Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cleaned Up Chicken Paprikash

When my friend North asked me to post a recipe for his “Soups, Stews, and Chilis” recipe series, I thought about it for a bit, and then gave him this recipe from my family. . The recipe is a favorite of mine; I find the creaminess of the paprika sauce comforting and warming. I knew he’d enjoy making it as much as I enjoyed passing it along.

While not terrible on the relative Clean Eating scale – there are some tweaks that can be made to make this an overall healthier dish. Specifically, ensuring all ingredients are organic, low or no sodium added, and substituting Greek yogurt ( I’d actually use 2% milk fat yogurt instead of 0% that I normally recommend! ) for the sour cream that gives this dish the creamy sauce I swoon over.

Cleaned Up Chicken Paprikash

3lbs organic whole chicken leg and thigh, on the bone
6 tablespoons olive oil 
1 cup onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 tablespoons organic no sodium added tomato paste
2+ tablespoons paprika ( sweet or hot - your choice )
1 cup organic low sodium chicken stock ( not broth- there is a difference! )
1 good dollop of Greek 2% milk fat yogurt
Salt and pepper

1, Roughly remove the skin from the chicken legs. You don't want to clean all the fat, or all of the skin from the chicken, Its important to leave a bit behind for flavor.

2. Heat the olive oil together in a heavy, deep frying pan. Add the chicken parts and brown both sides them over a medium heat.

3. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside. Add chopped onion and garlic to the pan and saute until translucent ( about 6+ minutes on medium heat )

4. Tip the pan so that the oil flows to one side and using a large spoon, remove 2/3 of the oil from the pan and discard. Add the tomato paste and paprika to the onions and garlic in the pan, and mix thoroughly.
5. Add the chicken stock to the pan and incorporate into the tomato paste mixture. Add the chicken pieces back to the pan and simmer covered for about 30+ minutes ( covered ) until meat is cooked. Ladle some sauce onto the chicken so the sauce is on the chicken.

6. Once the chicken is cooked,  remove from the pan and let cool for 10+ minutes. While chicken is cooling, turn the heat to medium-low and allow remaining sauce to reduce on the stove gently. Stir frequently.

7.  While the sauce reduces and the chicken is cool, flake the chicken apart with either your fingers or 2 forks and put into a bowl. Add a good dollop of Greek yogurt to the pan. And if you like Greek yogurt, add a little more. Add the flaked chicken pieces back into the Greek yogurt and tomato sauce and heat the chicken back up.
Serve over rice, or noodles.