Thursday, July 12, 2012

paprika chicken

When I first picked up this cookbook in a used bookstore and eagerly began flipping through the pages of enticing recipes - ambitiously dreaming up my mental checklist of all the ones I would make - this dish immediately caught my attention...for a number of reasons. First, I love Hungarian paprika. There's just something about that smokey-sweet pepper combo that adds such a dynamic flavor to even the most basic chicken dish. Second, it's a super healthy meal. It is no secret that I adore the excuse to make rich, elaborate desserts for any and every occasion, special or not. When cooking for myself, though, I'm pretty strict about sticking with a nutritious diet. (You know, to balance out all the cake and cookies from said occasions.) This dish perfectly suited that profile - low in fat but loaded with flavor.

Simple, quick, and guilt-free. Now that is what I call the perfect weeknight dinner.

Paprika Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt
extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, partially drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp all-purpose flour or corn starch, stirred together with 1 tbsp water
2 tsp sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

In a large bowl, add 1/4 cup of salt to 2 quarts of cold water, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Add the chicken breasts to the brine solution and allow to soak for 30-60 minutes.

Rinse the chicken off and pat dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife, cut each breast into one-inch pieces. Set aside.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika and stir for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and broth, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon as you stir. Add the chicken pieces, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer, stirring every few minutes, until the chicken is just cooked through, 5-10 minutes. Combine the flour or cornstarch mixture in a separate bowl and add it into the sauce. Simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened,, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt, and stir in the sour cream or yogurt.

Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over rice or egg noddles.

Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook


  1. This was our dinner tonight ... very yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)

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