We don’t eat this dish often but when we do it’s very comforting and soothing. Nothing is better for a cold winter day then a creamy casserole.
• 1 L chicken stock low-sodium
• Six chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts boneless skinless preferred
• Four medium onions white
• 4 to 6 tablespoons of paprika
• three quarters of a cup of sour cream
• salt and pepper to taste
I always enjoy cooking this dish because it is a very aromatic one. Nothing smells better than paprika in my mind. We tend to use a sweet paprika more often than not because it works with so many dishes.
Take you’re four onions and cut off the ends almost cutting all the way through. The trick is to cut all but a little tag of the skin to use it to begin peeling off the onion outer layer. Once you’ve done this a few times you will get the hang of it. I hold the knife in my dominant hand and hold the onion with the other one. Instead of cutting all the way down to the cutting board I tilt the onion so that the tip of it is resting against the board and cut almost all the way through I’d say there’s a good two or three layers of onion that I don’t cut through. Doing the same thing on the other end I pull away the outer layers with the ends of the onions. Now place the onions on the flat part that you have just cut and cut directly through the center all the way down to the cutting board. Cut each of these half onions again until you have quarters for all four onions. Place the chopped up onions in a medium pot and pour over a container of chicken stock.
We tend to buy low-sodium chicken stock so that we can control how much salt actually goes into our dishes. After all you can always add more salt but you can’t take it away. We mostly use Costco chicken stock as it is extremely affordable and comes in large containers. Add a tablespoon of paprika to the pot and simmer until the onions are soft.
While the onions are softening take your chicken and get ready. Place a large frying pan on the stove and turn on medium heat. After 45 seconds or so add a small quantity of oil a very little bit to the hot pan. I never measure but if you want to use about a tablespoon. tip the pan so the oil swirls all over the bottom of it. Tip away from you towards you and then side to side. Gently rock the pan with the handle. After a minute or so when the oil is warm place in your chicken pieces sprinkling them lightly with salt and pepper and a little bit of paprika. Turn them over quickly and sprinkle again. Leave the chicken in the pan and listen to the sound of the sizzling meat. When the sound becomes more of a crack and less of a sizzle turn the meat over and continue cooking until the same thing occurs on the other side. You don’t need to cook the meat all the way through but you do want to make sure most of the moisture is gone. By listening for the change in the sizzle you will get good browning on your chicken.
In a large casserole dish, I use a glass 13 x 9 pan; put a cup of dry rice. Now you should add your chicken. Place the pieces evenly around in the bottom of the pan. Pour your softened onions and stock over the chicken and spread that around with a spoon. Please note you may need extra stock if there is not enough liquid to cover the entire pan. I usually just rinse out the container that the stock came in and pour that in until everything is under water. You can add additional stock but that does intensify the flavor.
Add the remaining paprika up to 6 tablespoons for the entire dish depending on how spicy you like it. Stir it in and cover the entire thing with tinfoil. Place in the oven and bake at 375 for about 45 minutes. Check the rice at this point and if it has not started to expand continue to bake for another 15 minutes. Checking it again at that point and repeat until you notice the rice starting to expand. If your rice has started to expand remove the tinfoil and bake for 15 more minutes. Only once the rice is expanded to surrounding the chicken should you remove the tinfoil. Keeping the tinfoil on will help the rice absorb more of the liquid. Once the liquid has been absorbed fully in to the dish Take the pan out of the oven and mix in three quarters of a cup of sour cream to make the dish creamier. This step is optional if you do not like sour cream. Serve out the individual pieces of meat to each person and dish the remainder of the casserole on the side. This is a very yummy simple casserole that I really enjoy eating.