Jeanette - Off The Cuff

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My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually went to school for art, design, and photography. Beyond that, I worked as a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines in the late 90s and early 2000s. I even took a crack at running a PR company for a while. However, cooking has always been in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and culinary arts instructor, my dad's father was a pastry chef, and my mom's mother was a caterer, and at the age of 92, she published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, too, and we're not afraid to experiment. Usually I end up inventing dishes (with or without outside inspiration) with whatever I have on hand, hence "Off the Cuff." I might make very Scandinavian dishes (meatballs, and salmon with dill-potatoes) or ethnic like Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Italian or Spanish. By the way, you can put bell peppers in almost all cuisine! (Drop me a line, at o f f t h e c u f f c o o k i n g "at" g m a i l followed by the dot-com. :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Chicken Pumpkin Paprikash

"Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash." -- Harry Burns

Well, if you're a fan of late-eighties chick flicks starring [pre-collagen] Meg Ryan, wearing ill-fitting, floppy sweaters, chunky shoes and otherwise being her adorable self, then you've probably seen the classic "When Harry  Met Sally," and you might remember that scene at the museum where they are talking all funny about Paprikash.

I had not had much insight into this dish in the past.  So sometime last year, I decided to look it up, and was not disappointed.  It's one of the most yummy and reasonably healthy comfort-foods, especially delicious on a cold, foggy autumn evening such as tonight.  Not only that, but it's quick.  I can whip up a skillet full in about 25 minutes, which hits the spot every time. 

This is the link to the original recipe that I have since used multiple times in the last year.  Simply Recipes: Chicken Paprikash .

But as I'm wont to do, I add red bell peppers to it.  I add red bell peppers to everything.  All the time.

And then today I added yet another tweak of pureed pumpkin, and a pinch of nutmeg.  Oh man.  So, the modified, personalized recipe is what I am posting here today.

I was also super hungry because I had been painting the shelves in my pantry earlier today, (which also meant that all my dry goods were strewn about my living room while I emptied the pantry to paint it.) So I didn't get around to making a side starch, but otherwise, I'd recommend mashed potatoes, rice or egg noodles.  But even on its own, it's quite filling. I ate three of the chicken thighs all by myselfsies.  Yum!

Oh, and if you have never seen "When Harry  Met Sally," well, here is the clip to that funny little scene about the paprikash: Too much Pepper

2 tbsp butter
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or other chicken if you prefer)
1 medium yellow or white onion, sliced into very thin rings
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips lengthwise
8 tbsp pureed pumpkin
2/3 cup water or chicken broth
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp finely ground white pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup sour cream


Preheat a large skillet to medium hot, and melt 1 tbsp butter into it.  Place chicken parts into the skillet and fry each side until golden brown, 2-3 minutes each side, and then lower heat to medium, and continue cooking 2-3 more minutes to cook through.

Meanwhile, thinly slice onions and bell peppers.

Remove chicken to a plate, and add another tablespoon of butter into the skillet.   

Put slivered bell peppers and onions into the skillet, and toss around to coat with melted butter.  Keep heat around low to medium, and stir every so often to soften and brown the vegetables.  

When the onions and bell pepper is soft, and slightly caramelized, add water or broth, and pumpkin, and spices, and stir to dissolve into a thick broth.

Put chicken back in, and let simmer on low for a few minutes to reheat. Stir in sour cream, and serve with rice, mashed potatoes, or egg noodles, or other starch.

1 comment:

  1. Looks delish! I'm a huge fan of paprika and peppers and pumpkin! Can't wait to try it! :)