Well, for some.
I hope those of you that are of the United Statesean persuasion are enjoying the long holiday weekend. I’m home in The Mitten for Thanksgiving and it’s been a sweatpants and sloth kind of party over here. Important things have been accomplished such as eating, writing Christmas cards, eating and finally getting around to watching Frozen.* Way to be timely on catching up with pop culture.
*In my defense, mom and I tried to watch Frozen multiple times in the past few years. Once, we were AT DISNEY, and we could not, for the life of us, find it after searching multiple pay-per-view options. Anyway, we watched, we loved, and then we sang Let it Go to ourselves for days after.
I do love coming home so much because I really have no important life adult things to do: no work, no laundry, no chores and no feeding myself. This works out well for two reasons: 1) I don’t personally have to cook because mom is more than happy to do that for me and 2) you get to eat all the wonderful mom foods that I can’t do justice on my own.
Because mom food is just so in a league of its own.
Today’s mom food is chicken paprikash, a variation on my other mom favorite veal paprikash. This is awesome and special in its own way because rather than being served with that wonderful parsley orzo, this is accompanied by nokedli, which is essentially Hungarian spaetzle.
Let’s talk about this for a second. The authentic way to make these dumplings is using a nokedli szagato (suh-ga-toe), which is kind of like a spaetzle maker. Mom’s version of this looks like an 8” round cake pan with holes punched in the bottom. If you lack a holey cake pan, or a spaetzle maker, you can use a regular box grater or simply pinch off bits of dough using the tools that God gave you. Your nokedli will be tasty nonetheless.
For the chicken:
1 whole roasting chicken, about 4 pounds, cut up and breast reserved
1 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
11/2 medium carrot, chopped the same size as the onion
1 1/2 tsp, heaping of Sweet Hungarian Paprika
2-3 TB parsley, chopped
2 tsp flour
2 tsp butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup sour cream
For the dumplings:
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
water to the consistency of thick paste (to quote tomato, half slime, half bread dough)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Make the chicken:
Saute the onions in butter and cook until golden. Add the carrot and cook until tender. Add the paprika and toast about 5 minutes.
Add the meat (not the breast, yet), parsley and salt and pepper and simmer until the meat is tender, about 30 minutes. Add the breast meat and let simmer until cooked, about 15-20 minutes.
Add just enough liquid (water or stock) to cover what is in the pan (not too much…)
Mix together the flour and sour cream and add to the stew. Incorporate thoroughly and serve with dumplings.
Make the dumplings:
Combine ingredients and beat until smooth. Let it sit 30 minutes and beat it just before you’re ready to cook.
Boil a large pot of water and drop dough into water 1/4 teaspoon size of dough. Let boil until the dumplings rise to the top, just a few minutes. Alternatively, push the dough through the large holes of a grater to make less uniform looking dumplings.
Drain the dumplings and place in a medium bowl. Add the butter, salt, pepper and parsley and stir until the butter melts and coats everything thoroughly. Serve with chicken.
I hope you give this a try! If you do, I’m confident that this mom favorite of mine will become one of yours.
Written while watching Frozen. Again.
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