Sunday, 10 April 2011

Poulet Au Paprika

Poulet au Paprika is not a very traditional French dish since it has some Eastern European flavours like sweet Hungarian paprika and sour cream. This is just one more example of how versatile and open to outside variations French cuisine can be. Poulet au Paprika is rich, succulent and extremely satisfying. Since Poulet au Paprika is a very colourful dish I like it to remain the star of the show. I serve it on a warm bed of plain couscous.


4 chicken legs, split between thigh and drumstick, Salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon bacon drippings or oil, 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into roughly 2-inch/5 cm julienne, 1 onion, sliced, 1/2 small fennel bulb, finely chopped (optional),1 tablespoon high-quality hot or sweet Hungarian paprika,1 clove garlic, minced, 1/2 cup/125 ml white wine, 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped, 1 bay leaf, 2 tablespoons sour cream or creme fraiche, squeeze lemon juice, to taste (optional).


Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the bacon drippings in a saute pan and, working in batches, brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Remove. Drain off all but a tablespoon of the fat from the pan.

Lower the heat and add the julienned pepper, onion, fennel, if using, and paprika. Cook until soft, but not colored, about 12 minutes, adding the garlic for the final minute. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Put the chicken back in. Cover the pan, and cook, turning the chicken occasionally, until tender, about 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Turn up the heat under the sauce and boil down to sauce consistency. Turn off the heat, stir through the cream, check the seasonings (including the paprika, adding more if you like), then pour over the chicken, and serve.

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