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Chicken & Dumpling Goulash

November 11, 2013

Goulash was one of those nostalgic childhood dishes. One of the ones I never really thought too much about but it was always there. The more I think about it got me wondering. What is goulash really? The version my mom made was typically ground beef and what I believe was a fairly reduced down tomato type sauce served usually over macaroni. But what makes it so different from say, sloppy joe’s… or a meaty spaghetti sauce? Is it just the medium over which you are eating said sauce? I think I really might just need to quiz my mom about that one closer.

But further research taught me that Goulash is a traditional Hungarian dish. Traditionally “herdsman stew”, its our version of cowboys making chili out on the range. Traditional forms are seasoned with paprika and rarely include tomatoes. It would seem as though the addition of tomatoes is a very American thing.  Which is why the first time we made the below recipe, I was surprised that no tomatoes were included in the list of ingredients. But let me tell you one thing. THEY ARE NOT MISSED. This may be very different from the goulash I experienced growing up, but it is how I would plan to recreate any future ground beef/macaroni version in the future. In addition to the paprika eureka, the beautiful thing about this dish is the sour cream biscuits – making this the perfect marriage of Hungarian and Southern. Who woulda thunk it.

chicken_goulash

Chicken & Dumplings Goulash
(adapted ever so slightly from this delicious recipe by Food & Wine)

Servings: 4
Time: 1 hour

1.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs (the size of about 1 pack at the grocery)
1.5 cups all purpose flour
5 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut
2 TBs olive oil
2 tsp baking powder
2.5 cups chicken stock
1 cup sour cream
1 large white onion,  chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

In a food processor, pulse flour with baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper. Pulse 4 Tbs butter until the mixture looks like a course meal. In a separate bowl, whisk 1/2 cup of chicken stock with 1/2 cup sour cream. drizzle over the dry ingredients in the food processor and pulse until a dough forms.

Preheat oven to 425.  Chop chicken into 1 inch pieces. Season w/ salt & pepper and dust lightly with flour. In a cast iron or other deep skillet, heat olive oil & 1 Tbs butter. Add chicken and cook over medium high heat, turning,  until browned on both sides. Once browned, transfer chicken to a plate.

Add bell pepper, garlic and onion to the skillet and cook over medium high heat until softened. Return chicken to the skillet and cook over high heat. Add paprika and stir to combine. Add remaining chicken stock, remaining sour cream and thyme. Stir until combined & bring to a boil.

Carefully scoop large spoonfuls of dough over the chicken & sauce, placing them wherever you can find room. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. After cook time, turn  the broiler on low and gently crisp up the top of the biscuits until browned, about 5 minutes – but watch closely so the biscuits do not burn.

Allow to cool for a few minutes then serve & enjoy!

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