Well, we almost were going there this year. Hungary. Unfortunately the trip we wanted to take was full for the month we needed…so, I have to content myself with cooking dishes from Hungary. Accordingly, this has been a month of stuffed cabbage, goulash and strudel. My chef colleague went to Budapest last year and could not stop raving about the city and the food, so I did some research and uncovered some great traditional dishes, many of which have Turkish or Austrian influences. Of course, Hungary is famous for Paprika-sweet, smoked and hot-and this dish is representative of a traditional main dish, as well as another interesting, tasty way to use chicken.
A Hungarian would add some cream or sour cream to this, so feel free, but I like it without. What’s the purpose of turning down Saturday night fried chicken if you are going to calorie-up your weeknight chicken dinner? The full flavor of the paprika comes through in this dish, so use some good stuff. This dish is not spicy, but if you like heat, add more hot paprika and be a native Hungarian.
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 2/3 lbs. total)
All purpose flour
3 TBL. olive oil
2 red, green and/or yellow peppers, cut into strips
½ medium onion, sliced
4 large garlic cloves, chopped finely
5 tsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
¼ tsp. hot Hungarian paprika
1 ¼ C. low sodium chicken broth
4 large canned or fresh plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 TBL. tomato paste
Kosher salt and fresh pepper
1) Pound each chicken breast to an even thickness (for even cooking)
2) Season the chicken with salt and pepper
3) Heat the oil in a heavy skillet(I use cast iron) over high heat.
4) Add the chicken and sauté until nicely browned-about 4 minutes per side.
5) Transfer chicken to a plate
6) Add the onions and peppers and sauté until beginning to brown-about 5 minutes.
7) Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds
8) Reduce heat to low and add the paprika(s) and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes (you are bringing out the full flavor)
9) Add the broth, tomatoes and tomato paste, stir and bring to a simmer.
10) Add the chicken back into the pan, cover and cook simmering gently until the chicken is cooked through-about 8 minutes.
11) Transfer chicken to a clean plate and cover to keep warm.
12) Turn the heat up and boil the sauce until it coats the back of a spoon thickly-about 8 minutes.
13) Season with salt and pepper and serve.
I served this dish as it is traditionally served over homemade egg noodles tossed with butter and poppy seeds.
Maybe next year, I will see you in Budapest!!