Some years ago I read Bram Stokerís Dracula for the first time. When the narrator, Jonathan Harker is at the Countís castle in Transylvania and has his first encounter with the female vampires, he puts the dreamlike state he experiences down to having eaten a spicy chicken dish for his evening meal. When I put the book down I just had to have some Chicken Paprika, and I still think of the novel whenever I cook this dish.
Preparation takes about fifteen or twenty minutes, with about 30 minutes cooking time. This recipe serves two people and uses boneless chicken breasts. If you use thighs, breasts with the bones in, or chicken quarters, you will need to cook for about forty five minutes or longer.
2 boneless chicken breasts
1 onion, sliced
2 peppers, seeds and ribs removed, and sliced. Red, orange and/or yellow work best as green ones arenít sweet enough
1 or 2 tbsp garlic oil (I make my own by infusing garlic cloves in olive oil, but you can equally crush a clove or two of garlic and fry gently in olive oil)
1 tbsp paprika, or more if you prefer
1 390g tin chopped tomatoes in juice, or you can also use tinned cherry tomatoes in juice
1 or 2 tbsp soured cream or crŤme FraÓche
Rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes to serve
Heat the oil in a medium sized frying pan, add the onions and fry for about 5 minutes or so until they start to colour, then add the peppers and continue to cook until they are slightly tinged with brown.
Remove from the pan to a plate and add the chicken pieces to the pan. Lightly fry, turning, until they are golden brown.
Return the onion and peppers to the pan and sprinkle with the paprika.
Add the tinned tomatoes and bring to a boil, turn down the heat, cover the pan and leave to cook.
Adjust the seasoning before serving.
You can then add the soured cream to the ingredients in the pan, or remove the chicken and vegetables with a slotted spoon and add the soured cream to the remaining juices. This looks very appetising if you place another dollop of soured cream on top of the chicken and dust with some more paprika.