When Adam and I went to Budapest with his family a few years ago, I learned what a big deal paprika is to Hungarians. What a delicious, big deal. And yet I’ve never cooked anything remotely Hungarian before. But I saw this recipe in the December ’11 issue of Food Network Magazine, and while I’m sure that is not the best source for authentic cuisine of other lands I decided to give it a try. It turned out fantastically, a delicious and easy chicken stew with a faintly tomato-like flavor that comes entirely from good quality Hungarian paprika.

I made changes, because I always do, so the original recipe is here. Below are my changes.

Chicken Paprikash (adapted from Food Network Magazine)
Serves: 4

Kosher salt
6 slices bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped (I didn’t have green)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons paprika (Hungarian if you can find it, Whole Foods definitely sells it)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (I forgot to buy marjoram)
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into big strips (Adam won’t go near dark meat)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces egg noodles
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a separate pot over medium heat, 2 minutes. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook 3 more minutes.

Combine the flour, paprika, oregano and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; add the chicken and toss to coat.

Push the bacon and vegetables to one side of the pot and increase the heat to medium high. Add the chicken and any remaining flour mixture to the other side and cook, turning, until browned, about 6 minutes.

Stir together the chicken, bacon and vegetables and cook 2 more minutes.

Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir, then reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and simmer until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 10 more minutes. Meanwhile, add the noodles to the boiling water and cook as the label directs; drain.

Uncover the pot with the chicken, increase the heat to high and cook 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, stir in the sour cream and parsley and cook 2 more minutes. Season with salt. Serve over the noodles.