Thursday, 4 June 2009

greek-style chicken paprikas

there's a whole category of food at home for which a word doesn't really exist in english. it's something called varivo, a genetic noun for a type of dish that contains either just veg or, more usually, meat and veg, cooked together in some kind of a sauce. i guess the closest you'd come to it as a concept is a curry. paprikas is like a distinct species in this particular genus of food (or is it the other way round?) paprika is obviously a pepper, so paprikas is a varivo that contains it. bear with me, it gets easier from here.

you eat a lot of paprikas when you're a southern european of any variety. it's the kind of thing your granny would have said was good for you, something you can 'eat with a spoon'. i thought i'd make paprikas in honour of my new cookery book, which has at least a dozen recipes on it.

unfortunately, it blew my idea of not eating dairy for a while (just to see what happens) but 2 1/2 tablespoons of creme fraiche is hardly a big deal. the thing about giving up all grains and legumes is that i am more than happy not to eat them; the thing about not eating diary is that it all gets a bit too boring. and life is too short for boring food.

so...this was not exactly michelin-starred food but as a meal to have on a weekday after work, you could do a lot worse.

below is the exact translation of the original recipe, with my changes.

GREEK STYLE CHICKEN PAPRIKAS

choose a well-fed chicken, clean it and cut it into pieces. slice a kilo of onions and fry it in lard until it is cooked but not brown. add salt and a few large peppers, and leave it to simmer for a little while. add 100g of butter (i skipped this bit), a bit of paprika, season with pepper and mix it all well. put the chicken pieces in with the onions, 4 ripe tomatoes cut into chunks, 200g creme fraiche. stir everything together, put the lid on and leave to cook without adding any water.

i used 2 joints of chicken on the bone, 2 peppers, 1 green, 1 yellow, 2 1/2tbs creme fraiche, and 3 sliced onions. also, 1 tsp of paprika and i added some parsley and a tiny bit of thyme. once the lid was on, i left it to cook for half an hour, with the last few minutes without the lid to thicken the sauce a little.

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