Remember the scene in When Harry Meets Sally When Harry says in that funny voice, “Waiter, there is too much pepper in my paprikash.” Anyway, I can’t ever say that word without thinking of that scene.Print
This is the kind of dish that – upon first bite — reveals itself immediately and inarguably to be comfort food, even if you’ve never eaten it before in your life. It’s a classic Hungarian dish, which features chicken, onions, broth, tomatoes (sometimes, not always) and of course copious amounts of paprika. I have been playing around with my tin of smoked paprika for quite a while now, and while I love the flavor, it can come on strong, so here I relied primarily on the typical sweet Hungarian paprika, and then added a little bit of smoked to give it another level of flavor. You could also add a bit of hot paprika to give it a different kind of kick.
If you are the kind of person to make your own dumplings or noodles, this is a great moment to whip out that skill set. For the rest of us, and for a weeknight dinner, a bag of egg noodles fits the bill perfectly. You don’t want to heat the sour cream in the sauce over the stove, or it might curdle. Just stir it into the pot at the very end, and it will add a tangy-creamy note to the warm sauce.
- 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 8 large pieces)
- Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 large onions, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon smoked or hot paprika (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 1 (12-ounce) bag egg noodles
1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a very large, deep heavy skillet (such as cast iron) over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin side down, and cook for about 8 minutes, until the skin is nicely crispy. Flip the chicken and cook for another 8 minutes or so until the bottom of the chicken is nicely browned (it will not be cooked through). Remove the chicken to a plate.
2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Return the pan to medium heat, and add the onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until soft and moderately browned. Stir in the garlic and sauté for another minute. Stir in the flour and the paprika, as well as the additional paprika if using, until is all well incorporated into the oil, one more minute. Add the bay leaves, tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Return the chicken to the liquid, skin side up, and cook for another 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
3. Meanwhile cook the egg noodles according to package directions. Remove the chicken to the same plate you held it on the first time. Remove the bay leaves, and stir the sour cream into the sauce. Place the chicken over the hot noodles, either on a serving platter or on individual serving plates, and spoon over the sauce.