Sunday, January 21, 2007

Waiter There Is Something in My... Is This Stew?

One of the delights of blogging is the opportunity to join food blogging events, but this month there seem to be a fair number of them happening right about now. So if it seems like I'm only blogging for events, you are absolutely correct at the moment.

New for '07 is an event with a different theme each month, but always starting out with Waiter There is Something in My... It's a creation of Cooksister, Passionate Cook and Andrew, our host this month at Spittoon Extra. This month the theme is Stew.

When I clipped out a recipe for Veal or Chicken Paprikash by Marlena Spieler from the San Francisco Chronicle a few weeks ago (Jan 3 '07) because it had bay leaves, it didn't occur to me that it was a stew, but when it was cooked it sure seemed like a stew, so here it is; Chicken Paprikash Stew.

I did part of the cooking and Sweetie did part of the cooking, then I finished it off a few days later. That time in the fridge allowed the flavors to mingle a bit. The changes are minor: I decided to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces instead of the 3-pound chicken with skin and bones. Never did plan to cook the veal version, but I might someday.

The flavor was fairly mild considering how much paprika went into it. The onions, tomato and peppers all cook up slightly sweet, and I think Sweetie forgot the cayenne, so a liberal addition of freshly ground black pepper and sour cream added a bit of punch. This is real comfort food. Great with noodles, it would also be good and authentic with fresh dumplings or spaetzle.

Chicken Paprikash Stew Elle's Way
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers (I used red for both, but you can use red and/or green),
stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced or chopped

2 tablespoons mild (preferably Hungarian) paprika
2 bay leaves
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed and cut into bite sized chunks
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon marjoram
Salt and a pinch of cayenne
Black pepper to taste

In a heavy nonreactive casserole or large skillet, lightly saute the onion in the oil until softened, then add the garlic and peppers and cook about 5 minutes until the peppers are also soft.
Remove from the heat and stir in the paprika (if you add it on the heat the high sugar content of the paprika will scorch and give the sauce a bitter flavor).
Add the bay leaves and chicken, then reurn to the heat for about 5 minutes, and cook to gild the meat slightly. Pour in the wine and continue cooking a few minutes, then add the broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reuce the heat to very, very low and simmer, covered, for 25-35 minutes, until very tender.
Mix the sour cream with the flour and stir until smooth. Stir into the stew, then season with marjoram, salt, cayenne and black pepper. Cook uncovered about 15 minutes, or until thickened. Remove the bay leaves, season to taste and serve. Serves 6.


  1. Glad you found the time to join in with yet another event (when we created Waiter... there was nothing happening at all!)

  2. Glad to join this event Andrew. It was FIRST on my January calendar and one I've been looking forward to cooking for. It's especially good because you are encouraging everyone to participate. Hope this is a huge turnout!

  3. Anonymous2:24 PM

    Your stew looks amazing!

  4. Hi Elle! I came via Andrew. This looks great! As a Hungarian, I really enjoy to discover dishes with Hungarian flavor on foodblogs around the world. Cheers, Zsofi

  5. Kirsten, let me know if you try it and how it works out for you.

    Zsofi, you must have been pleased with all the stew recipes with Hungarian infuluence. Hungary has some fantastic food heritage. I have a cookbook I found in a used book store called 'Hungarian Cookery, Recipes New and Old' from 1941 that has wonderful recipes. I'll blog some soon. Nice to 'meet' you.

  6. Looks great! I love making a big stew and then letting it sit. It always tastes better the next day. I just finished off the stew I made for this event at work today since I brought it for lunch.

  7. There's so many events I had to squeeze three of them into one post...

    I like your addition of sour cream here.

  8. Rachel, I think I want your leftovers more than the ones I have in my 'fridge. Just visited your blog and the snapper revisited is a great dish. Glad to 'meet' you!

  9. Brilynn, Saw that great recipe on your blog. Awesome that you combined three in one and the stew has such great ingredients, too. Do you have a good source for the meat or do you know a hunter?