Real Food for Real Life

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A busy day (hopefully many more to come)...

I had a lot to get done yesterday and knew I would be getting home late for starting dinner...this called for a plan...and a crockpot.  The answer was Chicken Paprikash, an easy recipe anyway, and one that can vary to meet your ingredients and needs Don't have a bell pepper?  Just leave it out...Feeding more than four?  Just add a bit more.  With the chicken cooking in the crockpot, and with having measured out the ingredients for some easy dumplings (really, more like little pasta lumps than biscuits), and prepped some asparagus for steaming (in the microwave of course), I had very little left to do when I got home and started dinner.  If I am in school this fall (cplease ontinue to keep your fingers crossed for me please), I'll be planning a lot more meals like this (I hope)...

Chicken paprikash

1 to 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken (breast and/or thigh)
1 large onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced (or to taste)
3 tbs. paprika
coarse salt & fresh ground black pepper
chicken broth
2 heaping tbs. cornstarch
1 cup sour cream (I used fat free)

Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and toss in the bottom of the crockpot with the onion, bell pepper, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper.  Normally, I would also add sliced mushrooms as well, but I didn't have any- that is the beauty of this recipe though, you use what you have and like.  Pour in enough chicken broth to come half way up the ingredients.  Cover and cook on low for 4 for 5 hours (even on low the boneless chicken doesn't take long).  When you get home (or whatever), and are preparing the rest of dinner, turn the heat up to high.  Mix some of the broth in a cup with the cornstarch to make a slurry and stir back into the pot.  Cover and let thicken while you finish dinner.  Stir in the sour cream just before serving.  Serve with the dumplings, spatzle, or egg noodles.

 We were all so hungry that we didn't want to wait for the sauce to thicken.  I put the dumplings in the bottom of bowls, ladeled on the Paprikash, and topped it with steamed asparagus.  prehaps not as pretty, but it sure tasted good, and that is the important thing.

Pasta Dumplings

3 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. salt
2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a measuring cup, beat the eggs with the water and salt until lemony and no streaks remain.  My time saver here was having these ready and in the fridge and the flour measured out in a mixing bowl on the counter.  Mix the eggs and water with the flour and stir until smooth, adding small amounts of water if necessary.  Drop by teaspoonfuls into boiling water or chicken broth.  They will float to the top when done, about 10 minutes.  Be careful on the measuring- if the dumplings are too large they will be tough and chewy.
I had the leftover Paprikash for lunch today and topped it with some steamed asparagus leftover from another dinner...can't have too much veg.

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