Chicken Paprikash

The holidays seem ten million years ago but it was only 4 months ago that I returned from my epic Eastern Europe adventure, where I tried loads of cuisines and visited beautiful places. I got so inspired by the hipster food scene that I am dreaming of  setting up my own hummus bar and open face sandwich shop hahahahaha.

My favourite place was definitely Budapest, with pretty grand buildings and a hip culture.

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Except they had really lousy ice cream. Ice cream so bad that we just threw it away unfinished because it wastes calories. Anyway, Hungary has more good things going for it than bad. Hungary is famous for its Paprika, something that I didn’t know until I wandered around the local market and saw every shop selling Paprika. I knew I had to buy a few packs back home because Hungarian Paprika is definitely a class above the usual paprika. It has a sweet, nutty and smoky aroma to it, making it so good that it can be the star of a dish. Like Chicken Paprikash.

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Chicken Paprikash is basically chicken in paprika sauce. It is a Hungarian classic that I tried once at a Hungarian restaurant. I mopped up all the sauce but left the Spatzle untouched (one of the few things that I dislike), and happily made a mental note to try cooking it in Singapore. It didn’t seem that difficult to replicate.

And it isn’t!

The hardest part of this dish is probably procuring that treasured Hungarian paprika. It’s found on Amazon but I haven’t come across it in actual shops in Singapore. So that’s a bit tricky.

Other than that, all you need is time and patience as the wonderful flavours of paprika develop in that pot.

Ingredients
4 chicken thighs
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, finely sliced
15g of Hungarian paprika
1 cup of chicken broth
1/2 cup greek yogurt

Directions
1. Heat vegetable oil in a pan, fry the chicken thighs skin side down, in one layer, without moving it until deep golden brown, about 8 minutes.
2. Flip the chicken over and fry until the second side is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken from the pan, throwing away most of the oil but leaving enough to cook the onions, about 1 tablespoon.
4. Fry the onions until soft and translucent.
5. Add in the red bell pepper and fry until soft.
6. Add in the paprika, stir until nutty and fragrant, about 1 minute.
7. Pour the chicken broth into the pan.
8. Nestle the chicken into the pan in a single layer, making sure that all the chicken is covered by the broth.
9. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook for 30 minutes, until the chicken is tender and pulls easily from the bone.
10. Serve this over a plate of pasta, macaroni or spatzle. Serve with greek yogurt for that creamy texture.
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Roasted Chicken

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I’m baaaaaaack 🙂 Sorry I’ve been away for so long because my exams just ended. All I’ve done for the past few weeks was sleep, mug, eat and sleep. But now that exams are over, I’m super excited to be baking and cooking for November :> before everything starts piling up again and there are exams again in January ):

Anyway, here is the roasted chicken a made a couple of weeks back which follows Heston’s way of cooking. If you don’t know who Heston Blumenthal is, he’s this eccentric British chef whose restaurant, Fat Duck, is a place I dream of eating at. But it’s going to cost at least $400 per person, so I’m just going to continue dreaming. He has really science-y ways of cooking stuff but it comes out perfect and this roasted chicken is very replicable at home!

I first ate this chicken at D’s place and it had one of the most tender chicken breast meat ever. It was soft and juicy, nothing like those dry, stringy breast meat I was used to. Sadly, the skin wasn’t crispy because we didn’t have time to blast it (it was 2 something by the time the chicken was cooked and we were famished). So without a doubt, I had to remake the chicken at home to get the crispy skin.

Preparing for this chicken takes a day and the roasting takes a few hours which makes it a bit troublesome but then there are really little skills involved. All you need to do is to brine the chicken overnight, dump it into your oven for 2 hours, then turn up your oven to its maximum temperature to blast the chicken and get that crispy skin.

It was actually quite epic to turn my oven up to the maximum temperature because when I opened the oven door, the entire kitchen filled with so much smoke that we all ran out. Oh oh oh be mentally prepared that your kitchen will smell like roasted chicken for the entire day hahahah.

Other than that, roast away!!! 🙂

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Ingredients
1 kg whole raw chicken
Water
Salt
50g of melted butter
1 Lemon
Pepper
Herbs de Provence

Directions
1. Mix 1 litre of water and 40g of salt. You can change the amount of water according to how much you need to cover the chicken but always use this ratio of 1 litre of water to 40g of salt.
2. In a pot large enough to fit your chicken but small enough to reside in your fridge, place the chicken and pour the salt water over, ensure that the water completely covers the chicken.
3. Place the pot in the fridge and leave it overnight.
4. The next morning, pour away the salt water and replace it with normal water.
5. When you want to cook the chicken, take the chicken out and pat it dry.
6. Place it on a baking tray and brush it with melted butter. Sprinkle the herbs, salt and pepper on the chicken.
7. Roast it at 100 degrees until the thickest part of the breast meat reaches 60 degrees Celsius.
8. Take the chicken out and let it rest for 45 minutes.
9. Turn your oven up to its maximum temperature.
10. Brush your chicken with melted butter again and place it in the oven.
11. Roast it for about 10 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and crispy.

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Bacon Wrapped Chicken & Onion Rings

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It has almost been a year since I met up with Kim and the last time we did, we were at my house baking a Japanese cheesecake (which I have yet to master haha). This time, I went to her beautiful house with her cute little malteses (world’s most well behaved dogs) and cooked. It was quite funny because we were trying to figure out how to wrap the chicken and her mother so desperately wanted to help us but we refused her help no matter what. Eventually, we managed to roll it out nicely such that there was nice oozing cheese in the middle and crispy bacon on the outside.

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The onion rings were a side dish that took forever to make because it was so tedious dipping each ring into flour then batter then breadcrumbs. The onions could have been more well-seasoned perhaps with stronger flavours like smoked paprika because tried spamming with Italian herbs but it was quite mild. The plus point of this recipe is that you get crispy onion rings without needing to fry it! That is so healthy, considering how much bacon you would have used for the chicken TEEHEE.

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Bacon Wrapped Chicken
Ingredients
2 pieces of chicken breast meat
100g of Mozzarella cheese
Streaky bacon

Directions
1. Cut the chicken breast meat into half the thickness but not all the way through so that you can open the meat up.
2. Place the bacon in a longitudinal direction on a baking tray.
3. Place the chicken breast in the same direction.
4. Place the cheese on the chicken breast.
5. Roll the chicken over the cheese, from the sides to the middle.
6. Do the same to the bacon such that all the chicken is covered by the bacon.
7. Place the chicken into a preheated oven of 200 degrees Celsius and bake for 45 minutes.

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Onion Rings
Ingredients
3 onions cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick
Panic bread crumbs

Dusting mix
1/4 cup flour
1/2 t salt and pepper
1/2 t smoked paprika or other herbs

Batter
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup + 2 T flour (6 T)
1/4 t smoked paprika or other herbs
salt and pepper

Directions
1. Pre heat your oven to 230C
2. Mix the dusting ingredients in one bowl.
3. Mix the the batter ingredients together with a whisk, it should be the consistency of thick cream, and put in another bowl.
4. Spread the crumb out on a plate.
5. Line baking tray with baking paper.
6. Toss onion rings in dusting mix, then batter, shaking off any excess before rolling in crumbs to coat.
7. Bake for 10 minutes until they are golden brown.

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