By: Sarity Gervais
So here the story goes.
Last Friday afternoon I was driving home from the grocery store to my home in Santa Fe New Mexico, a 4-minute ride. That’s if you’re familiar with the topography which I’m not, being a newbie in this town. When my iPhone (that’s also my GPS) rang. I broke all my rules and lounged at it. It was my son, and one of the most amazing people on the planet. I don’t usually pick up, but I was so excited to speak to him. Thus, of course, I did. Now, my ancient car doesn’t have a built-in GPS or Bluetooth device. You must pick between navigation or conversation. Guess which I picked. Eventually, once I took the wrong fork in the road and went to some Indian Pueblo, it didn’t matter any more and we began talking of the subject of my new blog:
The Best Hungarian Kosher for Passover Recipes.
The previous blog began with me in my old car with its $16 Bluetooth gadget that can do only one thing at a time. It may be used for navigation or for using my phone. I was minutes away from my new home, excited to talk to my son, so I chose the phone mode. Of course, without the GPS, I took the wrong fork in the road and kept driving into the wilderness.
I actually intended to talk about Hungarian Kosher recipes. My beloved son wanted to talk about his emotional and spiritual gratitude for the growth which comes from keeping calm in the eye of the storm. He threw me an irresistible bait. I love going deep into the human psyche, especially with someone as profound as my son. Before long, I realized I was hopelessly lost. Barren desert all around me. If I’m to get home before night had to glance at my GPS. I did and was shocked at how far away I got from Santa Fe. Once I figured out my route I made a u-turn and was back on the straight and narrow Highway that will in half an hour lead close to my house. I settled in to ‘talk chicken.’
Here it is.
Recipe for Chicken Paprikásh.
3 lbs chicken pieces, dark meat (drumsticks, thighs ) bone-in and skin- on, cleaned and dried with a paper towel. It’s the traditional way to leave in the bones, plus they play a part in creating a rich flavor and thick aspic (bone jelly) sauce.
2 TBS oil, (your choice – coconut, safflower, etc. Olive oil may be too strong a flavor)
3 yellow onions, very finely chopped
3 garlic cloves very finely minced
3-4 Tbs Hungarian Szegedi Paprika (a mix of sweet 2 and hot 1) The Paprika is the deciding factor in how your dish will turn out. You can get the most perfect Paprika, both hot and sweet, on Amazon for $6 each. It’s luscious, vibrant red and amazingly rich flavor. Don’t settle. It MUST BE HUNGARIAN, and the quantity is critical. If you choose to go with only sweet paprika, it will be just as good.
2 Roma tomatoes,, seeds removed, chopped finely
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 fresh peppers, yellow and red, Hungarian and/or Bel, diced
In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil and brown the chicken on all sides, sealing in the juices. Place the chicken on a plate. Using the same oil in place in the onions and fry until golden brown. Add the garlic, peppers, tomatoes and cook for 2 -3 mins. Now comes the time for caution. Remove the entire pot from the heat. Stir in the paprika, salt, and pepper, careful not to scorch the paprika. It becomes bitter if burned and loses its great flavor.
Return the chicken to the pot and back over the stovetop. Cover the pot and bring to a boil for a minute. Right away, turn down the heat to a simmer and allow to cook in its own juices for about an hour or a little more. Keep an eye on the slowly simmering chicken meat to see it doesn’t overcook. The heat inside the covered pot is sure to kill all bacteria.
By now, there will be a great deal of juice, and the fat from the skin will be floating on top. Let it cool down, then leave in the fridge overnight. The next day there will be a thick layer of chicken fat on top of the Paprikásh. Scrape it off.
Heat the sauce again to make a reduction from the jelled juice. Put in the chicken pieces, heat thoroughly, decorate with parsley, and serve with boiled potato pieces for Passover. The luscious red sauce will flavor your potatoes Sprinkle green, fresh parsley for decoration and extra flavor.
Traditionally, after Passover, Chicken Paprikash is served with Nokedli.
This is a simple dish with few ingredients: eggs, flour salt, and a bit of water. The amount of water determines dough thickness.
