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 in Milk with Lemon Zest

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I have no idea how I came across this recipe but when I saw it, I knew I had to try it out because it looked so simple yet everyone only had praises for it. It was only recently when my friends were talking about how they tried to make this for New Year’s Eve dinner that I got reminded about this recipe. Fyi, two guys who had never cooked before managed to make this chicken, proving how easy this dish is!

So I tried it out tonight and the hardest part was basting the chicken for an hour while it was roasting in the oven. The milk turned into a nice creamy thick sauce with a hint of lemon that would turn into a pasta sauce if only I wasn’t on my stupid pseudo-Atkins diet. The chicken was quite filling, probably because of the cream but it tasted like comfort food.

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I’m quite excited about the possibilities of this recipe, perhaps adding paprika to it would bring it to another level or maybe I should put more thought into bringing out the lemon-y taste.

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Ingredients
Chopped up chicken/ Whole chicken
500 ml milk
3 dried bay leaf
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cinnamon stick
10 cloves of garlic

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Drizzle olive oil onto pan and fry chicken, skin side down until it is golden brown.
3. Place chicken onto roasting pan with the rest of the ingredients.
4. Roast chicken for about an hour, basting it occasionally.

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