A Squared: What's For Dinner Wednesday: Chicken Paprikash Meatballs

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Chicken Paprikash Meatballs

When I think of comfort food, there are a few dishes that come to mind for me. For the most part, it's dishes that my mom made for us as kids: her chicken Divan, spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce, 'Beach Bar' tomato soup, and sometimes I get a craving for chicken paprikash. She didn't make this one for us quite as often as the others, but when she did I'm pretty sure it was a nod to her own comfort food memories. Her grandma-- my Grammy-- emigrated to the US from Hungary and paprikash is the epitome of Hungarian comfort food.

I make paprikash every so often-- even in the slow cooker-- and it's always so delicious. The flavor of the sauce has a little bit of everything: sweet, smoky, rich, and tangy flavors. I just love it. And never one to leave well enough alone, I decided to put a fun twist on this Old World recipe favorite. All the flavors of traditional paprikash in perfect little chicken meatballs. The seasonings here make the meatballs really flavorful and simmered in the paprikash sauce, they become tender and even more flavorful through the cooking process.

I served my meatballs the 'traditional' way: in that delicious pink-orange sauce with peppers and mushrooms over hot cooked egg noodles. After making this for dinner one night, I was thinking it would be fun to turn these into appetizers: a meatball, half a roasted mushroom, and a chunk of red bell pepper on a cocktail skewer served with that flavorful paprikash sauce.

This is my kind of comfort food. Hopefully you and your family will agree!

For the meatballs--
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbs. milk *I use skim (since I always have it on hand) and it works fine 
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil 

For the paprikash--
  • 1/2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, and sliced into very thin 1-inch long strips
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into a small dice 
  • 1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs. paprika
  • 1 Tbs. smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine 
  • 1 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper 
  • 1 1/4 cups reduced fat sour cream
  • Hot cooked egg noodles, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine ground chicken and next 8 ingredients through cayenne. Add 1 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil to the mixture and mix together until all ingredients are incorporated. Do not overmix.

Using your hands, form into about 16 meatballs.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and the canola to the pan and swirl to coat. Add meatballs to the pan and brown, carefully flipping occasionally to brown on all sides.

Once browned, transfer skillet full of meatballs to the oven and bake for about 12 minutes, until meatballs are just cooked through.

Meanwhile, heat the canola oil for the paprikash in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, peppers, and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Next, add paprika, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Pour in white wine and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. As soon as it begins to simmer, reduce heat and cook until the wine is reduced by half. Simmer for 10 minutes and then season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the sour cream until fully combined and sauce is a pale pink-orange color. Add the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on medium low for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve over hot cooked egg noodles.

A Squared

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