In Hungary, Paprikash would be served with nokedli, similar to German spaetzle but pasta or mashed potato works well also.
2 tablespoons (2 1/2 American tablespoons) lard (traditional) or clarified butter
1.8kgs (4lb) organic, free range chicken thighs and drumsticks (bone in for extra flavour)
250g (9oz) onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
500g (18oz) ripe tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
250g (9oz) large red pepper, seeded and diced (approx. 1cm/1/2 inch)
450mls (16fl oz/2 cups) chicken stock
3 tablespoons (4 American tablespoons) sweet Hungarian paprika or 2 tablespoons (2 1/2 American tablespoons) sweet paprika and one of smoked paprika
generous teaspoon of salt, lots of freshly ground black pepper
250g (9oz) tub sour cream (crème fraiche)
50g (2fl oz/1/4 cup) double cream
50-75g (2 – 3oz) Roux (see recipe)
flat leaf parsley, coarsely snipped
Melt the lard or clarified butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Brown the chicken pieces in batches on all sides, transfer to a casserole. Add the diced onion, garlic, tomato and pepper to the frying pan, toss for 2 – 3 minutes, add the paprika, salt and freshly ground black pepper ( careful not to burn the paprika or it will be bitter).
Add to the chicken in the casserole. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock. Stir and bring to the boil to dislodge all the flavour from the pan. Pour into the casserole, bring back to the boil and simmer for 40 -50 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
Strain the liquid off the Paprikash, add the crème fraiche and cream, bring back to the boil thicken with roux to a light coating consistency. Pour over the chicken, return to the boil, taste and correct the seasoning. Scatter with snipped flat leaf parsley and serve with noodles, pasta or mashed potato.
Note: this stew becomes even better when made a day or two ahead and reheats brilliantly.
110g (4oz/1 stick) butter
110g (4oz/1 cup) flour
Melt the butter and cook the flour in it for 2 minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally. Use as required. Roux can be stored in a cool place and used as required or it can be made up on the spot if preferred. It will keep at least a fortnight in a refrigerator.
Chicken stock is really indispensable. For soup making, sauces and gravies it really has no substitute. There are a couple of important rules to remember when making chicken stock and they apply to all stock making. Choose a saucepan that the ingredients fit snugly into. If your saucepan is too big, you will have too much water and as a result will end up with a watery stock that is lacking in flavour. Always pour cold water over the ingredients as the cold water will draw the flavour out of the bones and vegetables as it comes up to the boil. Remember it is the flavoured liquid you are after here so getting the flavour into the liquid is vital. Bring the contents of the pan slowly to the boil and then only allow the stock to simmer gently as it cooks. If it boils, it will loosen solid particles from the meat and vegetables and your stock will taste rather muddy and look cloudy. The ideal result is a sparklingly clear and well flavoured liquid. I prefer not to cover the stock when it is cooking as I feel it can cause the stock to cloud up. A rich and well flavoured chicken stock can be achieved in two hours and I find that cooking the stock for hours on end makes it too strong and the sweet chicken flavour becomes too strong and some of the delicacy is lost. The stock will keep in the fridge for a few days or can be frozen.
2-3 raw or cooked chicken carcasses or a mixture of both
giblets from the chicken, ie neck, heart, gizzard (save the liver for another dish)
3.4 litres (6 pints/15 cups) cold water, approx
1 sliced onion
1 leek, split in two
1 outside stick of celery or 1 lovage leaf
1 sliced carrot
few parsley stalks
sprig of thyme
Chop or break up the carcasses as much as possible. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring slowly up to the boil and skim the fat off the top with a tablespoon. Simmer very gently for 1 1/2 -2 hours, uncovered. Strain and remove any remaining fat. If you need a stronger flavour, boil down the liquid in an open pan to reduce by one-third or one-half the volume. Do not add salt.