My favourite person to cook for after Brad is my father-in-law. He is a kindred spirit when it comes to food. A skilled cook himself, Chris has a great appreciation for various flavours and a healthy appetite to enjoy them. So when he brought up that he hadn’t had Chicken Paprikash for ages and really missed it during our last visit I immediately knew I wanted to make it. I can’t say I knew exactly what he was talking about…just a vague idea but knowing that the dish has Eastern European roots assured me I’d love it. So I made the traditional version while we were in Canada and it was a huge hit with everyone. Then Christmas was over and it was time to get back in shape, which often means that fried and then smothered in sour cream dishes become your worst enemy. Not for this girl. I lightened it up, guys. I made chicken paprikash BETTER!
You might ask, how can you possibly achieve this, Julia? Well, traditionally it’s made with chicken legs and thighs that need to be fried first in order to crisp up the skin, which means ….more fat. I wanted to avoid frying so I went with skinless, boneless chicken breasts and to make things even better I used half the amount of chicken and added chickpeas for fibre and protein. Not only is it healthy it is also economical!
If you are a chickpea fan like myself I don’t need to convince you what a great texture they add to the dish. Also being simmered in Hungarian paprika sauce makes them off the scale flavourful…little smoky nuggets of goodness. Serve this creamy chicken with rice, noodles or mashed potatoes. You just can’t go wrong!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, sliced in strips
- 1 red bell pepper
- salt and pepper
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika or sweet paprika
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1½ cups chicken stock
- 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas
- ½ cup sour cream or creme fraiche
- flat leaf parsley
- Cut chicken breast in strips and season with salt and pepper.
- In a large pan sear chicken strips in olive oil until just sealed but not completely cooked, approximately for 5-7 minutes. Remove to a plate.
- Add sliced pepper and stir fry over medium-high heat until slightly charred but still crispy. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to low and add chopped onion. Cook for 10 minutes until soft, add garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.
- Add paprika and flour, stir to combine until you have a red paste.
- Whisk chicken stock in until the paste is completely blended into it. You might want to add ½ cup first and whisk, then the rest of the stock to avoid lumps.
- Add diced tomatoes.
- Return chicken to the pan and add chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes uncover your chicken paprikash, stir in sour cream, add red peppers and take off the heat immediately to avoid sour cream separating.
- Taste and add more salt if necessary.
- Serve sprinkled with chopped flat leaf parsley and steaming rice or noodles.