Ir’s hard to believe that school’s already out…(or at least what was supposed to be school and probably wasn’t because of all this coronavirus crap).
Soon we’ll be cranking up our grills for the 4th of July…assuming that you haven’t already been cranking out great ribs, chicken, and pork chops already.
And of course you want all of these grilling efforts to be well worthwhile.
So why not try a dry rub to make your grilled food even greater?!
A dry rub is a mixture of dried herbs and spices that is rubbed on the outside of meat before cooking it….in order to help seal in the moisture the moisture of the meat by coating the outside of the meat and also to make the meat flavorful.
If you’re a seasoned grill master, you most likely have your own preference as to which spices should go into your dry rub—spices such as salt, black pepper, chili powder, ground white pepper, onion powder, oregano, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and red chili flakes and honestly any these spices are great.
The spices that you use ultimately will depend on personal prefererence.
But I’m not one to experiment on my own. Everything I cook, I cook using a recipe…even stupidly easy things like French toast and scrambled eggs.
The following dry rub is the perfect combination of fresh herbs, sweet honey, mustard, and paprika….and offers the perfect blend on sweetness, smokiness, and spiciness….regardless as to whether you’re cooking in the oven, smoker or on your grill.
Chicken Paprikash is one of the most famous and beloved of all Hungarian dishes.
The perfect chicken paprikash consists of tender, juicy chicken in an unforgettably rich, flavorful and creamy paprika-infused sauce…served over perfectly hot buttered egg noodles…a very simple but incredibly flavorful dish.
The perfect Chicken Paprikash will warm your home with its spirit-lifting aroma.
Chicken Paprikash is to Hungarians as chicken and dumplings are to those of us brought up in the Deep South…
(well, not quite…after all, have you ever tasted MY mom’s Chicken and Dumplins…if not, drop in on her any time and tell her that I sent you…she never forgets to keep the light on.)
any other kitchen experiment, it is important to choose the highest quality ingredients you can find…,quality chicken, quality chicken broth, and quality sour cream.
Also feel free to experiment with different spices and veggies until you find exactly what you like best.
3-4# bone-in, skin-on chicken…any type will work…such as 6 large or 8 small thighs…or 12 drumsticks.
Use drumsticks or thighs instead of chicken breasts. Chicken breasts will become dry and mealy if cooked for the longer cooking times required in cooking soups and stews.
Also uaing bone-in skin-on chicken will add more flavor to the sauce and keep the chicken moist and juicy.
1/2tsp black pepper
The fact that paprika is very important in this dish should be a no-brainer because the name of the dish is chicken paprika-ish.
But in order to make the perfect chicken paprikash, it is important that youu use the perfect paprika.
One good source of the perfect Hungarian paprika is Amazon,…(gee, isn’t that a good source of just about anything..hope my husband doesn’t realize just exactly how many things I have added to my cart during this whole hiberation thing)…
Paprika lose its flavor over time. Be sure to check the date. Don’t like me and find spices that have been out of date for the last seven years when we moved recently.
Sweet or hot Hungarian paprika if you can find them, even though you can get by with using the cheap paprika at Walmart.
2medium yellow onions, very finely chopped
3cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1C canned crushed tomatoes
1Hungarian bell pepper, diced
1Tbsp olive oil
1C chicken broth
Preheat oven to 300°.
Take sour cream out of fridge so that it can come to room temperature. It is important that the sour cream is at room temperature when you add it to the dish because this will help it blend more smoothly into the hot tomato sauce..instead of separating and giving the sauce a curdled look.
Cook the Chicken
Browning the chicken first increases the flavor of the final dish….so don’t skip this step. To do this…
Season the chicken aggressively with salt and pepper.
Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat.
Add 1Tbsp butter. Let melt.
Pat chicken pieces dry with paper towels….removing any moisture from the surface of the chicken is essential for getting it to brown.
Place chicken skin-side down in the pan, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
Cook about five minutes per side.
The chicken is cooked through whenever it reaches 165°F on a meat thermometer,…or if the juices run clear, instead of pink, when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a knife.
Remove chicken onto a plate.
Cook the Onions
Peel and slice the onions.
Add the sliced onions to the pan.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cook them, stirring often, for about seven minutes, until lightly browned,
Scrape up any browned bits from the chicken as you are cooking the onions so that you can dissolve browned bits on bottom of skillet.
Finish the Sauce
Stir in the paprika, salt and pepper. Stir just until the veggies are evenly coated and spices…about thirty seconds.
Be careful not to burn it This is very easy to do, Burnt papfrika will make your sauce taste bitter.
Add garlic and tomatoes to pan
Saute for two or three minutes. This helps the spice release its full bouquet of aroma.
Pour chicken stock into skillet
Return chicken back to the pan
Simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Add the Sour Cream
Stir the flour into the sour cream until it forms a smooth paste. …free of lumps. This creates a roux that will help make the sauce thicker.
First temper this mixture by slowly stirring some of the hot cooking liquid into the roux until it is warm, before adding it to the pot.
Stir the cream mixture into the sauce, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
Do not add the sour cream to the paprikash if the sour cream is still cold…this will make the hot sauce curdle,
Bring it to a simmer for a couple of minutes until the sauce is thickened.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
If the sauce seems like it is going to curdle, turn the heat back on just enough to warm it through.
Add the chicken back to the pan.
Coat with the sauce.
The paprika chicken is done when the sauce has thickened.
Hungarians typically serve their chicken paptrikash with nokedli, which is similar to German Spaetzle…but shorter and more stubby. Here is the recipe if you’re actually coronavirus bored to try making your own.
If you’re not that bored yet, there are other options—such as dumplings, rice, egg noodles, boiled potatoes, and bread.
Hungary is the one country most renowned for their the use of paprika
In Hungary, the spice is just as commonly used as salt and pepper are here in the United States and is an everyday ingredient in the most of their daily cooking.
In fact, they add several heaping tablespoons …not the sprinkling like many of us do when we make deviled eggs.,,adding the intense peppery flavor and aroma so characteristic of Hungarian cuisine…most commercial
The peppers used to make Hungarian paprika are sweeter than the peppers used in other countries because their cool growing season. causes the peppers to retains more sugar,
If it weren’t for Christopher Columbus, Hungarians may have never heard of paprika…as the peppers and paprika actually come from Central America.
Diego Chanca, Christopher Columbus’ doctor, made sure that he took this plant back with him on their voyages.
At first Europeans were quite suspicious about the new plant…and for two centuries only used it for decoration.
Even though paprika had first been introduced to Europe in the 15th century, it did not became a popular ingredient in Hungarian cuisine until the 1780’s.
Interestingly right after World War II paprika was actually used by the communists for hard currency.
Paprika production in Hungary was nationalized by the communist government, prohibiting local growers from milling their own paprika powder and mandating that the farmers hand over all their peppers to state-owned mills.
People in Hungary were actually sent to prison for selling paprika on their own.
Paprika was important to these communists because they desperately needed foreign currency…and were able to export tons of paprika each year in exchange for German or American money.
Event though most of have a conainer of paprika sitting way back far in the spice cabinet, waiting to be pulled out only on those rare occasions when you make deviled eggs…kike once or twice a year…paprika is a spice that has way more to offer than we give it credit for.
But what exactly is paprika?
Paprika actually ripened and dried bell peppers that have been ground into a powder…(gee, that might explain why this blog about paprika has been stuck in with my other posts on bell peppers—such as this one.
There are actually several different types of paprika—all dependent on which pepper or combination of peppers has been used to make it.
And the different types of paprika can range in spiciness from mild to hot.