Sunday, January 23, 2011


If you've ever tried Chicken Paprikash, it's probably because your Hungarian grandmother slaved away all Sunday at the stove making it for you... and you no doubt reaped the benefits of her hard work. Well, I've lightened up this comfort food and turned it into a simple enough dish that you can whip it together in no time flat, even on a weeknight. Greek yogurt adds a protein packed tang and a few slices of smokey bacon pairs perfectly with the paprika. Tossing in some vitamin rich veggies like peas and bell peppers offer some added health benefits and makes you feel a little less guilty about indulging in this Hungarian favorite.

3 slices of bacon
2 cups cooked chicken breasts, chopped into 1" pieces
1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2" pieces
1 small yellow onion, chopped into 1/2" pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 package (1 lb) frozen gnocchi dumplings, cooked according to package directions
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 tbs. paprika
extra virgin olive oil

-cut the bacon into 1/2" pieces
-fry the bacon in a large pan with high sides on medium heat for about 5 minutes
-remove bacon from pan and set aside
-carefully wipe the pan of the bacon grease with a paper towel
-add 1 tsp. olive oil to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low
-add the peppers, onions, and garlic to the pan, and cook for about 7-10 minutes until onions are soft and transparent
-in a small mixing bowl, whisk together chicken broth, yogurt, paprika, and cornstarch
-add mixture to the pan and reduce heat to low/simmer
-add chicken, gnocchi, peas, and 3/4 of the cooked bacon and stir to combine
-season well with salt and pepper
-cook on low for about 10 minutes until warmed through
-serve with a garnish of remaining 1/4 of bacon and enjoy!

serves approximately 3-4

This is an adaptation of my mom's recipe we ate growing up. I've made my recipe a more quick-cooking one, and added a few ingredients inspired by other paprikash dishes I have eaten.

-If you can't find gnocchi, egg noodles are also a common accompaniment to paprikash.
-Want it lactose free? Puree some lactose-free cottage cheese in a blender with about 1/4 cup of broth (until it becomes the same consistency as sour cream). I've used Lactaid brand and it works great!
-To make it a little richer, use white wine instead of broth. Or, to make it more cost efficient, use water instead of broth.
-You can swap sour cream in place of yogurt.
-Make the cooking easier by using a storebought rotisserie chicken!
-Try it with pork! Cut up a cooked pork tenderloin and add it to the dish instead of chicken.
-Make it vegetarian: toss in some roasted zucchini and eggplant and a handful of chopped spinach in place of the meat. Add some chopped celery and carrots in with the sauteed onions and peppers, too.
-Don't like peas? Leave them out!
-Family won't eat the veggies? Puree the red pepper and onions and add some grated carrots into the dish too- they will go unnoticed and the dish will taste great!
-You can leave the bacon out if you'd like; it just adds a nice smokiness I like in my dish.

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