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How to Make Roast Chicken Paprikash

Food editor Liza Schoenfein was pleased to discover this deeply flavorful chicken dish in “The Community Table: Recipes & Stories from the Jewish Community Center & Beyond” by Katja Goldman, Judy Bernstein Bunzl and Lisa Rotmil. (Click here to find out why.)

Chicken paprikash is a quintessential Hungarian dish that was made by every Hungarian bubbe. While we still love the stovetop version, we find that we more often want to eat roasted chicken these days. Hence the birth of this dish — a roasted chicken with all the paprika flavor of the original. You can serve this with wide egg noodles or ready-made spätzle, but we love making our own nokedli, the Hungarian spätzle.

Serves 4

6 garlic cloves, pressed (about 6 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into eighths
3 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and sliced very thinly
2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only (about 4 medium leeks)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup chicken or vegetable stock
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or additional thyme leaves, for garnish

1) In a large glass bowl, combine the garlic, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the tomato paste, thyme, sweet and smoked paprika and black pepper. Combine to make a paste. Add the chicken pieces and rub the mixture over the pieces, making sure to coat them well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator, for 1 hour or as long as overnight.

2) Preheat the oven to 400º F.

3) Place the chicken pieces, skin side up, in a large baking pan in a single layer. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over and roast for 20 minutes more.

4) Meanwhile, toss the red peppers and leeks in a medium bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Turn the chicken skin side up again and scatter the peppers and leeks around the chicken, making sure not to cover the chicken (so as to allow it to crisp). Drizzle the stock around the edges of the pan, and return the pan to the oven. Finish roasting the chicken until its juices run clear when pierced with a fork and the vegetables are frizzled and caramelized, about 20 minutes.

5) Platter the chicken and vegetables together. Toss the nokedli or egg noodles with the chicken pan juices. Drizzle the chicken with any remaining juices form the pan and garnish with chopped parsley or more thyme leaves.

Note: If you want more pan sauce, add an additional 1/3 cup stock to the pan after you have plattered the chicken and the vegetables. Pour stock and drippings into a small saucepan, warm thoroughly, and pass at the table.


Recipe reprinted with permission from “The Community Table” ©2015 JCC Manhattan, Grand Central Books.

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