Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oops, where's the paprika!!??

Hi Everyone, This is "hubby" dropping in for a quick note to share with you a very interesting link to information about paprika and a super simple recipe. So why suddenly an interest in paprika? I was looking through our collection of recipes for something to do with chicken as I am preparing the main dish for this evening's dinner. I thought of paprika and it's brilliant red color. It is the season after all. As I scanned the list under chicken I found it, slapping my forehead and muttering "oh yeah" to myself. Chicken Parisienne jumped out from the screen and I remembered that paprika is the primary spice, along with salt and black pepper. That should be just the ticket in this creamy white dish. I was good until I realized that we were out of paprika. That sent me back to the computer, this time to search for paprika substitutes. In the process I found the page in the link that follows and learned something rather extraordinary about paprika. Apparently it's use is all about the color and not so much as a flavoring agent. That is, of course, unless you use the smoked Spanish paprika which will impart some smoky flavor. Here, I'll let you read for yourselves if interested in the wonders of paprika, but do come back if you want a very-simple-but-good-enough-to-serve-company recipe.

Here is what you will need for this no fuss recipe:

A two quart baking dish with cover, a medium sized mixing bowl, a whisk, and a measuring cup


1 tbs of vegetable oil

4 lg. chicken breasts

12 medium sized Crimini mushrooms (Italian brown)

1/2 c. chicken stock

1 c. sour cream

1 c. half and half or light cream

1/2 c. dry white wine

2 rounded tbs all purpose flour salt/papper to taste

Paprika to taste (may substitute chili powder

Optional: garlic to taste (I use three full bibs of fresh garlic)

Method: Oil the inner surface of the baking dish with a brush or a soaked paper towel. Wash, pat dry, and debone chicken breast, placing them in the oiled baking dish.

Slice mushrooms about 1/2 cm (3/8inch) thick and spread over the chicken breasts

Combine chicken stock, white wine, sour cream, light cream, and flour in the mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with a fork. Pour this mixture over the chicken and sprinkle generously with paprika (or somewhat more sparingly with a mixture of chili powder and allspice).

Bake at 175C (350F) degrees for about 1 hour, or until tender. Serve over your choice of white rice or egg noodles. (I like the noodles which I toss slightly with a pat of butter and a couple of tablespoons of chopped parsley.

Sprinkle a little more paprika on the chicken after plating. The contrast between the green flecks in the noodles and the red on the chicken qualify this dish for a pre Christmas, celebratory, dinner. Serves 4 people. (You can stretch this to 5 or 6 chicken breast without adding any liquid)


  1. Interesting post and a great recipe. One on the 'to do' list. Diane

  2. Yes, I too resort to substituting paprika with chilli flakes time and again with very good results...that pasta is delicious looking!

  3. Great pasta recipe with or without paprika! Delicious looking and hearty! Love your inviting photos too!
    Merry Christmas to you both!

  4. This is interesting to know about paprika. Merry Christmas to you and your family and have a great holiday :D

  5. I received a huge amount of paprika as a gift last year and have realized what an interesting spice it is! This looks so delicious!

  6. Yum! Running out of an ingredient is always fun and a great way to discover new flavor combinations ... good and sometimes not so good :P This looks great tho!

  7. Ping, I agree. Running out of an ingredient at the last moment can lead to some interesting new ideas for the exploratory and learning foodie like me.
    Diane, drop us a note when you try it. It is really so simple, and yet the taste is luxurious. The only thing I might do differently next time is get the chicken breast into a hot oiled frying pan to get a caramelization thing going before baking it with the rest of the ingredients. I will however, stick with the chili powder and allspice even when I have the paprika to add to it. It added just the right bump to the flavors.
    Jeannie, definitely chili could take a more prominent place in several recipes that normally do not call for it. I think that many foodies are afraid of it. But a small amount of chili can do wonderous things just as you suggest.
    Thank you Michaelangelo, it was great. Give it a try. Filip, it even tastes better than it looks. Zoe, I was very surprised at what I read about paprika and am now more interested in what can be done with it. Jude is right, it is a very interesting spice. One thing that I did in deciding on a substitute was to take a chance on using equal amounts of chili powder with allspice. Allspice is another interesting one to play with. Thanks again and Merry Christmas to all.

  8. a great discover! this dish look so delicious. Wishing a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all at home.

  9. Thank you Sonia, I consider your comments high praise indeed from an experienced foodie/blogger like you. I just saw your wings which look good enough to reach into the screen and snatch one. Quaypo love wings, so I must try them.

  10. For me it's 'Smoked Paprika' all the way rather than just 'Paprika'. Discovering proper smoked paprika was a eureka moment for me. Thanks for posting the link!


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