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Boiling chicken for chicken paprikash

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I am planning on making chicken paprikash based on a recipe from a friend's grandma. It has always been delicious when she has made it but I want to make sure the flavors come out well.
The directions:
Salt a whole chicken and cut into pieces overnight
Take skin off next day and rinse. Place chicken pieces in stock pot. Place 4 cups of h20 with heaping tbsp sweet/hungarian paprika; 3/4 tbsp onion powder; 1 tbsp garlic powder. Can place whole tomatoes as well.
Boil then lower to a simmer for 30-40 minutes. While simmering, in separate pot cook elbow macaroni. Take chicken out and set aside. In chicken stock, put 7 ounces sour cream, more paprika, onion powder to taste and macaroni together. Place chicken together and serve.

My questions... may I use whole kosher chicken in pieces in package instead? Is it already salted? Do you think keeping skin on will be okay? That's how I make matzo ball soup and I like the additional flavor. Any additional suggestions are much appreciated!

Thank you! .

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  1. Kosher chicken is already salted. If you can deal with the extra fat and the texture of boiled chicken skin, I don' t imagine it will hurt the flavor any.

    1 Reply
    1. re: HPLsauce

      My question as well: why would you want boiled chicken skin? Baked, broiled, or grilled--OK. But boiled?

    2. Claudia Roden keeps the skin on, in her recipe for Hungarian Chicken Paprikash, taken from her masterwork "Book of Jewish food". Of course you can, but that makes it higher in fat. Obviously the kosher version of that recipe, traditional among Hungarian (and Viennese) Jews, would not contain sour cream!

      I'm surprised at the elbow macaroni. Wouldn't flat egg noodles be more typical of Mitteleuropean cuisines?

      And you really don't want to use garlic or onion powder... Garlic and onion are health-giving and tasty!

      I wouldn't "boil" a chicken for any kind of stew. If you are using a firmer chicken, and especially a "boiling hen", you'd have to cook it for at least a couple of hours at gentle heat to make it tender.

      6 Replies
      1. re: lagatta

        Gee, I make Chicken Paprikash and have for quite a few years. Our recipes are vastly different.
        I use a whole cut-up fryer and brown it with the skin on, using half olive oil and vegetable oil, golden brown not too dark, while doing this I add a large onion slice thin, then add 3 cloves of sliced garlic and salt and pepper. Once the chicken is browned I remove the onions and the garlic along with the chicken, and set aside, then add another T of Olive oil, and 2 T of Hot Hungarian Paprika. Then I add a 1/2 cup of white wine, let it reduce, add a large can of tomatoes that I have squished up and cored in a bowl, add that to the satua pan. I add about half a can of chicken broth. I just want the chicken to barely be covered. ( I have also added extra thighs and or legs)
        Let this simmer on med for 10 minutes, add the chicken back to the pan, and reduce to a low simmer braise. About 20-25 minutes, the mixture should thicken on its own.
        I usually add more Paprika if needed, I like it spicy.

        Right before serving I add about a half cup of sour cream, I really don't measure I go on taste and looks. Turn it off. You just want the sour cream to warm through or else it will curdle. Serve it with buttered spaetzle! The dish is so much better.
        Making the spaetzle is super easy. I just push the dough into boiling water through a large holed serving spoon, it works perfectly, Top with fresh chopped parsley.
        Its a favorite around here.

        1. re: chef chicklet

          I did notice the vast difference when I googled chicken paprikash, which is why I am concerned about trying it this way. I guess like a lot of foods, one is always accustomed to what one is used to.

          Thanks to all for the suggestions! The reaction to boiled chicken skin is quite funny.

          Thanks again.

          1. re: ral217

            Absolutely a matter of your personal likes and what you're used to. However I find tha lightly browning of the chicken skin with the onion, & garlic adds flavor to chicken. You aren't really browing to the point where a fond is developed. I would worry about burning the garlic, you don't want that taste in there.
            But, really there is no right or wrong.

            1. re: ral217

              Also very different from my mom's recipe which was more Hungarian and my stepmother's which is Viennese Jewish. They all saute and simmer. BUT- if you enjoyed the version you described why not give it a shot and then next time try one of the other ways. Food memories are powerful. Funny about the elbow macaroni because in my experience that stuff in a soupy dish is more prone to fly onto white shirts because it is hard to stab at. Spaetzle sounds good too. I have 3 different paprikas from Penzeys so I think experimentation is in order. I did the one circulating on the net with an onion per skinless thigh, loads of paprik, and no fluids in the crockpot a while ago and it was really good.

