Csirkepaprikás Tarhonya (Chicken Paprikash served with Tarhonya)
Disclaimer: I am not at all hungarian; I was just lucky enough to spend some time in Budapest a few years ago which gave me an oppportunity to appreciate good hungarian cooking.
So on to the food - csirkepaprikás tarhonya, Chicken Paprikash served with tarhonya.
Oddly it was the tarhonya that got me interested in hungarian cooking; it seemed so simple and yet difficult to replicate at home. It's actually a sort of pasta but it's browed in oil first, then cooked with stock, then fried onions are mixed in at the end.
I tasted it for the first time at a lunch counter here : http://www.budapest-tourist-guide.com/great-market-hall.html
Did I mention that this is seriously fattening cooking?
Anyway. To start with, you need the following:
A couple of onions chopped.
4 tblsp Sunflower oil or lard
4-5 chicken legs skinned and jointed (or a whole chicken jointed)
Traditionally you'd leave the skin on and fry it before cooking, but really you can happily skin it and just add the skinned pieces once the sauce is made - there really is enough fat in this without adding in chicken skin.
3 tblsp sweet hungarian paprika - this really is important, if you can't get hungarian make sure what you have is fresh, sweet and definitely NOT hot.
1/2 pint soured cream
Closeup of the paprika packaging. I'm lucky enough to have a hungarian shop reasonably close by me.
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Heat the oil or lard in a heavy-based pot Fry the onions til they are soft and sweet Add the paprika, pepper and salt
Cook for about a minute until they are gently fried - DO NOT BURN THE PAPRIKA Add the chicken pieces Add 1.5 cups of water Stir well, then cook until the chicken is just done
Take the chicken out of the pot and put aside to cool.
Add 1.5 cups of soured cream (I used the polish soured cream which is in the yellow carton in the first picture and it was delicious) and mix in thoroughly.
Thicken with a roux made of 1 oz of butter/ 1 oz of flour
Bone the chicken when it is cool enough and add back into the pot.
Now for the tarhonya (it's the stuff in the bag with the blue/white check on the right in the first picture - that's actually a polish equivalent but it works perfectly well)
- 500g bag of tarhonya
- 2.6 cups of chicken broth -essentially you should have twice as much liquid as dry tarhonya
- 2 onions chopped finely
- 4 tblsp oil
Fry finely chopped onions in about 2 tblsp oil until they are gently browned
Remove from the pot and heat up some more oil - did I mention that this is fattening?
Add the tarhonya
Stir until it is well coated in oil
Cook until the tarhonya is browned and has a delicious nutty smell. - you really need to stay around and stir a lot at this stage, it is very easy to burn it.
Pour in the hot stock, cover and cook until the grains are just done - they should not be mushy. If it looks like it is drying out and the grains are still hard, add a little more water in stages and stir in well.
Once it is cooked, stir in the fried onions.
Serving is as simple as plopping some tarhonya on a plate and spooning the csirkepaprikás on top.
So goddamn good.
Bonus pet picture: