Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Not quite curry

Chicken was on special at Pak N Save this week, so I got myself some chicken breasts and went digging through the poultry chapter for a recipe. There were several possibilities, but eventually I settled on chicken paprika (p138).

The full recipe is for 4 chicken breasts, but, as usual, I only made a half recipe. Even then, I had to chop each chicken breast into several pieces so they would fit in my frying pan. You'd need a large pan to do the full recipe - an electric frypan would do the job quite well.

You begin by browning the chicken breasts, then you set them aside and start cooking the onions. I had my pan too hot and browned my onions instead of cooking them "until clear", but it didn't seem to make any difference to the end result. When the onions are done, you add the paprika, and, after 30 seconds' cooking, some flour. So by the time you start adding the liquid, the onions are coated in flour and paprika.

The gradual addition of chicken stock results in a thick gravy around the onions. In fact, since the next step was bringing it to the boil, adding the chicken and simmering for 15 minutes, I decided that there was just not enough liquid, and added quite a lot more stock.

Once the chicken has been simmering for 15 minutes, you stir through some sour cream. I think yoghurt would also work if you didn't have any sour cream. At this point the sauce goes really creamy. I was fascinated with the sweetly spicy flavour of the sauce and kept making excuses to taste it. Once the chicken is cooked, take it off the heat and add some lemon juice, salt and pepper. Go easy on the lemon juice, by the way - I added more than I should've and the lemon overpowered the paprika flavour.

Chicken paprika's a lot like a curry in appearance, and not dissimilar in flavour. It's very mild though, so if you're the kind of person who usually orders a red-hot vindaloo at the local Indian takeaway, I wouldn't think this one's for you. If, however, you're more of a creamy-sauced, chicken korma kind of person, you'd probably quite like this. 

The sauce on mine was a bit runny, since I'd added the extra liquid. I'm not upset about that - the sauce was the best part, and it's not difficult to thicken a sauce if you don't like it runny. Served over rice, it was very tasty: creamy, tangy, with a sweet spicy background flavour from the paprika. Next time I make this, I'll be cutting the chicken up into even smaller bits - it'd cook more quickly and go further too. I think that'd work better than the whole breast version in the recipe.


  1. I make this with the chicken chopped up and use smoked paprika. Mushrooms and red capsicum are quite nice I'm it too.

  2. Mmm, sounds good! I'll have to give it a go.


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