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« HCB: Chocolate Butter Cupcakes | Main | HCB: Baby Lemon Cheesecake »
Thursday
Jun032010

Chicken Paprikash

I have tons of cookbooks.  I love cookbooks and I’m also very prejudice about them.  While I have many that are just words – no pictures, I love the ones that have pictures, because, news flash, there is no denying it, we eat with our eyes first. 

In most cases, if it looks good, your instinct is to automatically think that it will taste good. (refer to picture above)

And we dive in.

So for those cookbook authors out there… make PICTURES your friend.

This unfairness towards cookbooks with pictures has gotten out of control over the years because when I say I have tons of cookbooks, I mean it, I must have over 150, if not more.

What can I say, cookbooks, like eating a whole jar of Nutella in one sitting, are my guilty pleasures. 

And when you have those guilty pleasures you soon learn very fast to curve them, or they will just swallow you whole or make you blow up like a balloon – and not in a pretty way.

So for my Nutella habit, I have learned to treat myself to a small jar of Nutella once every three month and make Tom swear on what is whole and holy that it must last us a whole three month.

And for my cookbook habit I go to the local bookstore to browse the cookbook section to get my fix, instead of racking up a HUGE charge from amazon.com, and make Tom swear on what is whole and holy that I cannot get another cookbook even if my life depended on it.

But, last month during my monthly stakeout therapeutic visit at the local B&N, I came across The Illustrated Kitchen Bible and The Illustrated Quick Cook.

And five minutes in, I wanted them… ohhh, so very, very, VERY bad.

And I tried, very, very VERY hard to talk my way out of getting them, right there and there.  I called Tom, who talked me down and made me see the light by saying something or other about “..Not having enough money to pay for them and … something, something” I lost track, I was too busy salivating and counting to 10. 

And then I crumbled and searched for them on my amazon.com application on the phone and damn if the universe was not playing tricks on me, but they were almost 30% off, and If I bought the two of them together an extra 10% off and free shipping.

FOR.REAL? How can you just pass something like FREE SHIPPING BY?

I wimped out and bought them – DAMN YOU AMAZON! And my iPhone that makes it way too easy to shop on the spot.

I got them last week, and spend most of my 4-day lazy fest marking off all of the recipes that I wanted to cook from them.  With a combined 1000 pages between both books, I must have marked over 300 to try - can you sense A LOT of post coming your way?

So, Monday as the previous posted baby cheesecakes were in the refrigerator just chilling, I open the Kitchen Bible and zoomed into this recipe, it was perfect – a stew, I could put it together and forget about it for 45 minutes.

Chicken Paprikash
Adapted from: The Illustrated Kitchen Bible

2 tbsp vegetable oil
8 chicken thighs
2 small red onions, slice
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp caraway seeds
1 cup hot chicken stock
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
9 oz cherry tomatoes
Chopped parsley, to garnish
Sour cream, to serve

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken thighs, which were seasoned generously with salt and pepper before hand, skin side down to the pre-heated pan. Cook about 3 minutes until the skin is golden.  Turn and brown the other sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onions to the fat in the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are softened.  Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the paprika and the caraway seeds and stir for 1 minute.  Return the chicken to the pan.

Mix together the stock, vinegar, tomato paste, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the chicken.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low.  Cover and simmer for 35 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.  The sauce should reduce to the point of creamy and thick and not too soupy. Mine, cooked in low-medium heat fro about 45 minutes.

Add the cherry tomatoes to the casserole and shake vigorously to mix them into the sauce, at this point take a taste of the stew and season with salt and pepper if needed.  Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot with sour cream on the side for each diner to help themselves. 

Served with Rice or Mashed potatoes, because the yummy sauce calls out to be pour over any of those side ingredients.

Tips/Suggestions:

  • If you prepare all ingredients ahead of time (Slice, onions, chop garlic, prepare the stock, vinegar, paste, sugar mixture), this will be simmering on the stove in less than 10 minutes.

  • I did not have red wine vinegar, so I used a combination of 1 Tbs of balsamic vinegar with 1 tbs red wine, and I think it came out much better.

  • I also did not use 8 chicken thighs, I had a pack of 4 (pretty large) and did not change any of the amount, and I could not tell the difference.

  • We ate this the next day and it was even better, so the next time I make this, I may cook it one day ahead, and hold off adding the parley until after I reheat it and serve it.

Reader Comments (6)

Kudos to you for trying a recipe so soon from your new cookbook. I try to only buy cookbooks that will really and truly add to my list of healthy recipes in order to keep my shopping down. Even so, it usually takes me quite awhile to decide on a recipe to try and actually get the ingredients and get around to it.

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMargo

OMG Monica! You echos the same sentiments i have with cookbooks! I'm always at the bookstore..lol! And i love to collect them too..admittedly the only books i ever read is cookbook..if you give me a story book, i'll fall asleep half way reading but cookbook is different story altogether! LOL!

And your Chicken Paprikash looks delish!! I don't know how you managed to take such beautiful photos of this..esp. when this dish is not dessert (cos normally you eat dessert when you are not hungry and can take time to take photos)..but with dinner it is impossible cos everyone will be asking me to HURRY UP cos they want to eat dinner already..LOL!

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfaithy

opps..i wanted to click preview post but i went to click create post instead..i notice that there's a grammatical mistake.."you echo"..not echos..LOL! no chance to correct now..:S

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfaithy

Faithy: Tom is a very patient man... so he waits for the dinner, after the photos are done .. I actually took the photo of the dish, right after it was ready and took it out of the stove... I had to actually wait with the camera on hand for the hot dish to cool a bit, or else the picture will have the "smoke" coming out of it.

Margo: in this case I happen to have all the ingredients - ok MOST of the ingredients.. and when it comes to cooking something savory, I always never follow the recipe to the letter.. I make changes, use ingredients that I have (I hate going to the supermarket) I totally mix it up. I'm more daring with the savory that I am with the sweets, where I follow the recipe religiously.

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

I understand your cookbook collecting completely! I ran out of bookshelves and gave away probably a hundred. It was the hardest thing I've done. I can read cookbooks cover to cover. Your photos are so stunning. You have an incredible gift of not only cooking and baking but making your pictures enticing.

June 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVicki

Yep, count me in to the cookbook collector and coveter. When we moved from Australia to the UK, we brought clothes, kitchen stuff and cook books. I could have lived without the clothes.

When I do succumb to temptation, like you, I have to cook from the book as soon as possible. If I don't, then I find that the cookbook languishes, unsullied by melted butter and food splashes.

Will have to check out those two books.

My latest purchase was Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, which is getting a bit of a work out. But the absolute surprise was Kitchen Seasons by Ross Dobson. For such a slender recipe book, I find myself cooking out if it at least once a week. Last week's highlight was Hot smoked salmon with new potato salad with dill and cashew pesto. Capital Letter Amazing.

June 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicola

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