Friday, April 9, 2010

Chicken Goulash

This recipe has been around in our house for a really long time. Pieces of chicken simmered in a delicious sauce, served up with herbed dumplings, pasta (or rice), and a green salad, all comes together for a really yummy meal. This picture really doesn't do the dish justice; whole wheat noodles always look somewhat beige no matter what I do.

It's delicious. Cheap to make. Makes a LOT, and so there's often leftovers. You can even freeze the leftovers if you want, except for the dumplings. The dumplings are kind of like baking powder biscuits, cooked right in the sauce. I like them, and Jake looooves them.

Adapted from the Easy Gourmet

one 2 1/2 to 3 lb chicken, cut into pieces (skinned) or 750 g or boneless chicken breasts, cut into serving sized pieces. (breasts tend to get dry so if I use them, I cut back on the cooking time a bit. Boneless, skinless thighs are really good and stay tender)
1/4 tsp salt and pepper
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp paprika
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 large tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 medium sweet bell pepper, sliced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp marjoram
1 bay leaf
pinch ground nutmeg

herbed dumplings (recipe follows)
2/3 cup sour cream

Mix the flour with some salt and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.

Heat up a large, deep, saucepan and melt the butter and oil together. Dredge the chicken pieces and add them, one by one, sauteing over medium high heat until they are browned. . You might need to do this in batches. When the pieces are browned, remove them to a plate. Add a little more butter or oil, and add the onion to the pan. Saute over medium heat until it's soft, watching the bottom of the pan so things don't get too brown and burn. Throw in the paprika and continue to cook and stir, then add the leftover flour from dredging your chicken. Cook for about a minute or two, then slowly stir in the chicken stock, stirring well, It will thicken up slightly from the flour almost right away. Add the tomatoes, sweet pepper, tomato paste, sugar, marjoram, bay leaf, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then add your chicken back to the pot before covering and turning down the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 40 minutes if you are using chicken pieces with bones or chicken thighs. If you are using boneless breast, I'd simmer for about 15-20 minutes because you are going to put the entire thing in the oven later.

Meanwhile, make the herbed dumplings!

1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter (cold)
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
4 tbsp of cold water

Mix the flour, baking powder, parsley, and salt together in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in the water until you have a soft dough. You may need to add a bit more-sometimes I add as much as 5 tbsp.

Divide the dough into about 8 pieces and form each one into a ball.

Heat the oven to 350 F.

Pour the chicken and sauce from the pan into a deep (10 cup) casserole dish. Arrange the dumplings around the edge of the dish and on top of the chicken. Cover and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the dumplings are risen and cooked.

Spoon sour cream into the middle of the casserole dish and serve

Makes 4 servings.
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