Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chicken Paprika

This recipe is in regular rotation at our house. Chicken Paprika is pur comfort food! Chicken, mushrooms, dill, smoky paprika and sour cream make a gooey, delicious sauce to pour over egg noodles. I have wanted to post this recipe for a long time, but honestly it doesn't photograph well. The pinky gray sauce just isn't that appetizing to look at - especially in a tan bowl. This time I did most of the photographing before adding the sour cream. Honestly, it tasted great without the dairy, so if you are dairy adverse you could easily leave it out.

I highly recommend using chicken thighs for this recipe. I think dark meat is generally more flavorful and are less expensive. I peel the skin off before cooking to lower the fat content of the finished dish, but I leave in the bone. I have met people who won't eat meat that is on a bone. This concerns me. Seriously, if you can't handle the reality of a bone in your meat, maybe you shouldn't be eating meat. That said, thin cut pork chops or the ubiquitous skinless, boneless chicken breast would do well in this recipe.

While I am food venting, I recommend using full-or-lowfat sour cream to finish this dish. Nonfat yogurts and sour creams have stabilizers and gelatins in them. They aren't great for cooking because they will separate and look curdled. Really, for a dozen or so more calories per serving you can have a less processed food that tastes better. I think it is worth it.

Chicken Paprika (adapted from Food to Live By)

4 - 6 chicken thighs, skin removed
2 lbs chopped button mushrooms
1 onion sliced
1 bay leaf
 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
4-5 tablespoons fresh dill, or 2-3 tablespoons dried dill
1/2 cup water or chicken stock
black pepper and salt
1 pint lowfat sour cream
1 package egg noodles (to continue food whining I tried the whole wheat version. Don't do it, they are grainy and gross!)

1. Heat a large pan, with 1-2 inch sides, over medium heat. When hot add chicken thighs. Brown one side for about 5 minutes or until it easily releases from the pan.
1.A Put a large pot of pasta water on the stove.
2. Flip chicken and add onions and mushrooms. Cover pan and let cook another 5 minutes.
3. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, black pepper and salt. Add 1/ 2 cup water or stock. Cover and cook 20 minute, or until chicken is cooked through.
4. Turn heat down to low add dill and stir in sour cream. Cover and let warm while you cook pasta.
5. To serve, add noodles to a bowl. Spoon chicken and sauce over the top. To make it prettier, sprinkle with more paprika and dill.

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