Here is the classic, authentic, easy to prepare, one of the most famous Hungarian dishes – Chicken Paprikash (Paprikás Csirke). Having tasted and cooked a few versions of the this dish myself, this recipe (below) is the closest to authentic as you can get. You can serve it with rice, pasta or potato, but I recommend to serve it with homemade Spaetzle.
HUNGARIAN CHICKEN PAPRIKASH
about 650 g chicken – drumsticks and thighs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons paprika
1 cup water/chicken stock
2 tablespoons plain flour
1/2 cup sour cream
salt to taste
- Heat a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat until hot, add oil.
- Season the chicken pieces with salt. Then add the chicken to the pan and fry the chicken undisturbed until golden brown on both sides, turning over half way. Transfer the chicken to a bowl.
- Drain the excess oil from the pan, then add the onion, garlic, sauté until it golden and translucent. After about 7 minutes, add paprika and pepper flakes, fry, stirring constantly for 3 more minutes. Add the water or chicken stock, return the chicken pieces back to the pot along with any accumulated juices, season with salt to taste. Continue cooking on a medium heat until the meat falls off the bone, for about 45 minutes or longer if necessary.
- Mix the flour and sour cream into the paste. To avoid the sour cream to split, add some cooking liquid from the chicken a spoonful at a time to the cream mixture and stirring after each addition.
- When the chicken is ready, add the sour cream and flour paste to the pot and stir to combine. Cook until mixture is thick. Do not allow to boil otherwise that sauce will split.
SPAETZLE (HUNGARIAN DUMPLINGS)
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cups water
1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Preferably if you make the spaetlze while you are waiting for chicken to cook, as these dumplings are the best eaten as soon as they are made.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the eggs, water and butter. Stir until the batter is smooth and thick
- Drop batter into boiling water with a spoon, dipping the spoon into the water each time. You can make these larger or smaller as you prefer. Alternatively, you can use a Spaetzle Maker.
- Stir the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, so that the dumplings will rise to the top. After the dumplings rise to the top, let them boil about 2 minutes more.
- Remove to a large colander and drain. If you wish, you can add some olive oil or butter to the dumplings. It is not essential, but I like the taste and it’ll help avoid dumplings sticking together.