No mater how many incredibly scenic drives I experience around the world, there's always one…
I still dream about this rendition of chicken paprikash.
I love visiting markets when I travel, and Budapest’s Grand Central Market is one of the best. From fresh produce and meats, seafood, pickles and spices, they have everything one would need to create a delicious meal from scratch.
Of course, you can’t cook a meal in your hotel room. And that’s where Chef Marti comes in. In 2015, Marti traded in her chef’s whites to create Kitchen Pixie, a cooking school and brand based in Budapest. She took me shopping at the market, where we bought all the ingredients for chicken paprikash. Then, we ventured to her kitchen and cooked the dish from scratch. It was so fun to explore the market through a chef’s eyes, and even better to learn a new recipe. Here’s her version of chicken paprikash.
Chicken Paprikash with Dumplings
Serves 4 people
Preparing time: 60 – 70 min
6-8 pieces of chicken (4 legs, breast cut into 4 equal pieces)
1 medium yellow onion
3 tsp sweet red paprika powder
3-4 sweet yellow peppers (Hungarian if you can find them)
5 oz cooking cream (or sour cream + 1 tbsp flour)
2 tbsp goose fat (or chicken fat, duck fat or vegetable oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp of parsley to garnish
Peel the onion and chop it into small dices (finely). Cut the yellow peppers and tomatoes into medium cubes. Wash the chicken pieces, cut the breast into 4 equal pieces.
Sauté the finely chopped onions in the fat until glossy. Remove it from the fire and stir in the sweet red paprika powder. Season it with salt and pepper. Mix it well and add a touch of water (1/4 cup). Always refill with some water if it is getting dry.
Add the chicken pieces and return the pan to the stove. When the chicken pieces become white, add the yellow peppers and tomatoes. Stir them. Put the lid on, reduce the heat and simmer the chicken until tender (in about 40 minutes). If needed, add some water to it, but never too much, only not to burn chicken.
Cook until the chicken is soft. Take the meat out of the sauce and pour the cooking cream to the sauce. Stir them and check the taste again. Cook it until boiling and than finish the cooking. Use the hand-blender and mix the sauce until homogeneous. Pour the sauce on the top of the chicken pieces.
If you prefer the traditional way:
Using a bowl, mix flour into the sour cream (or cooking cream). Stir until smooth. Take some of the gravy, mix it to the sour cream (or cooking cream) mixture and repeat it 2 times, until homogeneous.
Add the sour cream mixture to the sauce, mix it well and simmer it for 7-8 minutes more.
For the dumplings:
1 cup all-purpose wheat flour
5-6 ounces water
A pinch of salt
1 tbsp oil
Water for cooking
In a deep bowl mix flour, salt, eggs and water. Bring 4-5 liters water to boil in a large pot (for tiny dumplings to cook) and add 1 tsp salt to hot water. Form little dumplings from the batter with a teaspoon + cutting board (easier if you have a Spätzle maker) and cook them in boiling water. When the dumpling rises to the surface (about 2 minutes only), drain and rinse with cold water. Add 1 tbsp oil and mix well.