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This recipe was created in partnership with Opies. Chicken Paprikash, that quick, rich and easy Hungarian dish that no one seems to have ever heard of is exactly what you want to be making for dinner tonight. You can serve it so many ways – over rice! – with crusty bread! – with Eastern European-style egg noodles stirred through! – and did I mention that it can be ready and on the table in just half an hour?
As you might have noticed, I’ve teamed up with Opies to bring you this recipe; they’ve been making delicious jars of preserved things since 1880, now based here in Kent. Recently they carried out some research into what we all usually eat for dinner, and I think two of the most important numbers is that 55% of us make the same things for dinner every week, but 58% of us are looking to change that. A whopping 35% of the dishes we cook the most is the humble casserole, so I thought I’d share this super speedy one with you today with a little un-traditional twist that I think elevates it from something tasty, to something special.
I’m talking about the humble cocktail gherkin. Usually served with pâté and terrines (or you know, eaten straight out of the jar standing at the fridge door if you’re me) I like to add a little extra to my paprikash by halving a load of them and adding them to the casserole right at the end along with a dash of cream to add a toothsome tang to every mouthful. Seriously, I beg you to try it because it is awesome. I’ve found that some paprikash recipes can be a bit rich, and this helps cut through all that cream nicely.
You can find Opies cocktail gherkins with the pickles and preserves in most supermarkets, and you can also buy Opies products on Sous Chef (they have mixed jarred cornichons and cocktail onions which you can also use here!) where I’m increasingly ordering a lot of my ingredients from these days. After you’ve made this paprikash, I find cocktail gherkins are delicious chopped up and added to tuna and egg salad, again chopped up and stirred through creamy mushrooms to give them a bit of a lift, and I’ve even found the leftover liquid in the jar once you’re done with the actual gherkins makes a great brine for chicken before it is dredged in flour, spices beaten egg and breadcrumbs before frying!
This easy Hungarian Chicken Paprikash recipe is perfect for busy weeknights, made just that extra bit special by stirring cocktail gherkins through at the end of cooking and by serving it with a generous dollop of tangy sour cream.
large knob unsalted butter
1 large brown onion
1 large garlic clove
1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
generous pinch cayenne pepper
1 tbsp tomato puree
4 skinless boneless chicken thighs
150ml (2/3 cup) chicken stock
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp double cream
50g (1 3/4 oz) Opies cocktail gherkins
brown rice, to serve
sour cream, to serve
small handful freshly chopped parsley, to serve
Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium high heat. Peel the onion and slice it into thin half moons, gently frying it in the butter along with a generous pinch of salt for 8-10 minutes or so until soft and just starting to brown.
Peel and crush the garlic clove and add it to the onions, cooking for a further minute until aromatic. Stir in the paprika and the cayenne, cooking for another minute to toast the spices, and then add the tomato puree. Again, cook for a final minute until the puree has turned brick red.
Cut the chicken thighs into bite sized chunks before stirring into the onions, cooking until the chunks are well coated in the paprika mix and you’ve scrapped all the dried spices off the bottom of the pan.
Stir in the stock, a bit more salt and some black pepper. Raise the heat to bring the mixture to the boil, before reducing it to low and leaving it to simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes until the chicken pieces are cooked through.
Meanwhile, prepare the rice, and half the cocktail gherkins down the middle. Remove the paprikash from the heat and stir in the double cream and the gherkins. Season to taste before serving over the rice, sprinkled with the parsley and with a dollop of soured cream on the side.
I'm a food writer living in London and the English Countryside. Welcome to my online diary where I share easy, weeknight recipes, foodie travel diaries and some of the best places I've eaten out recently.
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