This is my family's "creamier" version of the Hungarian dish. Grandma Sherban made this dish using the Cream of Chicken/Mushroom soups and mom added her touches to it. We always serve this with dumplings (Spätzle).** Dad liked this version better than the traditional paprikash he grew up eating. Though this is an easy recipe to make - it is time consuming only because you boil the chicken/gravy for an hour then have to let it cool before adding the sour cream. It is one of the all time family favorites. Tip from Mom: If your gravy is too "soupy" add 2 Tablespoons of Zaprashka (Russian for Roux.) A roux is a mixture of equal parts of oil, butter, or fat renderings and flour. Recipe: melt butter, stir in equal amount of flour and brown. (If you use 2 Tablespoons of butter, use 2 Tbsp of flour.) The mixture is cooked at least three to five minutes over low heat to remove the raw flavor of the flour. Slowly add a small amount of gravy from the pot. Then pour the Zaprashka into the pot and blend, which thickens the gravy. The roux method is least likely to produce lumpy gravy. (I have never had to do this, however it is a good tip and works for any gravy that is too thin for your taste.)
Enough to feed your group
If using whole chicken cut up:
Broil or sauté pieces in pan for a few minutes, drain fat and remove skin.
If using boneless, skinless chicken: Cut into large pieces.
If using store bought rotisserie chicken - remove skin and bones, break into large pieces.
Gravy: This makes a large batch - use an 8 quart pot
6 cans of Soup (I use 4 cans of Cream of Chicken & 2 Cream of Mushroom; mom uses 5 chicken/1 mushroom)
2 onions - cut in large pieces
2 1/2 cups chicken stock (I have used beef & vegetable stocks or blend of them. I can't tell much difference and all are good.)
4 teaspoons paprika (I use 6 teaspoons: 4 tsp regular paprika, 2 tsp Hot paprika. This definitely has a bite to it. Modify to your taste.)
24 oz Sour Cream - room temperature (can be more - modify to your taste)
Splash of Vinegar (1 Tablespoon) - optional (mom does this - I usually do not)
Black Pepper - to taste
InstructionsMix soup, stock, paprika in pot. Bring to a boil, add onions and chicken, and reduce to a simmer. Cook on stovetop for an hour. Let cool. Remove chicken and onions, strain gravy to remove remaining bits of chicken and mushrooms. If you like more onion flavor - push the cooked onion through a strainer and add to gravy. Put the sour cream in a large bowl. Slowly stir in cooled gravy (approximately a 1/3 of a cup) repeat this step a couple of times. Pour the sour cream mixture into the pot with the remaining gravy. (If you add the sour cream directly into the warm gravy, it will curdle.)
Add the cooked chicken* to gravy and reheat. *In this picture the chicken is in big pieces. I usually break up (almost shred) the chicken.
You can add all the dumplings to the gravy & chicken and serve. I prefer to keep the dumplings separate and let each person put their dumplings in a bowl and ladle the gravy & chicken over them.
**Dumplings (Spätzle) (My group eat a ton of these so I double the recipe. If it is too much the dumplings can be frozen.)
2 1/4 Cups Flour
1 Cup Cold Water
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Mix flour and salt. In a separate bowl, beat egg with a fork then mix in water. Blend egg mixture with flour. (Use dough hook on Kitchen Aid mixer - or blend it with fork.)
Press 1/3 of the dough through dumpling (Spätzle) maker into boiling water. (Or place dough on plate and flick small pieces with spoon into boiling water.) Cook 5 minutes. Dip strainer into water and remove dumplings. Add gravy/olive oil/butter. Repeat process.
From: Grandma (Mary) Sherban & Sonya Rulli (mom) 1960's