are still trying to find out what puppedykash means; Joe wonders if it's a way of saying the meal in Romanian, and I'm guessing it was how kids pronounced it and it stuck. For example, my daughter Jenn used to call muffins "nuppins"; the silly middle-schooler in me is still tempted to call beef stroganoff "beef strokin-off".

I'm so sorry I said that. Should I have kept that between me and Joe? Yes, a silly eighth-grader's humor pops into my mind at awkward times. Most of the time I'm able to keep it from popping right out my mouth, but I thought maybe you ought to get to know me a little better. :)

So, chicken paprikash. This is one of Hungary's signature dishes, along with goulash. But many other Slavic countries in Eastern Europe have a similar dish, and this particular one is more like a Romanian preparation than a Hungarian one. Who wouldn't love a nice cut-up chicken simmered with vegetables and paprika and broth, then finished in a velvety sour cream sauce?

Countries with Slavic roots, as of 2009
These Central and Eastern European countries have Slavic roots.

Now you get a mental image of those Central and Eastern European countries - which I've heard are stunningly beautiful, inexpensive to visit, and friendly to strangers - aren't you in the mood to whip up something authentic that those immigrants brought with them to America? This supper is wonderfully hands-off: 15 minutes on the front end, about an hour of cooking, and then sauce prep at the end. You can very easily convert this to all all-day crock pot recipe and mix up the sour cream at the end so it doesn't curdle.

We served this with basic German spaeztle noodles, but Joe's friend recommends serving "with thick crusty bread. We use French or Italian, or some kind of thick peasant-y type bread." Soak up every last bit of this luscious gravy. This is also a great recipe for a crowd; you can make it a day in advance and I promise you the flavors will be even better on Day 2.

Chicken Leg quarters in sweet paprika broth


2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
1 cup onions, chopped
2 tbsp Hungarian Paprika – Marie uses half regular and half hot
8 pieces of skinless chicken – We use chicken leg quarters, but Marie uses 6 boneless breasts and thighs
48 oz. chicken stock
16 oz sour cream (We use low-fat sour cream)
¾ cup flour


Melt the butter and oil in a very large pan. Add the onions and paprika to the butter. Cook until the onions are soft. Add the chicken and brown on each side. Add the chicken stock and simmer on low for 60-90 minutes - or cook all day in a slow cooker on low heat. Remove the chicken and onions and set aside. Pour the remaining broth into a separate bowl.

Whisk together the warm water and flour. Pour into the pan, turn the heat on low, then add the sour cream to the flour mixture and fold it in; keeping it warm but not simmering.

Use a large soup ladle to add the hot pan juice to the sour cream mixture, one ladle at a time, whisking it to prevent it from curdling (this is much easier with 2 people, one ladling and one whisking). Once all of the mixture is incorporated, return it to the pan and add the chicken and onions back in. Heat for about 30 minutes more to temperature but don’t boil.

Serves 6-8.

Romanian Chicken Paprikash


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