Hungarian Chicken Paprikash Inspired By The Grand Budapest Hotel Plus @WorldMarket #MovieLovers Sweepstakes
**Disclosure: As a World Market Brand Ambassador, I receive promotional items and information to facilitate my posts. As always, all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
Is everyone ready for this year's Academy Awards Show? I know I am! There are some truly fabulous films running for top honors, and I cannot WAIT to see who brings home the gold. (The Oscars will be presented on February 22, 2015, so be sure to mark your calendars!)
My husband, Dan, and I were talking about the upcoming awards, and guessing which movies would come out on top. There are so many great ones to choose from! One of our favorites has got to be "The Grand Budapest Hotel".
Here's a brief synopsis:
As the owner of a once-luxurious Alpine hotel relates its history to a visiting writer, he describes his youth as a lobby boy at the Grand Budapest, where he was the protégé of the hotel's concierge, Monsieur Gustave. Gustave runs the five-star establishment with panache and an iron fist, while also offering his services as a lover to the older, wealthy women guests.
This quirky film is full of love, scandal, adventure, and of course, plenty of Old World charm reminiscent of an era gone by. I don't want to give anything away, but check out the trailer below:
Of course chatting about "The Grand Budapest Hotel" with the hubby made me start to think about my own Hungarian roots. You know...Because Budapest is in Hungary. I am an odd mix of nationalities. I am French, and actually related to Napoleon Bonaparte. (Maybe that explains my viciousness during PMS and pregnancy!) I am also a wee bit English and Polish. But the bulk of my make-up? Hungarian and Croatian. Yep. I am basically a European mutt of sorts!
I decided it would be fun to prepare for the Academy Awards by having a romantic, at home movie night, complete with an authentic, Hungarian dinner. This also doubles as part of our Valentine's Day celebration, since the timing is absolutely perfect, and I happen to be a pretty cheap date! Dan's not complaining, of course!
In preparation for our movie night, I ordered "The Grand Budapest Hotel" on Blu-Ray, and headed to World Market to entertaining essentials and ingredients for an old family favorite, Chicken Paprikash. This mouthwatering Hungarian dish is simple to make, and will make you feel like you're eating lunch in a small village in the Hungarian countryside.. Really, it's that good. My grandmother makes this to score discounts on home repair services. I'm not even kidding.
Did I mention it's incredibly easy to prepare? In fact, you can have it on the table in less than an hour. Let me walk you through it. Don't worry, I will include a full list of ingredients as well as instructions later on, in case you'd like to try it for yourself!
This recipe is down-home, comfort food. It requires very basic ingredients, many of which you probably already have in your pantry. All of the specialty spices and ingredients can be found at your local World Market store.
You will need some chicken, of course. I use boneless skinless chicken breasts, just because they're so darn easy to work with. You could, of course, use a whole chicken or mixed pieces, if you'd like.
You will also need some sour cream, Szeged Hungarian Paprika, garlic, salt and pepper, tomato puree, butter, crushed red pepper, an onion, and some green bell peppers. The peppers aren't traditional, but they add a wonderful depth to the dish, so I like to add them. Cooking is supposed to be a creative process, so I like to experiment, putting new twists on old favorites.
Now, I have to admit, I always look for shortcuts when cooking. I have played with this recipe a lot, and have found that it turns out very well in my pressure cooker. (Sure beats a slow-cooker or Dutch oven when you're pressed for time!) While traditional Chicken Paprikash is an all day affair, cooking low and slow, pressure cooking creates the same results in a fraction of the time. Less than an hour, in fact!
Once your chicken is cut into small pieces, just toss it into your pressure cooker. There's no need to brown the chicken, but you can, if you prefer. I skipped it this time. Once the chicken is in the pot, season it with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and plenty of that amazing Hungarian Paprika. Yes, folks. You want the real deal for this recipe. Sweet Hungarian Paprika makes all the difference in the world when it comes to flavor. Toss your minced garlic into the pot, too.
Next, get out a frying pan or wok and add some butter. Margarine will work, too, but I refuse to use it since it's literally one molecule away from being plastic. Pretty gross, huh?
Once your butter is melted, add your chopped onion and bell pepper. Soon, your house will start to smell AMAZING....Just warning you ahead of time!
Sprinkle your onions and peppers with paprika, salt, and pepper, to taste. As they cook down, they will get this gorgeous, orange hue due to the paprika. Doesn't it look amazing so far?
When your onion and pepper mixture is cooked through and bursting with flavor, add it to your pressure cooker. Right on top of the chicken. Add your tomato puree, too. Then take a spoon and mix it all up.
Set your pressure cooker to high, and cook for 15 minutes. Yes. I just said 15 minutes. I LOVE how much time my pressure cooker saves me when preparing meals!
Once the timer goes off, release the pressure. Then add your sour cream and stir it well. If the sauce seems a bit too thin for your liking, simply add a simple slurry of corn starch and water, and it will thicken right up.
You can serve this dish over rice or egg noodles, or you can go really authentic and use German Spaetzle like I did. If you've never had Spaetzle, definitely try it. This egg pasta is amazing, and definitely adds a lot to this dish!
Doesn't that look fantastic?! I wish that computers had a scratch & sniff feature. The aroma of this meal is sure to make your mouth water. This meal is rustic. It's flavorful. It's stick-to-your-ribs comfort food, straight from the Old World. Would they serve this at the Grand Budapest Hotel, if it actually existed? I think so....One bite, and I am sure you'll agree!
Whether you're having an intimate dinner at home or entertaining a crowd, my Hungarian Chicken Paprikash is sure to be a hit. I know Dan and I will have a fantastic movie night, and that eating this dish will truly help bring "The Grand Budapest Hotel" to life.
Want to try it yourself? Here's my recipe:
Brandy's Hungarian Chicken Paprikash (Pressure Cooker):
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