Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Getting Ready for the New Year

It’s that time of year again, when we crack open the cookbooks and figure out how to celebrate the New Year and what to feed your loved ones. Whether you like to nosh on honey cake, or apple cake, or prefer your kugel sweet or savory, you are going to need a winning main course that can anchor the rest of the meal. I’d like to suggest the following recipe from June Feiss Hersh’s wonderful Recipes Remembered: A Celebration of Survival. The book is chock full of moving stories from Holocaust survivors and their families, but I also have to say that June writes the recipes that are very easy to follow whether you are a beginner or a balabusta.

Shana Tova from our homes to yours!

Lilly Kaplan’s Chicken Paprikash
This authentic Hungarian specialty features plenty of paprika, which lends a rich red color and subtle spicy flavor to this popular chicken dish. While Lilly uses sweet paprika, for an extra jolt of flavor, add a teaspoon of cayenne or smoked paprika.

Yields: 4 servings, Start to Finish: Under 2 hours

2 medium onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 pounds chicken parts, on the bone,
skin removed
1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup white wine
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
Kosher salt and pepper
1 green pepper, cored, seeded and sliced

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan, cook and stir the onions and garlic, over medium heat, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. In the same pan (adding more oil if needed), brown the chicken pieces in batches and set aside on a plate. When all the
chicken is browned, add the chicken (not the juice that has collected), onions and garlic back into the pan. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken broth, white wine, paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Top with the green pepper slices.

Simmer, covered, for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove the chicken to a serving platter and bring the sauce to a slow boil. If the sauce is too thin, thicken it by creating a roux. In a skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of oil and then blend in 2 teaspoons of flour, stirring constantly to avoid burning the roux. You’ll want it to be a light blonde color. Let the roux cool a bit,and then stir it into the sauce, cook for several minutes to let it do its thing. If the sauce is still not thick enough, repeat the above process. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve with noodles or dumplings. See Greta Margolis’ dumpling recipe (see page 274 of Recipes Remembered) or homemade noodles (see page 30of the cookbook).

Paprika can be hot, sweet, and several degrees in between. Look for pure Hungarian paprika, it’s worth the difference. And be sure never to add paprika directly into a dry pan, it will burn quickly as it releases its natural sugar

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