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The Hungarian Kitchen: Chicken Paprikash

The Hungarian Kitchen: Chicken Paprikash
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  • Post #61 - November 18th, 2013, 3:21 pm
    Post #61 - November 18th, 2013, 3:21 pm Post #61 - November 18th, 2013, 3:21 pm
    funkyfrank wrote:Binko - Chicago never had a large Hungarian population compared to other cities. South Bend where I grew up had 3 Hungarian Catholic Churches, a Hungarian Reformed Church, and a Hungarian Methodist Church. Buffalo, Cleveland, and Montreal had much larger Hungarian populations. CARDINAL Mindszenty visited south Bend in 1947 abd 1974. I was one of many altar boys at one of the 1974 masses.


    I understand that. Cleveland and Toronto are kind of the big Hungarian strongholds in North America. My question is why haven't more restaurants, not necessarily exclusively Hungarian, adopted some of these Hungarian standards in their menus? I mean you will find some Polish restaurants doing a type of Hungarian goulash thing, but that's about it. I'm just surprised it hasn't had more widespread popularity.
  • Post #62 - November 18th, 2013, 7:36 pm
    Post #62 - November 18th, 2013, 7:36 pm Post #62 - November 18th, 2013, 7:36 pm
    I find southern German/Austrian and some Czech rstaurants approaching my standards for Hungarian food, No one locally has approached the baking standards I became accustomed to during my youth. You uaws to have mutiple kifli every day. I learned to do the savory, but I never learned the sweet, This is the time of year when my friends and I were knead dough and do the heavy lifting for our Nagymamas.8-10 would get together in the chruch basements or a Varhavoy club and bake and bake and bake for weeks and weeks.
  • Post #63 - November 18th, 2013, 8:39 pm
    Post #63 - November 18th, 2013, 8:39 pm Post #63 - November 18th, 2013, 8:39 pm
    funkyfrank wrote:I find southern German/Austrian and some Czech rstaurants approaching my standards for Hungarian food, No one locally has approached the baking standards I became accustomed to during my youth. You uaws to have mutiple kifli every day. I learned to do the savory, but I never learned the sweet, This is the time of year when my friends and I were knead dough and do the heavy lifting for our Nagymamas.8-10 would get together in the chruch basements or a Varhavoy club and bake and bake and bake for weeks and weeks.


    Oh, yeah, I'm not even talking about baking standards here. If I could anything resembling Hungarian breads or pastries here, I'd be ecstatic.
  • Post #64 - November 18th, 2013, 8:51 pm
    Post #64 - November 18th, 2013, 8:51 pm Post #64 - November 18th, 2013, 8:51 pm
    I get decent homemade kifli at the south bend farmers market. Sometimes great, other times a little stale, but always a thin dough exterior. Send me an offline email and I'll let you know next time I go to SB. Anne's Bakery - 2158 W Chicago Ave
    (between Hoyne Ave & Leavitt St) - had a light sour dough rye which reminds me of one of the old time bakeries in SB. Not to surprising - my nagymama was from Kis Geres - now Slovakia but less than 5 miles from Hungary and the Ukraine. The bulk of the Hungarians in SB came from the vicinity of Sopron and Budapest.

    I have turned numerous relative on to the Gulasch Kreme I get from Bende. It has become a favorite shortcut in preparing paprika centric dishes.
  • Post #65 - November 18th, 2013, 10:30 pm
    Post #65 - November 18th, 2013, 10:30 pm Post #65 - November 18th, 2013, 10:30 pm
    I'll be honest--I never really got into the goulash cream stuff. I've tried it, but I don't really get it.

    But I could use a good kifli or just a simple zsemle. My standard lunch for the longest time was a couple of zsemle, some paprikas kolbasz, and an M.E. (magyar erõs paprika, basically, something like an Anaheim pepper). Oh man do I miss a good zsemle.
  • Post #66 - January 16th, 2014, 2:26 pm
    Post #66 - January 16th, 2014, 2:26 pm Post #66 - January 16th, 2014, 2:26 pm
    I just wanted to update this page with a different presentation of chicken paprikash that I've been making lately. It's not quite the traditional method outlined above, but it creates a similar tasting product and has the advantage of a more elegant presentation with a crispy skin, which the usual method does not produce.

    It's pretty much just a standard braise. First, preheat an oven to 400. Instead of stewing everything together, start by frying some chicken thighs in fat (I prefer lard or chicken fat) for about 3 minutes a side over medium-high to high heat. You want to get the skin golden, but not really browned, as they'll finish browning in the oven. Place the chicken thighs (or whatever chicken parts you're using) and put them aside somewhere.

    In the fat that's leftover, sweat your chopped onions. I like to stray a bit from tradition here and get them browned and caramelized, about 10-15 minutes over high heat. When they're like I want them, I remove from heat and add the paprika, stir around for a minute to distribute and slightly cook. At this point, I add about 1-2 cups of chicken broth, preferably homemade. (I like to boil up chicken thighs for the dog, so I often have a light, unflavored chicken broth lying around that is perfect for this application.) Mix together. Place your reserved chicken thighs in the pan, making sure the skin is above the liquid level. Place in oven, cook for 45 minutes at 400.

    When you're done, you should have nicely cooked chicken thighs with a crispy skin. Remove these and continue the recipe adding in the sour cream (or mix of sour cream and cream) and flour to thicken the sauce. Serve.

    Just throwing other ideas out there. I've grown quite fond of this method, although it strays from tradition a little bit. With the chicken fat I use and the homemade broth, it still retains the basic flavor profile, but has the advantage of getting that nice crispy chicken skin.

    I know it's not rocket science, but it never occurred to me until recently to apply this braising method to paprikash. I encourage lovers of this dish to try it and see what they think.
  • Post #67 - January 16th, 2014, 3:21 pm
    Post #67 - January 16th, 2014, 3:21 pm Post #67 - January 16th, 2014, 3:21 pm
    My friend's mom was visiting from Hungary recently and she made a very off-the wall version while she was here. Ended up looking like chicken breasts in vodka sauce (her mom's very into healthy eating). She used skinless/boneless breast meat and the sauce was thickened with yogurt. Somewhere my mom was spinning in her grave but it was pretty darn good - if unconventional.
  • Post #68 - October 11th, 2020, 3:23 pm
    Post #68 - October 11th, 2020, 3:23 pm Post #68 - October 11th, 2020, 3:23 pm
    Hi,

    AFter a lot of twists and turns on plans for today's lunch, I finally settled on making Paprikash with beef (cubed chuck) and mushrooms. Good stuff, though I did realize I need to acquire new paprika.

    Instead of noodles or spaetzle, I made Czech bread dumplings. I was thrilled, though my family prefers noodles.

    First of the season Paprikash, I cannot wait to make more going into winter.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #69 - November 13th, 2020, 1:04 pm
    Post #69 - November 13th, 2020, 1:04 pm Post #69 - November 13th, 2020, 1:04 pm
    Binko wrote:I see my proportions in the recipe. It’s one large onion and two or so teaspoons paprika to every two pounds chicken. So, by weight, we’re looking at about 3:1 chicken:onions, which is a good starting point for most Hungarian recipes, I’ve found. There’s plenty of wiggle room, depending on your tastes. I don’t mind erring on the side of more onions than I need, but I really like onions (and they add a richness and sweetness to the dish). As for the paprika, I don’t necessarily like it crazy paprika-y, so one roughly measured teaspoon (which is probably more like 1.25-1.5 tsp accurately measured) is good. As with all recipes, it’s subject to your own personal taste. But those proportions will put you in the middle-of-the-road for chicken paprikash.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #70 - November 13th, 2020, 5:58 pm
    Post #70 - November 13th, 2020, 5:58 pm Post #70 - November 13th, 2020, 5:58 pm
    Binko,

    Today, I made Pork Paprikash. It is such an easy recipe with such great results. The only time I saw anyone execute it poorly, they added the paprika to overheated oil. It was bitter as you warned.

    I have done the chicken, mushroom and now pork. I just need to make veal to have completed all acceptable variants?

    Thank you for recording this recipe here.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #71 - November 14th, 2020, 8:51 pm
    Post #71 - November 14th, 2020, 8:51 pm Post #71 - November 14th, 2020, 8:51 pm
    The two most common variants I saw at least around Budapest were chicken and veal. I just looked it up on the Hungarian Wikipedia page and they list beef, veal, lamb/mutton, chicken, and fish (usually catfish.) The fish version is obviously cooked for far less amount of time.

    The beef version -- I don't know much about that. I'm looking through Hungarian recipe pages and most have sour cream, but some don't. All that "paprikash" means is the adjectival form of "paprika." So "chicken paprikash" means "paprika chicken." According to the Hungarian Wikipedia page, sour cream became part of the recipe in the mid-1800s, under Germanic influence, though there is no cite for that. But I've generally observed the taxonomy to generally mean that a paprikás is a sour cream-enhanced stew (with the exception of paprikás krumpli, "paprika potatoes") and pörkölt being just the generic word for "stew."

    The lamb/mutton version is also something I've never seen. It may very well be regional. In Budapest, at least in the late 90s/early 00s, finding lamb/mutton was always a bit of a challenge. I did eventually find one place near my flat that did stock it regularly, but most markets wouldn't have it.

    For the fish paprikash, I found a good video recipe here with English subtitles. It's similar to the regular paprikash recipe (note that he uses the optional tomatoes and also adds caraway to it, which is something I do for goulash soup and beef pörkölt, but don't for paprikash.) The idea here is you make the sauce separately, sear the fish, and add it after the sauce has simmered for about 45 minutes to an hour to finish. Once the fish is cooked through, you remove it, then you add your thickener (sour cream and flour), cook until thickened and the raw flour flavor is out, and are good to go. Serve spooned over the fish.

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