Benjamin Sisko apparently only cooks Hungarian food when he is in a good mood (Deep Space Nine: Family Business). I can definitely understand this, as Hungarian food is hearty, easily shared and delicious - all things conducive to good moods. So what better way for Sisko to celebrate the beginnings of an ambassador exchange program, than by cooking chicken paprikash?!
Chicken paprikash is a traditional Hungarian recipe so it is very good to see that it has survived until the 24th century. This version uses chicken thighs but you could also use legs with the bones still in. The flavour is also very variable so feel free to add more paprika or black pepper to taste.
Replicate your own
(Generously serves 2)
(Adapted from Simply Recipes)
400-500g chicken thighs (you can also use legs, or a combination of both), preferably with skin on
1 large or 2 medium onions
Black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup sour cream (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the dumplings:
1 cup (approx) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Arrange the pieces of chicken on a plate and salt well. Leave the salt to draw out moisture while you prepare the onions. Cut the onions into thin slices.
In a large saucepan or casserole dish/dutch oven, melt the butter. Pat the pieces of chicken dry with paper towels and place them skin-side down in the butter. Cook them for 4-5 minutes on that side until they are well browned, then turn them over and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate or bowl.
Next add the onions to the pan (you might need to melt a bit more butter), scraping up any browned bits left by the chicken. Cook the onions until they are soft and begin to brown, about 7-10 minutes.
Add both types of paprika and some black pepper into the pot. Add the chicken broth, and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the pieces of chicken back into the pot, and cover and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, so the chicken is cooked but not completely falling apart.
Once the chicken is done, remove it from the pan and stir in the sour cream. Taste and add more sour cream or salt or pepper as needed. Return the chicken to the pan and turn the pieces to coat them in the sauce. Set the pot aside and prepare the dumplings.
To make the dumplings, start by adding the baking soda to the flour, and set aside. Crack and beat the eggs in a separate bowl, then begin to add the flour/baking soda mix. You want the mixture to be the same consistency as pancake batter, so add enough flour to achieve this. If your mixture gets too thick, thin it with water.
Working in batches, drop spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture into a saucepan of boiling, salted water. These will float to the top of the saucepan almost immediately but need to be cooked for 3-4 minutes to ensure they are cooked all the way through. Remove cooked dumplings with a slotted spoon onto a plate or bowl until all dumplings are cooked.
To serve, reheat the chicken if needed. Place a spoonful of the dumplings in a bowl and top with the chicken. Spoon sauce on top and dust with more paprika if wished.