I was 3 years old when my family immigrated to America from Budapest. While I was growing up my mother cooked all the traditional dishes, making do as best she could with available ingredients. Most dishes were too heavy (with fat) and took too long to prepare so I adapted the classic Hungarian Chicken Paprikas (pronounced pupreekash) to the recipe below. Changes from the traditional recipe include using oil in place of lard, deleting flour and heavy cream, and substituting rice or packaged dumplings for the traditional homemade egg dumplings. 

CHICKEN PAPRIKAS

1 chicken, cut into pieces

2 tbsp oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 large green pepper, chopped

1 large tomato, peeled and chopped

1 tbsp Hungarian red paprika

1 tsp salt

1 cup (8 oz) sour cream

In a large casserole dish or dutch oven, cook the onion in the oil, covered, on low heat, until translucent and soft, but not brown. Add chicken and tomato and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes.  Stir in paprika.  Add green pepper, salt and a small amount of water.  Continue cooking, covered, over low heat, about 30 minutes, adding small amounts of water only as needed to keep from burning. Add sour cream and continue cooking until done, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally as the sauce thickens. Serve over rice or Spaetzle (small dumplings.)

 Serves 4

 (published Sunset Magazine, December 2005)