Tuesday, January 1, 2013
(Originally posted 30 March, 2010. Updated today. No new pictures yet...)
Once upon a time I dated a man whose ancient Hungarian father cooked the first paprikash I had ever tasted. I loved the stew, even though there was no love lost between me and the misogynist dad.
The rich red sauce that accompanies the tender chicken seems to possess restorative super powers.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes (or 2 small dried chiles)*
4-6 pieces chicken (I generally use thighs, but any brown meat is fine)
4 cloves of garlic, squashed and chopped
1 small can of tomatoes with juice, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, scraped and cut into rough lengths (yield is about 2 cups)
2 medium-large potatoes, peeled and cut up into chunks
2 teaspoons sumac (or half a lemon's juice)
2 bay leaves
6 long fresh sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried summer savoury
salt and pepper
Water. Or wine, white.
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (if you're using water, not wine)
In a deep pot with lid, saute onions in the oil till translucent. Add tomato paste, paprika and chile flakes (*if you like less spice use a whole chile and leave it intact), stir and toast lightly. After a minute add the chicken, garlic, tomatoes, carrot, sumac, chile and herbs and cover with water or wine. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered. Add potatoes after an hour. Add the lime juice now if you used water. Cook another half hour till potatoes are done and chicken is falling-apart tender. About one-and-a-half hours. Remove the lid and increase the heat to a boil if you'd like the sauce to reduce and concentrate the flavour a little.
Another version could be cooked in the oven: more browning and caramelization that way.
Either way, taste every now and then for seasoning.
Serve with buttered rice (or spatzle) and sour cream.
Or just as is. With a spoon.
And bread for wiping the bowl.