My dad calls this “Kathy’s Chicken and Gravy”. Basically it’s chicken and dumplings. This is a foundation food in my family. Meaning that this is one of the recipes that shapes my life, reminds me of my mom and is one of my favorite things to smell. I’ve made it a few times (though I prefer my mom to make it for me), it’s really simple and delicious, and perfect for if you’re sick or sad or sick and sad. The onions and the paprika do something magical when you let them simmer together for a few hours; the onions melt into sweetness and savoriness and the light smokiness of the paprika is perfect against the chickeny richness. It’s sort of like the best gravy you ever had, but you’ll also wonder what you were doing eating gravy at all when this existed.
Chicken Paprikash with Dumplings
bone in chicken, skinless – as many as fit in your dutch oven, provided you want leftovers. When I made this tonight, I used a whole cut up chicken, plus two more bone in breasts, so: 4 bone in breasts, 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks. 4 of us ate about 75% of it.
2 big sweet onions, sliced
1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
1-2 tbsp Spanish paprika
1 clove of garlic, minced (Mom, I’m sorry. I put in a clove of garlic.)
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp light sour cream
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp flour
salt and pepper
In a large dutch oven on medium-high heat, cook the onions and garlic in the butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are browned, probably 15 minutes or so. When the onions have browned, sear the chicken in the pan, a few pieces at a time, taking care to salt and pepper the chicken. You want to brown the outsides of the chicken, not steam it, so be careful to not overcrowd the pan. Sprinkle the lot with the paprika as you go, a bit here and there. If you have to do this in batches, that’s fine, just put the seared chicken on a plate while you cook the rest. When all the chicken pieces are browned (and be sure to move the onions around during this time, or they’ll burn), put them back in the pan and cover it with the chicken stock. Loosely cover the pan and let it simmer on medium heat for 2 hours or so. The chicken should fall off the bones when it’s done. At that point, remove it from the pan (and you can de-bone it if you want, I usually do) and reserve it on a plate. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sour cream and milk. Into the remaining gravy in the pan, whisk the flour and milk mixture. You can let it simmer awhile still while you make the dumplings.
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
pepper and a dash of garlic powder
Boil a nice big pot of water on high heat. While that comes to a boil, mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet in another. Add the wet to the dry and mix until combined, don’t mix more than you have to. It is a really sticky dough. Like paste. It’s not attractive. But it will be tasty, I promise.
When the water is boiling, take two teaspoons and scoop up one teaspoon at a time, pushing into the water with the other spoon. The dumplings will sink to the bottom of the pot, probably cooking 7-8 at a time depending on the size of your pot. You can loosen them when they stick to the bottom (and they will) and my mom says that they’ll float when they’re done, but they really don’t.
They kind of always float around. They cook a mite quicker than you think, though, probably about 5-6 minutes per batch. I would highly recommend cutting into one of the thick ones to make sure it looks cooked through and not doughy in the middle.
You can reserve them in an oiled bowl (I spray it with Pam), until they’re all done.
Serve a few dumplings, with a pile of chicken and a ladle of gravy, with some nice veggie. You’ll feel better.