I’ve made Chicken Paprika before, and it was as big a hit as it was fairly simple to toss together… but the canned tomato soup bit always kinda nagged at me.
Didn’t stop me from making it, just kinda picked, picked, picked…
Then, I came across this recipe for Chicken Paprikas – which called for using both sweet AND hot Hungarian paprika. Well, I had my everyday paprika, and some lovely smoked Spanish hot that I thought might do.
Thing is, I reversed the amounts called for; using 3 tablespoons of the hot Spanish number and 2 teaspoons of the everyday.
WooHoo! That made things a bit nippy!
Fortunately, I had a container of fresh-from-Vermont crème fraîche on hand, which I used in addition to the sour cream. The higher fat content of the CF allows it to be simmered, boiled a bit, even, without separating as does sour cream – but it is also sweeter tasting, so I normally miss the sour cream bite if I just use CF. This time, tho’, that sweetness worked a treat to cut the worst of the heat, and adding a bit of sour cream at the table gave me that hit I was looking for.
•1-1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
•3 tbsp smoked hot Spanish paprika
•2 tsp paprika
•1 tsp seasoned salt
•1 tbsp bacon fat
•2 tbsp unsalted butter
•2 cups chopped yellow onion
•2 tsp garlic, minced
•1 can, 8 oz, tomato sauce
•2 cups chicken stock
•3/4 to 1 cup crème fraîche
• 2 cans, 4 oz ea., sliced ‘shrooms, drained
-feel free to use fresh, but sauté first
•1 bay leaf
•Sour cream, for serving
Toss the chicken with 2 tbsp of the Spanish paprika, 1 tsp regular paprika, and 1 tsp of the seasoned salt and set aside.
Melt the butter and the bacon fat in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.
Add the onion and the remaining paprikas and salt, and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and continue cooking and stirring for 30 seconds more.
Add the chicken and cook for 4 minutes, still stirring, then stir in the tomato sauce and cook for 1 minute more.
Add chicken stock to cover, and the bay leaf, and bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 25 minutes, adding more stock if needs be.
Uncover, stir in the ‘shrooms and the crème fraîche and warm through. If the sauce seems a bit runny, go ahead and simmer to reduce it a bit, the CF can take it.
We had ours over buttered noodles with poppy seeds, and, of course, with a dollop of sour cream on top to add that bit of a nip I so like.
By the way, if you can’t find Crème Fraîche at your local market – or you can, but it is just stoopidly expensive – here’s how you can make your own at home. It won’t be quite as thick as commercial, and it’s still not cheap, but it’s not $5 or $6 for a small container, and it’ll work just as well.