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Chicken Paprikash and Buttered Noodles

(recipe, Diane Morgan, Dan Taggart, Kathleen Taggart)

Introduction

This entrée is an old family favorite. Friday night supper was either brisket or chicken, and Chicken Paprikash was one of the memorable meals. This recipe was created from taste memories and the cooking techniques refined from experience because, frankly, in the kitchen of our youth there wasn't an instant-read thermometer in sight! Any written family recipe for this dish would have said something like, "cook for two hours or all day." We recommend using chicken breasts and thighs. If you prefer all white meat or all dark meat, select your favorite parts. Keep in mind that you need a total of 3 3/4 to 4 pounds of chicken.

Ingredients

    Chicken
    1. ½ cup all-purpose flour
    2. 5 Tbsp. Hungarian sweet paprika, divided (see Cook's Notes)
    3. 1½ tsp. salt
    4. ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    5. 4 chicken breast halves, bone in, with skin (see Cook's Notes)
    6. 4 chicken thighs
    7. ¼ cup vegetable oil
    8. 1 large yellow onion (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
    9. 1 large fresh tomato (about 8 ounces), peeled, seeded, and diced (see Cook's Notes)
    10. 1 large green bell pepper (about 8 ounces), seeded, deveined, and cut into ½-inch dice
    11. 2 Tbsp. sour cream
    12. ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
    Noodles
    1. 2 tsp. salt
    2. 1 16.0 oz. package extra-wide egg noodles or dumpling egg noodles
    3. 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
    4. ¼ cup minced fresh parsley

    Steps

    1. To make chicken, in a large, heavy-duty plastic bag, mix flour with 3 tablespoons of the paprika, salt, and pepper. Add chicken, and close tightly. Shake well to coat chicken parts.
    2. In a straight-sided, 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Place chicken in a single layer in pan and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove to a large plate. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons paprika and sauté 2 minutes longer. Return chicken to pan and add diced tomato and 1½ cups water. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook 15 minutes longer. Chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of breast meat or thigh registers 170°F. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken to a warm serving platter. Stir sour cream and parsley into liquid in pan, then spoon over chicken.
    3. To cook noodles, fill an 8-quart stockpot three-quarters full with water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt, then add noodles. Cook until al dente with a little bite remaining; check package directions for suggested cooking time. Noodles shouldn't be mushy. Stir noodles several times to prevent them from sticking to bottom of pan. Drain, but do not rinse. Place in a large serving bowl, add butter and parsley, and toss to mix. Serve immediately, or cover tightly with foil and keep warm, up to 1 hour, in a 200°F oven.

    Note

    In highly specialized markets, you might find as many as six different styles of Hungarian paprika, but generally, the two most common types are "sweet" and "hot." You want Hungarian sweet paprika for this dish, but add some hot paprika if you want to spice it up. Remove peel from tomatoes by blanching in boiling water for 15 to 30 seconds before slipping skins off. Or use a sharp, swivel-action vegetable peeler to remove skin. * This is a great do-ahead dish. Make it up to 3 days before you plan to serve it and refrigerate until 1 hour before serving. Don't add sour cream and parsley until you reheat on top of stove or in a preheated 350°F oven.