In the fall and winter, my appetite hankers for comfort food. But beginning the second half-century of my life means I need to eat those comfort foods more healthily. Heck, I should have looked at this decades ago — but better late than never. Like many people my age, my body makes sure I know that any kind of intake of refined sugar or gluten is not okay by punishing me in various uncomfortable ways for eating it. Hence, why you’re seeing more and more keto-inspired and low-carb versions of my favorite recipes. This version of Paprikás Csirke aka Chicken Paprikash is no different.
In this recipe I use cauliflower in place of dumplings, noodles, rice, or potatoes. But choose your poison. If you add those things back in, it’s not low-carb, however. But you do you.
Do note, though, it’s just as good, if not better, than the original. Do not be afraid of fat. Not Trans fat like in french fries, but the good stuff fat: rendered lard, real butter, higher-fat-content vegetable oils (like avocado). That’s what gives Paprikas Csirke (pronounced Pop-REE-kash CHEER-kay) Chicken Paprikash its taste and why we feel like it’s a comfort food.
Here’s what you’ll need:
First you’re going to need a good cast-iron dutch oven. Any more I try hard to make my recipes in one pot. I’m no longer enamored with the dinner where there would be stuff in the oven, a dish on the stove, and a salad in the fridge, which I would invariably forget about. I dump it or forget it in the crock pot, or I use the same pan from stove-top to oven, much like this recipe.
Also, please feel free to mix the paprikas and add more than the one tablespoon this recipe calls for; the recipe is a starting-off point. If you like paprika, add more. If you like your things more garlicky, add more. This is about feeling good, as well as tasting good, and both paprika and garlic are good for you.
- 2 ounces of rendered lard (you may use unsalted butter or bacon grease, if you like. Avocado Oil is also a good substitute)
- Peeled and chopped onions to make two cups (about 1 extra large or 3 medium)
- 1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, cut up (You can use leg quarters, too. Just be sure to keep the chicken on the bone and skin on. It adds good fat to your diet and keeps the flavor strong, which means you end up eating less.)
- 1 cup of chopped hungarian peppers (you may substitute red bell or anaheim)
- 1 large tomato (peeled, seeded and chopped, or 1 (14.5-ounce) undrained can chopped tomatoes)
- 1 clove garlic, minced (I used about the equivalent of three cloves, so to your taste, really)
- 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika (sweet, smoked or hot), plus some for sprinkling for serving. (I used a combination of hot and smoked, my family loves smoke flavor and spice!)
- 2 turnips, peeled and chopped, w/ 1 large organic carrot, peeled and chopped; makes about 1.5 cups total. (You may substituent white potatoes instead of turnips or skip these ingredients all together. )
- One head of cauliflower chunked or riced — you decided which –again, if your diet doesn’t prevent eating potatoes, you can use potatoes here instead (You can cook the cauliflower on top of the chicken when it goes in the oven, or you can just steam separately and use in place of dumplings for serving. Do note, this is what helps this meal be low-carb.)
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 cup of homemade chicken stock or broth
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour (you can use baking powder in a pinch if you don’t have coconut flour)
- Plate for holding the chicken temporarily
- Turn on oven to Heat lard in a Dutch oven with a lid. Cook half the onions and sauté over low heat until translucent, stirring often.
- Add chicken pieces and brown lightly on both sides. I cook about 6 to 10 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken on plate for holding temporarily. Add turnnips, carrots, Hungarian peppers, tomato, garlic, and sweet or hot paprika. Add the other half of the onions and saute’ until vegetables start to stick to pan.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in 3/4 cup of broth. Bring to a boil. (If you want to cook the cauliflower with the Chicken Paprikash instead of serving over, as I do here in this photo, put the cauliflower in first before you go to next step.) Reduce heat to low, cover, put chicken back in on the top of the dutch over, cover, and cook in oven 35-45 minutes or until chicken is tender. When chicken is tender, put cast-iron pot back on stove top. Remove lid.
- In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, with reserved broth with coconut flour. Return tempered sour cream mixture to dutch oven, bring back to stove and simmer until juices are thickened.
- Serve immediately sprinkling a little more paprika on the plated food. The chicken is so tender and juicy, yet the skin is still crisp. The paprika makes the vegetables pop and you think your Nagymama made this.
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