Hungarian Paprika Chicken Recipe Needs Help!
Last night, I made hungarian paprika chicken in the crockpot. Although it was okay, it was not nearly as flavorful as I had hoped...the sauce was sort of bland. I don't have the recipe in front of me, but here's an idea of how I cooked it. Maybe someone can help me out or suggest a better recipe with more flavor to the sauce.
5 chicken breasts (bone & skin included) (We don't like dark meat)
4 Tablespoons paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground chipote powder
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup lite sour cream
2 Tablespoons flour
First, I sauteed the onion and garlic in oil until translucent, then mixed in the paprika and chipote powder and stirred it well, cooking for just a few minutes. In another pan, I put some more olive oil, sprinkled the chicken with the seasoned salt, and browned the chicken for a few minutes. Then, I put everything in the crockpot, and I cooked it on high for about 4 hours. Just before serving, I mixed the flour with the sour cream, and mixed in with the juices to make the sauce.
I'm not looking to make the dish spicier...just more flavorful, since for some reason the sauce didn't seem to have a lot of taste.
4 tbsp of paprika should have given you a lot of flavor, and blooming the spice in the oil is certainly the way to go. Maybe you need a fresh batch? Did you taste the sauce before mixing in the sour cream? The sour cream mellows it quite a bit. I usually use 2 parts sweet paprika to 1 part hot paprika.
I prefer to use water or broth and just a touch of tomato paste instead of a can of crushed tomatoes, to get more paprika flavor and less tomato.
Just my thinking, but I don't see the need for a crockpot. With white meat this dish could be 30 minutes on the stove. Hack the chicken into smaller pieces. Sauce will penetrate meat better. Browning white meat tends to just make it seize up. Follow your first steps except add the flour then to make a kind of roux. "Deglaze" with the crushed tomatoes. For a quick one I find you get better flavor with tomato paste. Add that to the pan after the flour has had time to cook off its rawness. Let paste work its way into the mix and then deglaze with water. Start with just enough to get everything worked together and unstuck from pan. Then add chicken in. Add liquid to half cover chicken and simmer till chicken is done. Take some of the liquid out to temper with the sour cream and stir the mixture back in. Uncover pan to reduce excess liquid or add more as needed before the sour cream step. Especially with just breast meat, you may want to use broth in stead of water or even a little bouillon powder or mushroom powder to boost the taste. Roughly minced flat leaf parsley added when plating brightens the flavor as well.
Thanks for the suggestion to cook on the stove rather than using the crockpot. Actually, the recipe called for cooking on the stove...however, I don't have a dutch oven or large enough pan to cook it in on the stove, so that's the only reason I used the crockpot. Geez...I have 3 large stock/soup pots, and lots of casserole dishes, but no dutch oven. Maybe that will go on my Christmas list!
The recipe in the (newer) Joy of Cooking is similar, but no tomatoes, and 3 cups of chopped onion. Did you fiddle with the amount of salt? Many recipes end with a 'season to taste' line. Also, what is the quality and freshness of your paprika? Mine is a bit old, but I keep it in the fridge. As I understand the dish, paprika and onion should be the dominant flavors.