Mix the ingredients in a bowl. If you intend to use the traditional knife method, place on a wet wooden cutting board. Let the dough rest for about 30 mins. In either case. Boil some salted water. If you get a Nokedli maker on Amazon, the mixture is placed into the square open box on top of the grater like device. It will then be pressed through the holes into the boiling water, making very even and perfect noodles. With the knife method, you’ll tilt the cutting board at an angle and with a wet knife slice small pieces right into the pot of boiling water. This dough ought to be a bit thicker than the Nokedli maker dough. Cook until the little noodles swim up to the surface then lift them gently out of the water with a netted spoon…
I tried making Nokedli with finely ground Matzo meal. Sadly, my first attempt was a failure.
Until a better solution is found, Chicken Paprikásh can be served with boiled potatoes, vegetable dishes and a wide variety of side dishes depending on Ashkenazi or Sephardi customs.
Yesterday I made a second attempt with a very fine matzo meal and Wow! It worked. I bought The Nokedli maker at Amazon and you could barely taste the difference. I think I’ll be using the clever device even after Passover because the noodles turn out beautiful and the process is super easy.
Boil a pot of salted water as you prep the Nokedli. With the Finest Kosher for Passover Matzo Meal Mix two or three eggs and a little water. Use egg whipper to ensure there will be no lumps. Make sure the dough is solid but not hard.
Place the smoothly blended dough into the Nokedli maker and let it flow through the holes under the gadget’s holey bottom, right into the boiling water. Move the box container after you moistened the new area. I added the link for you to see the equipment and the different choices $12-25
And continue until the entire dough is bouncing in the boiling water.
You’ll know it’s done when the noodles swim up to the surface. Ladle them out right away into a dish with a wire ladle, to ensure they don’t get waterlogged.
My grandmother’s Chicken Paprikásh
About 3 lbs of chicken pieces, skin, and bones intact. An entire chicken is cut into 8-10 pieces. Often my gran would put in an extra half chicken, all drumsticks and thighs, especially when expecting a larger dinner company.
>3 tbsp of Szegedi paprika. Both my grandpa and ma loved the smoked hot paprika, so they would add one heaping Tbs of hot and delicately smokey Hungarian Paprika to the dishes. Plus, they had tubes upon tubes of this magical paste my family would restock each time they’d visit Budapest. It’s made of crushed tomatoes, peppers, and natural flavoring. I love to put it on buttered bread, and it’s yummy to add to casseroles. My mom still has a half tube in her fridge’s door, inside a cloth bag with Hungarian writing on it. It still tastes impressive, and when you mix a touch, it elevates the entire dish to a fairy tale level. It indeed does seem like a fairy tale since the tube stays half full, the paste smells and tastes miraculously fresh.
1/2 tsp Salt
One tomato chopped
2 onions very, very finely chopped
2-3 cloves minced garlic
4 Hungarian wax peppers, thin look like banana peppers but they are spicy with thick flesh. Upon maturity, they get to be orange, even red. They have an interesting sweet yet hot flavor.
3 Tbs chicken schmaltz or oil. Later they preferred oil.
2 cups (0.47 l) excellent chicken broth (bone broth cooked with lots of chicken and veggies, always kept in the fridge, some extra in the freezer).
Flour (3 Tsp) or very finely ground matzo meal for passover
1 cup vegan sour cream.
Vegan Sour Cream.
Start with 1 cup of raw cashews, soaked overnight in cold water
Add 1 tsp distilled vinegar
Half a lemon, squeezed
Put cashew s with just enough pure water to cover the cashews,, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and apple cider vinegar in a strong blender. Blend on high – Vitamix is best but if your blender is powerful, go with it until creamy and white.
In a large and heavy pot heat the fat or oil, and brown the chicken pieces, to seal in all the juice. Crisp the skin a bit then remove it to a platter.
Place the onions until all golden (2 mins) then add garlic pepper and tomato. Remove from heat and mix in the fine HUMGARIAN Paprika. But keep the pot off the flame, while you do that so it doesn’t scorch- don’t let the paprika burn.
Put back the chicken pieces, pour on the broth and let it cook with the cover on. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer for about 45 minutes.
Take out chicken place on the platter. Take out a cup or two of the sauce into a small bowl and use your vegan sour cream and flour (or fine matzo meal) to whisk them together to prevent lumps. When you’re satisfied that the sauce is silky return to pan and simmer gently for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Return the chicken to the delicious sauce, and serve with nokedli, noodles or potatoes.