Today Naomi shares an incredibly delicious comfort food dish, Creamy Chicken Paprikas, that she thoughtfully made dairy free and grain free! My mouth waters just reading through her recipe. As a mom of a newborn, I love how simple this recipe is to make as well. Thanks so much Naomi! — Kimi
By Naomi, from Almost Bananas
Although paprikas (pronounced paprikash) is originally of Hungarian origin, it is also commonly made in Slovakia, where I live. Sweet paprika is the key to this simple but delicious creamy sauce for chicken.
After a long spell, it has started to snow here again. Small flakes, whirling around in the wind, it’s amazing that they can add up to deep drifts.
The children press their noses to the windows, excited to see the white fluff falling. As soon as there is enough to play with, they dash outside. Its perfect snowball snow and children from the neighouring apartment buildings come out of the woodwork. A snowman with walnut eyes and buttons, snow forts loaded with snowballs, an igloo. I’m like a kid, kneeling in the snow to build a fort, pulling the toddler twins on the sled like a horse.
We think of winter as the time for comfort food, dishes that bring pleasure and contentment. The warmth, both physical and emotional, combats the cold outside, heating us up from our bellies.
Although its during below freezing weather that we come inside with flushed cheeks and stiff fingers, I find I crave comfort more during winters without snow, even if the temperature is warmer. Grey skies, grey trees, dull weather, dull everything. A warm meal shared around the table with family helps lift that dull grey mood.
Sometimes comfort food is food from childhood. Noodle filled broth based soups were always a part of my Japanese father’s winter lunches, similar to Miso Noodle Soup. Or it could be roast beef or lamb, surrounded by potatoes and carrots in Mom’s cast iron pot, preferably with our own mountain pastured meat.
Sometimes comfort food is new, but oh so satisfying. Slovak food, fortunately, is the epitome of this type of comfort food. Creamy Sauerkraut Stew, for example, makes use of the tradition of making sauerkraut during the winter. Strapacky is a dish of little dumplings baked with bacon and sauerkraut (I use potatoes, sweet potatoes, or cauliflower in place of dumplings for a faster and grain free meal). Bacon – doesn’t that make any dish a comfort food?
Paprikas fits the bill of comfort food as well. Any kind of chicken will do: you can cut up a whole chicken, use drumsticks and thighs, or just the breast meat. Normally heavy cream is called for, but for these photos I used coconut cream to see if it worked, and fortunately it does!
My mother in law serves paprikas over macaroni. You can use a variety of vegetable noodles, pasta, or grains to serve paprikas, from zucchini noodles to rice.
Other chicken recipes you may enjoy:
- Creamy Chicken Sauce (dairy free, eggplant is the creamy base!)
- Shawarma Style Chicken (these spices are amazing)
- 1 Tbsp lard or other cooking fat
- 1 large (200g) onion
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 3½ lbs (1.6 kg) chicken (I used chicken legs, wings, and breast. If you use only legs, use a little more; if only breast, use a little less)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup+ (250 ml+) bone broth or water
- 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream or coconut cream
- 1 tbsp arrowroot (or thickener of choice)
- Chop onion, add to melted cooking fat in a large pan (I used an enameled roasting pan). Cook over medium heat until translucent. Meanwhile, wash chicken. Cut up chicken breasts if using.
- Add paprika to onion, stir, and add chicken immediately. Paprika quickly burns and then becomes bitter.
- Add salt, bone broth or water, and simmer covered for about an hour (less for chicken breast). You will probably have to add extra liquid until the liquid is just below the level of the chicken.
- When ready to serve, pour in cream or coconut cream and stir. Mix arrowroot with a bit of milk or water, and pour into the dish, stirring around the chicken.
- Serve over zucchini noodles, riced cauliflower, or pasta or grains of choice.
A Canadian transplanted to Slovakia, Naomi aims to cook real food and create an environmentally friendly and beautiful home for her family of six. The closest she’s come to her dream farm is growing tasty live bacteria on the counters. The simple life is an illusive ideal that she nevertheless contineus to strive toward, although two year old twins make sure it’s never boring. Naomi shares her food creations and photos of Slovakia at Almost Bananas. She looks forward to connecting with you on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.