This recipe was inspired by my friend Scottie Johnson from Chicago. We first met via The BBQ Forum on the Internet and realized we were almost neighbors. I wish you could see his adorable little girls. It was first created for deep-fried turkeys, but works just great in the BBQ for all poultry and it makes a great fish marinade too.
To celebrate the tasty wonderfulness that is chicken, I asked Dave DeWitt’s wife Mary Jane Wilan to share her all-time favorite chicken recipe. Dave may be the Pope of Peppers, but where cooking is concerned, Mary Jane rules the roost. Here’s her take on a classic recipe that features paprika, another much-loved kitchen staple in the U. S. You can read more about paprika on the Fiery Foods & BBQ SuperSite here.
3 Tablespoons (or more) vegetable oil
1 chicken, cut up
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup to 1 cup chicken stock
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoons hot paprika) If not available, add regular paprika and 1 teaspoon cayenne)
pinch of thyme
1/2 cup sour cream
Thickening: 1 cup milk and 2 Tablespoons flour in a covered jar; shake hard before pouring into the sauce.
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup tepid water
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan; add the chicken and sauté on each side about 2 minutes, lightly add salt and pepper.
Remove the chicken to a bowl.
Add the onions to the pan and and sauté about 1 minute; add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
Add the chicken back to the pan and add chicken stock, tomato paste, wine, paprika, and thyme. It should barely cover the chicken. If it doesn’t, add more wine or stock.
Cover and simmer 1/2 hour; turn chicken and simmer 1/2 hour more. Remove chicken to a warm platter.
Add the thickening to the pan slowly (you can even put it though a small strainer to avoid lumps) and stir constantly.
Turn down the heat to a low simmer and stir in the sour cream. Do not let it boil. If the mixture gets too thick, add more milk.
Return the chicken to the pan, cover and remove from the heat.
Put the cooked dumplings (recipe to follow) in the sauce to soak up the flavor.
To make the dumplings:
In a medium bowl, stir the egg until it breaks up. Add the next 3 ingredients and stir. Add the water to make a paste.
Drop by spoonfuls into salted, boiling water and cook until the dumplings rise to the top.
Drain in a colander and then add to the chicken and sauce.
Although paprika is more often used in stews than sauces, this sauce was
designed as a condiment for fish. Traditionally, it is served over fried
fillets of river fish.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon minced onion
2 to 3 teaspoons hot paprika
Hint of nutmeg
Heat the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour, salt, and pepper and stir
constantly until it starts to bubble. Gradually add the milk, stirring
constantly until the mixture is smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil and
continue to stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onion, nutmeg, and paprika
to the mixture, stir well for 30 seconds, and serve.
Sometimes called “the bouillabaisse of Hungary,” Paprika Fish Soup is simplicity itself. It originated centuries ago with the fishermen who cooked it in big metal pots over campfires on the embankments of Hungary’s great rivers, including the Danube. In Hungary this fish soup often contains several kinds of local fresh fish—carp, catfish, sterlet, pike, perch, bream, whatever is available as the catch of the day.
2 pounds freshwater fish filets or 3 pounds whole freshwater fish (preferably a mixture of 2 or 3 kinds of fish)
2 medium onions, sliced into very thin rounds
3 tablespoons mild Hungarian paprika (or 2 tablespoons mild paprika and 1 tablespoon hot paprika)
2 to 3 crushed dried cherry peppers (or 1 to 2 tablespoons crushed dried red pepper flakes)
1 tablespoon salt
If using fish filets (fresh or frozen/thawed), wash them under cold water and set aside. If using whole fish, clean and eviscerate them, then cut the fish into 3-inch chunks. Save the heads and tails to add to the cooking pot for flavor.
Put a layer of sliced onions on the bottom of a large (6-quart) stockpot. Add a layer of fish and sprinkle it with some of the paprika, crushed cherry peppers or pepper flakes, and salt. Continue making layers of onion, fish, and spices until all of the ingredients are in the pot. Add enough cold water to barely cover the fish.
Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and let the soup simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Do not stir the soup during this time, but occasionally shake the pot gently from side to side. At the end of 1 hour, taste and add more salt if desired.
Serve hot, dividing the fish evenly among shallow soup bowls for each diner.
My husband is an excellent cook of Hungarian foods. Following is his personal recipe for Paprika Pork Chops, a classic dish from Central Europe.
1 tablespoon mild Hungarian paprika
1 tablespoon medium-hot Hungarian paprika
4 pork chops (about 1/2-inch thick), trimmed of all fat
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced crosswise and separated into rings
4 to 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup medium-sweet to sweet Hungarian white wine
2 tablespoons Hungarian apricot brandy (barackpálinka) or other brandy
2 tablespoons pure sour cream (containing no additives)
Garnish: Strips of pickled mild red peppers
Mix the paprikas together in a shallow bowl, spreading the powder evenly across the bottom of the bowl. Rinse the pork chops under cold water, then dredge both sides of each wet pork chop in the paprika, making sure the entire surface of both sides is covered with paprika.
Heat the butter and oil together over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and sauté until they are soft.
Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Push the onions and garlic to the side of the pan and add the pork chops in one layer. Brown the pork chops on both sides, about 4 minutes on each side. Add more cooking oil if necessary.
Stir in the wine and brandy. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and simmer the pork chops a minimum of 10 minutes on each side, depending on their thickness.
Remove the pork chops to a serving platter and keep them warm. Stir together the onions, garlic, and juices left in the pan. Increase the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is the consistency of a thick soup. Reduce the heat and add the sour cream, mixing well. Pour this sauce over the pork chops and garnish with the pickled pepper strips.
Serve hot, accompanied by egg noodles or boiled potatoes and a medium-dry Hungarian white wine.