            2. re: chef chicklet

              This is similar to how I make it, too. I like using a combination of different paprika (sweet and hot), too. I use a lot of onions, though--whatever I have on hand, three or so. I add the onions and paprika after taking out the chicken and cook until they're soft and slightly carmelized (though not as carmelized as for french onion soup). Deglaze with wine. Add chicken, tomatoes, etc. all back and simmer.

              1. re: chowser

                I like to brown the chicken, skin on, remove, then brown the onions and deglaze with stock. I think you get a richer flavour and preferable texture to the chicken by browning first. Ral's recipe sounds good too and would be simpler to prepare especially if you do not have stock on hand. I would not add salt to kosher chicken.

          2. Chicken Papricas is like so many other dishes. There really is no one "right" way to prepare it. Being Hungarian, however, I tend to stick to the most basic recipe which is: sautee a finely chopped onion in butter, add chicken stock and skinned chicken pieces (the sour cream and butter already provide enough fat in the dish for me), and hot and sweet paprika, simmer don't boil the chicken. Add sour cream at end, salt and pepper as needed. No garlic. No tomatoes. Serve over flat noodles tossed with butter and poppy seeds. I would never use macaroni either.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Ellen

              Hey Ellen, I used to use the wide butered egg noodles, but found that with the "slurp" factor and kids, that the spaetzle worked better at the table!!! That stuff is a bear to get out of shirts. And if they are white, forget about it!

              Wow I'm having a huge craving for this stuff!! I 'm going to try mixing both the sweet and the hot next time.

              1. re: Ellen

                Ellen,
                I like that variation. Does simmering only cook the chicken through? For how long would you simmer? And, about how much chicken stock? I think using chicken or veg stock would be great vs the 4c of h20. I better invite my friends over AFTER I taste this tonight. Just in case. :)
                I am excited b/c it really feels like spring today- cool, no humidity down here and this is meal perfect for a day like today!

                1. re: ral217

                  I cook mine covered in my Le Creuset dutch oven, half an hour or so for boneless breasts up to an hour with bones in, especially if using dark meat. I should clarify that I bring the onion/broth mixture to a boil, add the chicken and then reduce to a simmer and cover. I don't even bother to brown the chicken, but there is no reason you couldn't. I think it comes out more tender when it's poached as opposed to fried or boiled. I always have broth around. I like this recipe because it requires so few ingredients and so little time to throw together but it turns out great every time. It also works fine for rabbit. If making veal paprikas I would flour and brown the veal first but then you also need to be careful not to overcook it.

              2. I've not encountered a Paprikash recipe where boiling and simmering is done in flavored water. I usually brown the skinned chicken pieces with onions, then remove the chicken and add garlic, paprika, thinly sliced peppers and a little bit of dried marjoram, let that cook a bit, then add wine, then chicken broth and tomatoes and the browned chicken. That simmers with lid, and I boil egg noodles. When the chicken is tender, I take it off the heat and after it's cooled, add chopped parsley and some sour cream, usually light Daisy, 'cause that's what we keep around rather than the full fat.

                1 Reply
                1. re: amyzan

                  Oops didnt mean to bring up such an old thread. My mistake.
                  Wow, it's very interesting to see all of the different ways to make the same dish. It reminds me of a chili cook off.

                  My recipe is as follows:
                  1 chicken, cut in to quarters
                  2-3 onions thin sliced
                  2 table spoons of sweet Hungarian paprika
                  3 cloves of garlic smashed
                  4 tbsp of butter
                  2 cups of chicken stock
                  4 tbsp of sour cream

                  In a large baking dish make a bed of onions. Place the chicken quarters on top of the onions. Mix butter and garlic, and rub the mixture under the chicken skin. Add paprika to chicken stock, and pour in baking dish.

                  Place in oven @ 350' F for 30-45 minutes.

                  Remove from oven, remove chicken skin/bones and cut in to large dice. Reduce chicken stock with onions, some times I add roux to thicken because our family likes it as a gravy. Stir in sour cream when finished.

                  a dash of cumin is some times added in our house to give it a bit of a smoky sweet flavor. It complements the paprika well if you are using a quality sweet paprika. (which can actually be found for cheap)

                  I can write up the recipe in detail and post it on the recipe page if anyone is interested.