The Culinary Architect: Quality spice crucial to a good paprikash

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My grandfather’s family came from Hungary.  

Growing up we would eat one of Hungary’s most beloved dishes, Chicken Paprikash.  

The trick to making this dish is the paprika.  

You must buy the freshest, best quality, sweet Hungarian paprika you can find.  

I buy mine at Penzey’s, 213 Glen Cove Road in Carle Place in small quantities, so it is always fresh and flavorful.

Start your meal out with a traditional, easy-to-make potato soup. 

Then, serve the chicken on a bed of noodles and you have a vehicle to soak up all of the flavorful sauce.  

Round out your meal with a store bought strudel and it will seem like a taste of Hungary has come to Long Island.  

“Elvez!”, enjoy in Hungarian.

Menu

Serves 4

Burgonya Leves or 

Potato Soup

Chicken Paprikash

Egg Noodles*

Strudel*

*Recipe Not Given

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Potato Soup

4 cups chicken broth, or 

4 cups of water and 

4 chicken bouillon cubes

4 medium-size potatoes, 

peeled and diced

1 small onion, cut in half

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 stalk of celery, finely 

chopped

1 green pepper, cut into 4

pieces, cored and seeded

2 tblsps. flour

2 tblsps. cold water

3 tblsps. sour cream

1.  Bring the broth to the boiling point in the saucepan and add the potatoes, onion, carrot, celery and green pepper.  Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes after the soup has returned to the boiling point.  Discard the onion and green pepper.

2.  Mix together the flour and water, to form a paste.  With a spatula, slowly stir in the sour cream and add this mixture to the hot soup.

3.  Simmer the soup for another 5 minutes, or until it has slightly thickened, Do NOT BOIL or it will curdle and serve in warm bowls.

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Chicken Paprikash

3 chicken drumstricks and 

thighs separated

1/2 tsp. salt 

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 tblsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced thin

1 large pepper, chopped

1/4 cup sweet Hungarian 

paprika

1 cup chicken stock

1/2  tsp. salt

1/2  cup sour cream

1 tblsp. Wondra flour

1.  Use paper towels to thoroughly dry the chicken.  You want the chicken to be as dry as much as possible, so that it will brown.

2.  Sprinkle the chicken evenly with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.

3.  Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat until hot.  Add the olive oil, swirl to coat the pan, and then add the chicken in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.  If all of the chicken does not fit in your pan, divide chicken into two batches.

Leave the chicken undisturbed until golden brown on one side (5-7 minutes) and then flip them over and brown the other side.  Repeat with the rest of the chicken, if necessary.

4.  Transfer the chicken to a bowl and then add the onions and peppers.  Cover with a lid and let the vegetables steam for 10 minutes.

5.  Remove the lid and saute until the onions are golden brown.

6.  Add the paprika and fry, stirring constantly until the paprika

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