Three good reasons to consider Chicken Paprikash the next time you want to impress a crowd without busting your belt or breaking the bank: my unscientific calculations reveal these impressive stats, per serving:
- 371 calories (592 with a cup of egg noodles)
- 16 grams of fat (20 with the egg noodles)
- less than $5 either way
Need three more reasons before you’re convinced? It’s also nutritious, easy to make, and can be mostly made ahead so you can enjoy entertaining your guests instead of slaving away in the kitchen.
For 4, easily doubled for 8:
8 bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon oil
1 large onion halved and sliced thin
2 large red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and sliced in ¼” strips
3-½ tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon flour
½ cup white wine
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 300°. Generously salt and pepper the chicken thighs all over. Heat the oil in a large oven-proof Dutch oven until hot. Add 4 thighs skin down and cook until skin is crisp and browned. Turn to brown the other side. Remove to a plate and repeat with the other 4 thighs.
- Add the onion to the pot, turning down the heat and stirring so they don’t scorch. When the onion is softened, add the peppers. When the peppers are softened, add 3 tablespoons of the paprika, the marjoram and flour. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen browned bits. Add tomatoes with their juice. Stir in any accumulated juices from the chicken plate. Pull the skin off the chicken and discard. Add the chicken pieces to the sauce; bring to a simmer, then cover and place the pot in the oven.
- Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the chick is cooked through and tender. If you are making this ahead of time, at this point, you can cool the stew and refrigerate for up to 3 days, then bring back to a simmer before proceeding to the final step.
- In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and ½ tablespoon paprika. Place cooked egg noodles in a large serving bowl or on individual plates. Remove the chicken from the sauce and place on the egg noodles. Stir ¼ cup of the sauce into the sour cream, then stir the mixture into the sauce in the pot. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Don’t be tempted to use chicken breasts instead of thighs. The thighs will turn out moist and tender and the breasts will not.
You might wonder why one should cook the thighs with the skin only to remove and discard it. The skins add flavor and protect the thighs from drying out in the browning process. But if you leave the chicken skins on during the stewing process, they will be flaccid, rubbery and highly unappealing in the finished dish. If you decide to eat the crisp little chicken skins rather than discard them, you’ll consume 60 calories and 5 grams of fat for each one. If your self-control deserts you and you eat all 8, that would be 480 calories and 40 grams of fat.
The sour cream accounts for about 35 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving. Using reduced fat sour cream shaves 8 calories and less than 1 gram of fat, while sacrificing richness and flavor—which was the point of having in the recipe in the first place. You could leave the sour cream out entirely, of course. You will still have a delicious, if different, final result.
The and tomatoes make this stew a good source of Vitamin A (60% daily allowance per serving), Vitamin C (205%) and lycopene.
Your DeKalb Farmers Market is THE source for very good, inexpensive paprika, or any spice for that matter; if you can’t get there, you can order the Hungarian Sweet Paprika from Penzeys online at this link.