Hello and happy hump day! I’m on the tail end of my trip out here to California — trip recap coming soon! — and I thought I would share my version of chicken paprikash with you! Its a quick dish that you can whip up during the week and it makes great leftovers as well. I paired the chicken with some saffron rice, because I liked the yellow color of the rice with the rosy paprika hue of the chicken dish, but you can also use butter noodles, regular rice, bulgar, or barley — pretty much anything works with this dish!
Chicken paprikash or paprika chicken is a popular dish of Hungarian origin and one of the most famous variations on the paprikash preparations common to Hungarian tables. The name is derived from the ample use of paprika, a spice commonly used in Hungarian cuisine. The meat is typically simmered for an extended period in a sauce that begins with a paprika-infused roux. [source]
Now, for mine, I wanted a quick 30 minute meal so I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs and simmered them in my paprika sauce for about 20 minutes. I ended up cutting mine into bite-sized pieces, but you could also leave the thighs whole.
As for the sauce, the dish is named after the use of the paprika, but its not just any paprika. You want to make sure that you are using sweet paprika — as smoked paprika would be too overpowering for this dish. If you can find Hungarian Sweet Paprika, I think that would be best, but normal sweet paprika is acceptable. 🙂
As for the rice, you can certainly make your own saffron rice (I’ll put that on my to-do list) but I used a package rice that cooked in about 20minutes on the stove top. 20 minutes for the chicken to simmer, 20 minutes for the rice to cook — perfect! That leaves 10 minutes of prep!
I used fairly traditional ingredients in this dish, however I did add some frozen butternut squash, a) for the color, b) for the texture and c) because I needed to use it. ha! I love just throwing random ingredients on sometimes and see how it turns out. So you could use almost anything in this dish and call it a paprikash — if you use paprika that is. 🙂
Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and enjoy! See ya next time.
Chicken Paprikash & Saffron Rice
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow or Spanish onion peeled and diced
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper seeded and diced
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika sweet or hot, or a combination
- 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes or 1 large ripe tomato chopped
- 2 Cups Butternut Squash cubed
- 1-2 cup chicken broth low-sodium
- 1 Package Saffron Rice
- Sour cream Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Season the chicken aggressively with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large, heavy, oven-safe sauté pan or Dutch oven set over high flame, until the butter is foaming. Sear the chicken thighs in batches,until it is golden and crisp, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Then turn the chicken over, and repeat on the other side, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate to rest.
- Pour off all but a tablespoon or 2 of the accumulated fat in the pot. Return the pot to the stove, over medium heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently with a spoon to scrape off any browned bits of chicken skin, until the onion has softened and gone translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper, and stir again, cooking it until it has softened, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the paprika and the flour, and stir well to combine, then cook until the mixture is fragrant and the taste of the flour has been cooked out, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and broth, whisk until smooth and then nestle the chicken back in the pan along with the butternut squash. Reduce heat to low and cover and cook until the chicken has cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly, approximately 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook rice according to instructions on package -- once rice is cooked, fluff with a fork and set off to the side.
- Using kitchen shears, cut chick into bite-size pieces and return to the pan. Serve chicken on top of the rice, add the sour cream as desired and enjoy!