Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cooking in my new kitchen - chicken paprika

I love my new kitchen. It's an efficient space, not too big but with adequate counters and storage. As we settle into our new home I am becoming more and more enamored with cooking in this space. I'm (finally) using my cookbooks again and taking advantage of the riches around me.

Tonight I pulled out the old, deep frying pan used by my grandmother who gave to my mother who gave it to me. It's the first time I've used this pan. I wanted to honor our Hungarian and Russian heritage, so I made chicken paprika.

I modified a recipe from The World's Finest Chicken by Sonia Slyer and Janice Metcalfe. It's a nice cookbook, with easy recipes using stuff you'd generally have on hand, making very tasty food. Being who I am (and really, any decent home cook does this) I tweaked the recipe.


  • Saute one large, chopped onion in olive oil. As I poured the oil in I couldn't help but wonder if my grandmother used anything other than schmaltz and Crisco.
  • As the onion softened I added two heaping tablespoons of smoked paprika. Next time I will use more. I roasted the spice well, until the pan was almost smoking, then I added one large, roughly chopped green pepper. 
  • As the pepper began to soften I added three seeded, chopped tomatoes, about a teaspoon of marjoram, a bunch of freshly ground black pepper, two crushed veg boullion cubes (per the recipe), eight skinless chicken thighs with bone still in and then dumped a cup of water over the mess.
  • It came to a boil, I lowered to a simmer, gave it a stir, covered and let it cook for about 30 minutes, until the chicken was meltingly tender. I let it cook for about 10 minutes uncovered so the sauce could thicken. 
It was very good, though next time I will add a third tablespoon of spicy paprika and perhaps another boullion cube. Or maybe I'll just use stock instead of water. I didn't bother with the recommended sour cream as I had none in the house. If I'd had plain yogurt that would have been a fine substitution. 

As I cooked and later, as we ate, I imagined my grandmother cooking something similar, her cheeks red from the steam, and I welcomed her into my new kitchen in this old house. I think she would have been pleased. I know I certainly was. 


(c) 2013 Laura S. Packer

1 comment:

kbsalazar said...

Oh, that sounds so good. I agree on using stock instead of the cube. You might need to correct for seasonings at the end (cubes being mostly salt), but the end result will be even silkier. Congrats on launching the new kitchen with such style. -K.