I believe that paprika is underrated in the U.S. — people seem to only use it for adding a finishing touch (of color) to casseroles and deviled eggs, but it has such a wonderful flavor when used as a key ingredient in a dish. I keep three varieties on hand: Sweet Hungarian Paprika, Hot Hungarian Paprika and Smoked Paprika from Spain. Chicken Paprikash is a dish that really shows off the Hungarian Paprika — I made this tonight (I make it regularly), and hope you’ll try it, as well. It is traditionally served with spaetzle, but I like to serve it with orecchiette pasta.
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
2 tsp hot Hungarian paprika
1/4 tsp ground caraway seeds
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp salt
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken with 2 Tbsp of the sweet paprika, 1 tsp of the hot paprika, the ground caraway seeds and 1 tsp salt.
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, red bell peppers, remaining 1 Tbsp sweet paprika, remaining 1 tsp hot paprika and remaining 1 tsp salt. Saute for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Turn heat up to medium-high. Add the chicken mixture, and saute for 4 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink. Add the tomatoes and stock, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes.
Uncover, add the sour cream and cook gently for about 2 minutes. Season with a bit more salt, if desired. Serve with orecchiette.