We had harvested the last of the tomatoes from our garden, and I had eaten all but a few. (Reminder: G. does not eat raw tomatoes. Ever.)
After putting up jars and jars of tomato sauce, I wanted to do something special with those last few fruit because I knew that while I was sick of canning, I would be longing for fresh tomatoes in a few months. I was kicking around recipes and then it just kind of hit me: chicken paprikash.
I love it, and it always makes me think of my longtime best friend, Tara, because the first time I ever had it was during a potluck that we went to together in college. Another potluck participant made it, and I very clearly remember Tara saying how much she liked it and that her mother, too, was Hungarian. Ever since, I can’t think of Hungary without thinking of chicken paprikash.
I’m not sure how Hungarians make it. I make it using a very simple recipe from an old Betty Crocker cookbook. As with all recipes, I’ve modified it slightly to increase the amount of tomatoes and paprika and reduce the amount of onion.
Here is my version:
3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup water or chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 salt (if you need it)
Heat a frying pan, add the chicken thighs and start to cook them. When partially cooked through, remove the chicken from pan and drain any excess oil. This is a good time to trim any excess fat if you have a good butcher like G. handy.
Put the onion and garlic into the pan and begin to cook it. When the onion starts to soften, add the tomato, paprika, pepper, water (or broth) and chicken back into the pan. Stir the contents so the water and paprika blend and start to form a sauce. Cook until the chicken is done, about 30 minutes. The tomato will usually cook into the sauce and disappear. Stir in the sour cream, and add the salt if you need it.
Sometimes I serve this over mashed potatoes, and sometimes with egg noodles.