Sunday, November 16, 2008

Grundhauser Hungarian Chicken Goulash with Cornbread

The recipe for this Hungarian goulash has, I'm sure, been tweaked over the last few generations of my family, so that it may not really resemble the original recipe as closely anymore. For one thing, in my family, the traditional beef is usually replaced with chicken. But regardless of that, this recipe has a special place in our family. This recipe sits in a frame that my mom keeps sitting on our mantlepiece, "Grundhauser Hungarian Goulash" displayed in slightly faded letters with the measurements . This recipe is a piece of my family's history. And even though this recipe is not an exact science and is never quite the same as the last time you made it, it is unfailingly comforting and delicious and hearty. And it's so easy to throw together, and as long as you have a few hours to let it simmer, you will have a delicious stew with plenty for leftovers. We served this with "Yankee Cornbread" from the Gluten-free Pantry. I made it with my Little Sister (with Big Brothers Big Sisters) last night, and in her words, "This is the BOMB!"

Grundhauser Hungarian Chicken Goulash

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
4 medium potatoes, chopped
1 small bag baby carrots OR 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
4- 7 tbsp. sweet Hungarian paprika (to taste)
2 - 5 tbsp. spicy Hungarian paprika (to taste)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cayenne Pepper (if desired)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt (more to taste)
4 cups chicken broth (I used Pacific Low Sodium), or water
Tapioca or Potato starch to thicken, if desired

Chop onion and saute in 1 tbsp. olive oil until tender or translucent. Add the chicken pieces and cook over medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes, then stir in 4 heaping tablespoons of sweet paprika, 1 heaping tablespoon of spicy paprika, and 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, and stir into the chicken. Continue to saute for another 4 -5 minutes until the chicken is browned. Pour in enough of the chicken broth to cover the chicken, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat.

Simmer for at least 1 - 1 1/2 hours until the chicken is very tender, then add the carrots and enough broth to cover it all again. Adjust the seasonings as desired (I added more of both kinds of paprika and ground pepper several times during the cooking time). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for another 20 minutes, then add the chopped potatoes and, once again, enough broth to cover. Simmer until the potatoes are tender (roughly 20 more minutes).

Mix about 1 tbsp. potato or tapioca starch in a bowl with 1 tbsp. water and combine to remove the clumps. Add the starch mixture to the goulash and stir in until it has reached the desired thickness. Serve with cornbread or on its own!

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