Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Paprikás Csirke Nokedlivel - Chicken Paprikash with Nokedli

Chicken Paprikash, or Paprikás Csirke (paprikás =paprika, csirke=chicken) is a classic Hungarian dish, where chicken is cooked in a creamy, paprika-based stew, then served over nokedli, boiled egg dumplings much like German spätzle.

Apparently, chicken paprikash is a somewhat common Southern dish, though I never had it growing up. In fact, the first time I tried it was while visiting Cleveland, where Hungarian cuisine is
MUCH more prevalent. The dish was SO full of flavor, and I've wanted to prepare it for myself ever since. 

The nokedli really make this dish, in my opinion, but you can always skip the step of making it yourself and simply use spätzle or even gnocchi in a pinch. Some people even serve paprikash atop egg noodles, rice or even mashed potatoes!

Paprikás Csirke Nokedlivel - Chicken Paprikash with Nokedli

adapted from A Full Measure of Happiness

Chicken Paprikash:
2 lbs skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces, preferably thighs and/or drumsticks
2-3 Tbsp Hungarian SWEET paprika
Salt & pepper
2-3 Tbsp unsalted butter or lard
1 large yellow onion, sliced (Vidalias are now in season here, so I used those instead)
4-6 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 - 3/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
8 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 - 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Prepare the Paprikash: Generously season the chicken with the paprika, salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; once hot, add the chicken and brown in a single layer for 4-5 minutes, before turning and browning for 2-3 minutes.

Cover with the sliced onion.

Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions soften. Add the chicken broth, using just enough to cover the chicken and onions. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and falls from the bone.

Remove the chicken and set aside to cool.

Add the flour to a small bowl. Slowly whisk spoonfuls of the hot paprikash broth into the flour and stir until a thick paste forms. Add more broth, stirring, until the paste thins into a slurry. Stir back into the pot.

Once the chicken has cooled enough to be handled, remove all of the meat and discard the skin, bones, cartilage, etc. Return the chicken to the pot, cover, and remove from the heat.

Prepare the Nokedli: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, salt and baking powder.

Slowly add in the flour, mixing constantly, until the batter has the consistency of thick pancake batter and a few lumps still remain.

Drop spoonfuls of the batter in batches into the boiling water; they will float to the top. Let cook for about 3-4 minutes or until done - they should be chewy but not doughy. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and drain.

Add the sour cream (or yogurt) to the slightly cooled paprikash. Stir gently to combine, then serve atop the nokedli.  Garnish with additional paprika.

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