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Paprikás Csirke (Chicken Paprikash) with Dumplings

You know what amazes me?

Flour.

Yup, just that – flour.

I mean, think about it. You take flour, add in just a few other ingredients, and you get everything from bread to pasta to dumplings. On top of that, you can use flour to make crunchy, crispy coating for fried chicken or really fried anything. And when a sauce is too thin, you mix up some flour with butter to make a roux and your watery sauce will turn silky in no time. Or you let the roux brown and you’re well on your way to making Louisianan goodies like gumbo and etouffé, which let me assure you, is on my must-cook list of 2010.

So when I was browsing through the latest issue of Saveur and came upon this ridiculous (as in ridiculously gorgeous) photo of chicken paprikash, with a recipe that uses flour to both make the dumplings and coat the chicken, I did not hesitate. One glance over at my bin of flour to check that I have enough at hand and off I went to shop for the other ingredients. Although the recipe calls for a whole chicken cut up into pieces, it would work just as well if you bought an equivalent amount of whatever chicken parts you like. I’m personally a dark meat person, so next time I make this, I may just buy some thighs, drumsticks, and wings.

Adapted from recipe in Saveur Jan/Feb 2010. Basically, I omitted taking off the skin from the chicken and also just chopped up the tomatoes without bothering to seed and core them.

Dumplings:
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup water
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Chicken:
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3-4 lb chicken cut up into 6-8 pieces
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp sweet paprika
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1½ cups chicken stock
¾ cup sour cream

Prepare the dumplings: Bring a large pot of water to boil. In a large bowl, combine the flour (2 cups) and salt (1 tsp) and form a well in the center. Mix the egg with water (½ cup) and pour into the well. Stir together to form a dough. Knead for a minute or so in the bowl until smooth.

Once water is boiling, add in a few large pinches of salt. Then using a small spoon (or even by hand), scoop walnut-sized* portions of dough into the pot. Boil dumplings until tender and floating, about 6-8 min. Drain dumplings and rinse in cold water. Set aside.

(*Angi’s update: Along with some of my friends/testers, I also found that walnut-sized dough balls end up a bit heavy and chewy in the middle. It may be better to use smaller, quarter-sized portions. I haven’t tested this yet though, so please let me know if you do and whether that helps.)

Braise the chicken: Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Put flour (½ cup) onto a plate to dredge the chicken and shake off excess. Brown chicken in pot – if needed, do this in two batches to avoid crowding the chicken pieces. Set aside.

Without washing off the pot, add paprika, peppers, tomatoes and onions. Cook while stirring until onions are soft (about 5 min). Add back the chicken and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, put cover on, and simmer until fully cooked (about 12-15 min, depending on how big your chicken pieces are).

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk sour cream with flour (2 Tbsp). Once chicken is cooked, scoop a couple ladles of the sauce into the sour cream mixture and stir around until there are no big clumps of sour cream. Add the sour cream mix into the pot and remove from heat. Stir everything around to distribute the creamy sour cream all over.

Finish the dumplings: Melt butter (3 Tbsp) in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add dumplings and parsley and saute until hot (about 2 min), tossing the dumplings around occasionally.

Serve chicken with dumplings on the side.


Yield: about 4 servings
Time: 1-1.5 hrs

7 Comments

  1. Todd said:
    21 April 2010 at 9:13 pm

    “Add paprika, half the peppers, tomatoes and onions.” So, er, what happens to the other half? And is that “half the (peppers, tomatoes and onions)” or “(half the peppers), tomatoes and onions”?

    Also, how should the dumplings be on the inside? Pasta-like throughout? That’s what I was expecting, but ours got a little chewy on the inside. Perhaps mine were too round, not “walnut” shaped enough.

    Anyhow, thanks for the recipe! Reminds us a lot of our time in the Czech Republic.

    • angi said:
      21 April 2010 at 9:43 pm

      Hi Todd!

      Woops — my bad! It should be (half the peppers) + (all tomatoes + onions). When I made this, I actually just went ahead and put all the peppers in with the tomatoes and onions. The original Saveur recipe told you to save half the peppers to garnish the finished dish with, so that’s the other option. Thanks for noting the typo!!

      The dumplings you got sound like what I got too. Not having had chicken paprikash before, I’m not sure what the “real” thing should be like. I think next time I make it, I will try to make the dumplings a little smaller and hope that will overcome the chewy/slightly doughy middle. Nathan tells me that the dumplings he ate in Prague were more bread-y than pasta-y, so maybe we’re not far off!

      Yay for trying this out!! I hope even with the chewy dumplings, you guys had a yummy meal!

      angi

  2. Elio said:
    30 January 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Mmm, we made this tonight with all chicken thighs, and it was delicious. Our sauce wasn’t nearly as red as yours though – maybe we have wimpy paprika. We had to substitute kwark for sour cream, and I made the dumplings small and fried them a little longer in the butter since I love when they get the browned edges.

    We found a great dessert to go with it from Saveur too:

    http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Hungarian-Shortbread

    • angi said:
      31 January 2011 at 11:17 am

      Yay! And hopefully, one day, I’ll get to visit you guys and try this “kwark” business — it sounds so physics-y!! And you’re probably right about the color – I mean, not necessarily that your paprika was wimpy but maybe just less red. :) Now I must mark down that Hungarian Shortbread for the future.

  3. Jill said:
    16 May 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I made this today and it was great! I just put all the peppers in with the tomato and onion and it was great. I didn’t think uncooked peppers on top would be very good.
    Dumplings were a bit tough and chewy…I might try to find another recipe and make them fluffier. Or try egg noodles.
    Also, I live in Turkey and can’t get sour cream but yogurt worked well.

    • angi said:
      17 May 2011 at 12:35 pm

      Yay – I’m so happy to hear that you tried and liked the paprikash, Jill! And I do have to agree that these dumplings don’t come out as tender as I like, so if you find another recipe that’s better, I would love to hear about it.

  4. Gombasz said:
    2 August 2013 at 11:46 am

    Saveur seems to screw up simple home-style recipes. This recipe has far too much bell pepper and tomato. Both are present to just balance the other ingredients. Csirke Paprikás has only a hint of tomato. And the nokedli (dumpling) recipe is all wrong. The size should be very small; at most no bigger than 1 inch long. My own recipe (from my grandmother) has more egg in it with a touch of nutmeg. And the nokedli are never sautéed in butter!

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