Old world recipes can be very difficult to pass on from generation to generation. Back in the day, recipes were not written down and made from memory. Since they weren’t written down, you just add a little of this and a little of that until you get the “right consistency” and if not you add a little more of this and that.
As I grew older and took interest in cooking, I wanted to learn from my Grandmas how to cook their traditional meals. I didn’t want to see these recipes lost forever. Funny thing, as I look back it seemed like some recipes were a big family secret.
Today I made one of my favorite main Czech dishes and transcribed the recipe with measurements. Measurements are a bonus because some of the old cook books that my Grandma owned listed ingredients without measurements. I think you were just supposed to know what to do!
This recipe is so easy and the gravy is absolutely delicious! Gravy always seemed to be so daunting to make from scratch…but really it is easy!
Czech Chicken Paprika
- 2 TB cooking oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 8 pieces of chicken (breast & thighs with skin on)
- 8 cups of water
- 2 TB paprika
- S & P
Chicken Paprika Gravy
- 1 cup flour
- ¾ cup water
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 TB paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
In a large dutch oven or stock pot, add cooking oil and onions over high heat. Cook until the onion softens. In the meanwhile, salt and pepper chicken pieces. Place in the pot, skin side down. Cook until the skin is browned scraping the bottom of the pot, then flip and brown the other side. Add 8 cups of water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil. Cook chicken in boiling water for one hour. Reduce the heat, transfer chicken to a platter and strain the juice. (I use a slotted spoon to get little pieces out)
For the gravy, whisk flour and water in a small mixing bowl, getting all of the lumps out. This will create a paste. Whisk the paste into the large pot of chicken juices, constantly whisking until the gravy comes to a boil and it will slightly thicken. Add sour cream, continuing to whisk to get any lumps out. Then season with paprika and salt. Let gravy simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Place the chicken back in the pot to heat through.
Serve chicken pieces on a large platter with a gravy boat filled with hot gravy. Traditionally this would be served with dumpling. But it is also delicious with egg noodles.
It’s totally a delicious-homemade-soup-kind-of-day being snowed in during the deep freeze of 2014. Most likely you will have all the ingredients without having to run to the grocery store to pick something up. Plus it is a very forgiving soup if you don’t have one of the ingredients.
This soup was inspired by a recipe that appeared on Facebook via the Back For Seconds Blog. I actually didn’t have any chicken on hand, but I did have some left-over cooked turkey from the holidays.
Kitchen Tip: A container of chicken base is something that I always have on hand in my pantry. First, I can control the amount of sodium in my broth. Plus I don’t need to worry about having enough cans or cartons of broth for large batches of soup.
Creamy Turkey and Rice Crockpot Soup
- 6 cups of chicken broth
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4 cup long grain rice
- 1 to 2 cups of diced cooked turkey (or chicken)
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 1 cup of frozen corn
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup milk
Add broth, onion, carrots, bay leaves, garlic, pepper, cumin to crockpot. Cook on high for 2 hours. Add rice and cook for remaining 2 hours. When rice is cooked and expanded, add turkey, peas and corn. In a small mixing bowl add flour and milk and whisk until smooth. Slowly add the paste to the soup to thicken.
Enjoy a hot bowl of soup and stay warm!!
Such a cold dreary fall day and some comfort food is needed to break the mood.
A Roasted Chicken can be made a bunch of different ways and I find that there can be some strong opinions out there as to which way is the best. But, I have made chicken a few different ways and I think this one is the best, hands down!
This idea from this recipe came from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Cookbook. The key ingredient that I now swear by…is the whole lemon. It not only makes my chicken look absolutely gorgeous, it gives it great flavor and makes the house smell wonderful.
Here’s what I do…
Preheat oven to 400°.
Chop 2 medium-sized yellow onions into quarters and place in the middle of a shallow roast pan. This becomes a “rack” for the chicken to sit on.
Take one lemon and pierce it several times with a knife. Place it in the microwave for 40 seconds. (already smells good…)
Place the lemon and a bunch of fresh thyme inside the cavity of the chicken. (thyme + chicken = yum)
Rub the chicken with olive oil and salt and pepper the surface. I like to use coarse sea salt for my roasts (if you have it).
Sit the chicken on the onions. If I am roasting other veggies like carrots and potatoes, I place them around the chicken.
That’s it! Place it in the oven and roast. A 3 ½ to 4 pound chicken should take 2 to 2 ¼ hours, but test for doneness.
What is your favorite way to roast chicken?
It’s summer! Instead of heating up the house, most of my cooking is done on the grill! I am always looking for different ways to dress up my grilled meat. This salsa is very easy, colorful, tasty and a perfect topping for your grilled chicken, fish or pork. Ideal for a summer BBQ when company comes over. Another bonus…my kids loved it!
Look to your veggie garden and see what you can harvest! I was able to harvest my first banana pepper today, which was perfect timing since this recipe calls for it. You could substitute hotter peppers if you would like to spice things up a bit! But, banana peppers were perfect and kid friendly!
1 Mango – diced
1/4 C green onion – chopped
2 TB brown sugar
1 small banana pepper
1/2 tsp. lime zest
1 TB lime juice
1/8 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
3/4 C strawberries – diced
Combine half of the diced mango, green onions, brown sugar, pepper, lime zest, lime juice and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat for about 10 minutes. Removed from heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Serve immediately over your meat or fish. This recipe made enough to top 6 small chicken breasts.