Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chicken Paprikash

It was actually cool the other night here in Central Florida;  52 degrees!  That's not a typical temp in May.  It made me put the cover back on the grill and head into the kitchen.   I refuse to use the oven/electricity in the summer, so I grill out when I can.   Sometimes a person just gets hungry for old family style comfort food.   Cool weather brings that on.

Growing up in a family with grandparents from Eastern Europe, this was one of my favorite dishes.  I've had variations over the years.  My mom used to make a great version but she was always on Weight Watchers and thought her recipe was too fattening.  She hardly ever made it.  The closest she came on occasion was a version produced from one of those cooking bags, which I later found was full of MSG.

Not this dish!   This one is so simple and inexpensive to make, and healthier too.  If you haven't noticed, I have been writing several chicken thigh recipes.  Why?  They are less expensive, and you can get a bunch at a warehouse store and freeze them for next to nothing! 

You can even feel free to remove the skin if you like to make this dish even lighter.   I would do so AFTER the braising process is complete.

Chicken Paprikash

I served this with frozen mini pierogi with
crispy onions and sweet and sour kraut.


4 bone-in-Chicken Thighs (skin on)
2 tablespoons Paprika (I used Spanish Paprika)
1 tablespoon Garlic Salt
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
1/2 large Green Bell Pepper, cut into strips
1 medium sweet Onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup of Vodka
2 cups Chicken Broth
3 ounces Tomato Paste
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence (not traditional but I like it)
1 - 4 ounce can Sliced Mushrooms (yes, canned are fine for this dish)
3 tablespoons Philadelphia Brand Savory Garlic Cooking Creme
2 tablespoons Sour Cream
Fresh Dill for garnish (optional but suggested)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle paprika and garlic salt over chicken. 

In an oven-safe dutch oven (they usually are oven-safe ;.), brown the chicken in a tablespoon of olive oil.  Set chicken aside in bowl.

Add remaining olive oil and cook pepper and onion until softened, about five minutes. 

Add vodka.  Deglaze the pan, pulling all the browned bits from the bottom.  Let Vodka reduce by half.  Add chicken broth and whisk in tomato paste.  Add herbes de provence and add the chicken back to the dutch oven. 

Note:  You can leave the vodka out, but I think it adds something.

Cover with lid or tin foil and bake for 45-50 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 175 degrees and juices run clear.  Adjust cooking time as needed.   The longer the better with this dish.

Carefully remove pan from oven back to stove.  Remove chicken to bowl.  Tent with foil to keep warm. 

Add in mushrooms.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, about 10 minutes, until broth reduces. 

Stir in cooking creme and then add the sour cream.  Pour sauce over plated chicken and top with fresh dill.

Note:  My sweet and sour kraut is simply canned kraut, a half a can of diced tomatoes, and a few tablespoons of brown sugar, to taste.  So easy!

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