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If you’re like me, your knowledge of chicken paprikash may be limited to that scene in “When Harry Met Sally.” Waiter! There is too much pepper on my paprikash! If so, also like me, you’ve been missing out. But, have no fear, we can make up for lost time and deliciousness.

Fast forward 25 years to last month, when one of my friends shared a recipe for this dish. It sounded so good, I wanted to give it a try with some of my own twists. Here’s a little disclaimer: I’m not Hungarian, I’ve never eaten this dish before and can’t tell you how authentic it is. In fact, I believe the original dish calls for chicken thighs rather than breasts. But, that’s the beauty of making something your own–you can do exactly as you wish. I can tell you it’s quite delish and I’ll be making it again during the season of my discontent (a.k.a. winter).

CHICKEN PAPRIKASH

½ pound egg noodles

Butter and olive oil to coat the bottom of a pan
1-1.25 pounds chicken breast, cut into hearty chunks
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, pressed
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1½ teaspoons tomato paste
1/2 cup sour cream
fresh chopped parsley

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt. Add chicken and toss to coat.

Add olive oil and butter to a pan over medium-high heat.

Add chicken and any remaining seasoned flour to pan. Brown chicken on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a dish.

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PSSST! Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Soon, it will be time to cook the egg noodles.

But, for now, back to the pan where the chicken was cooking. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and cook till golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper and sliced mushrooms. Cook 5 minutes more.

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Then add wine, chicken stock and tomato paste.

Time to cook the noodles! Like magic, watch how the timing comes together perfectly.

Return the chicken to the pan and cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 7-10 minutes. This is about the time it will take to cook the noodles. For the last few minutes of the chicken part of the program, reduce heat to the lowest setting, add sour cream and parsley, heat through—about 1-2 minutes.

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Serve with noodles. Enjoy the living daylights out of this dish. We did!

And, on an optimistic note, tomorrow is the winter solstice. Brighter days are ahead, amici!
Midnight has come. I hear music and I’ll keep on singing. 

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