I’m a recipe junkie. I shamelessly raid cookbook shelves when visiting my girlfriends or sister and I’m always going online to cooking sites I like. Now that I have an iPad, my habit’s out of control. A portable cookbook with limitless recipes.
One of my favorite ways to come up with a new dish is to combine elements from recipes across the web, so I end up with my own recipe mashup.
Today I had a pack of chicken thighs (on sale at Whole Foods) that I wanted to use and a container of light sour cream with a date that was starting to scare me. My goal: Chicken Paprika.
How I Got There
First stop gojee.com
Gojee collects recipes from professional recipe writers, has gorgeous photos and is fun to use. I entered “Chicken Thighs” in the I Crave search tool, “Sour Cream” for I Have, and “Lentils” for I Dislike. (My sister’s favorite. Don’t ask.) Out of 54 recipes that popped up, only one, Chicken Paprika, would use up my sour cream. But it had BBQ sauce and I didn’t.
Second stop Yummly.com
I’d heard of Chicken Paprikash, so my next stop was Yummly, another recipe aggregator, with great photos and how-to videos. Searching for Chicken Paprikash Thighs, I found 13 recipes, and the first one was almost perfect: It suited my taste on Yummly’s clever flavor scale (salty, savory, spicy); was not too high in calories (they provide nutritional data); and I had everything except for white wine (Wine run? No problem.) But one last check: no user reviews. I did a Google search for “Chicken Paprikash Thighs” and hit the jackpot on my next stop.
Third stop: Food.com
I had all the ingredients for “Hungarian Chicken Paprikash,” plus it had a 5-star rating and reminded one reviewer of the version she “tasted in Budapest.” And there were lots of comments with tips and tricks. Here’s what I ended up doing—a blend of all three recipes:
4-6 Chicken thighs (I used bone-in, skinless)
Salt & pepper
Olive or canola oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped (Vidalia or Spanish)
1 red bell pepper, cut Julienne (watch a pro demonstrate Julienning on YouTube)
2 T sweet paprika (reviewer’s tip, make sure your container’s fresh)
Scant 1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 T flour
1/2 cup sour cream (I used low-fat)
Wide egg noodles
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325°
- Heat (on medium high) just enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of a Dutch oven. Season chicken with salt & pepper and brown for about 7 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan; pour off all but 1 tablespoon of remaining fat.
- Add onion, sauté on medium 2 minutes. Add bell pepper, paprika, and a good sprinkle of cayenne for heat. Sauté another 3 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping bottom of pan. Cook 1 minute more. Add chicken stock, and about 1 teaspoon salt, to taste.
- Return chicken to pot, bring to a boil, then cover and put in 325° oven for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. (Juices should run clear when thigh is pierced with a fork.) Remove chicken from pot and let sauce cool for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk flour and ¼ C of sour cream. Spoon 3 teaspoons of pan liquid into mixture, whisk until blended, then slowly pour mixture into pan, constantly whisking. Simmer 5 minutes, until sauce thickens. Let sauce cool for 2 minutes, stir in remaining sour cream, and add chicken back into pan. Heat through, about 1 minute, and serve over noodles, with a sprinkling of parsley for garnish.
The result? Yum. Using skinless chicken, a minimal amount of healthy oil, and only a tablespoon of flour and light sour cream, you can still get a creamy, flavorful sauce and tender chicken—enough to top about a half pound of noodles. You can amp up or tone down the spices by playing with the Paprika and Cayenne. And the next day, it’s even better.
Tell me if you plan to try this recipe – just add a comment to the comments box below!
Photo: Daniel Blatto