Wish Upon A Dish: Chicken Paprikash & Apple Tartlettes

October 22, 2010

Chicken Paprikash & Apple Tartlettes

Chicken Paprikash is probably on the same level as Chicken Cacciatore or Chicken Parmesan and for that matter, any other slow braised meat dish....each one is personal, depending on how Grandma or Mom cooked it. Every family has their own rendition.

I love that in a recipe.

Sometimes it is the difference between canned whole tomatoes or tomato puree, smoked paprika or sweet paprika or both, and braised in the oven or on top of the stove. Doesn't matter as long as it tastes good. I have never made a Paprikash of any kind. Research tells me it is usually made with veal stew meat or chicken, but sometimes you can use fish.

Interesting. All white meat.

Now, a little history:
Columbus brought it back to Europe from his epic voyage to the New World.
It grew well in the sunny climate of the Iberian Peninsula and was soon to be found in every stew pot in the land. Nowhere was it received with more delight than in Hungary where the Turks planted the seed along the Danube.

The key is to use very good paprika. A foodie friend was generous enough to send me a foil package of the most wonderful sweet paprika I could ever wish for. Just opening the package surrounded me with a scent the way basil does when you stroke it's leaves. It envelopes you and follows you for quite some time. The package information was in Hungarian Magyar (I am assuming since that is the official language of Hungary) so you know it is authentic.

I only hope I can do the dish proud.

I am also going to make Spaetzle, I believe Lidia has a recipe for whole wheat spaetzle I will try. I know flat noodles are traditional but I love spaetzle.

My Mothers family was Swedish and German and Grandma cooked German foods all the time. Her best was Sauerbraten and potato dumplings for which I wish I had gotten her recipe. I will ask my Uncle if he inherited her recipe box.

I love spaetzle so much I bought a special spaetzle maker.

I found 2 recipes that are so different I went to my Old World Kitchen cookbook to see which is the closest to traditional.

Chicken Paprikash (Paprikas Csirke)
* 3.5-4.5 pounds chicken leg quarters (you definitely want something on the bone)
* 2 Tbsp butter spread
* 3 cups very thinly sliced onions (pref white)
* 5 strips each red & green peppers
* 1/4 cup sweet Hungarian paprika (see note above)
* 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
* 1.5 cups water
* 1 Tbsp minced garlic
* 1 large bay leaf
* 1-1.5 cup creme fraiche (use lite sour cream if creme fraiche is not avail)
* salt & pepper

Basic directions:
Brown seasoned chicken pieces on all sides, remove to platter.
Saute onion, garlic until softened. Add flour.
Add water to make a roux (you do not need broth because the chicken and water will make a broth)
Bay leaf and paprika go in next along with the chicken.
Bake in the oven for 90 minutes or simmer on the stove for same.
Remove chicken to warmed serving platter and off heat, add sour cream or creme fraiche (do not add yogurt it will separate).

Simple and basic with good ingredients you do not need anything else.

* 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
* 2 eggs
* 1/4 cup milk

In a large bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, flour, and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Mix the wet into the dry and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. It will be about the consistency of a boxed cake dough.

If you do not have a spaetzle maker you can use a large holed strainer and I am trying a theory of mine.
I save all my squeeze bottles, from syrup to ketchup and I store dessert sauces in them and pancake mix in another and flavored oils in a few. The bottle that has the pancake mix in it has the largest hole in the top. I think I can squeeze the mixture at a constant drip that when it falls into the simmering water it will form very nice long spaetzle instead of drops that sometimes get made. I will take a pic of both so you can decide. If you haven't ever made spaetzle you have too. Kids love them. Just heat them in some browned butter and you have a winner. Add them to soups, they can be frozen in 1 cup servings. Probably the easiest (besides drop dumplings) of fresh noodles you could make.

Remember, fresh noodles are the best pasta a Diabetic can consume. Eat them with no guilt.

For a veggie, I would saute carrots or brussels sprouts. I am making caramelized brussel sprouts.

With the 2nd refrigerated pie crust I cut out 4 circles to fit my tartlette pans and filled them with sliced Crispin apples. Sprinkled Splenda and cinnamon on top, then 3 dabs of butter on each. Baked at 350F for 30 minutes. Dollop Cool Whip Free and that is what we are having for dessert tonight.

This recipe was the easiest and quickest way to make a perfect bite after all the comfort food we had for dinner.

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