Tuesday, January 19, 2010

When Harry & Sally Met "Paprikash"...

Harry: Repeat after me. Pepper.
Sally: Pepper
Harry: Pepper
Sally: Pepper
Harry: Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash.
Sally: Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash.
Harry: But I would be proud to partake of your pecan pie.

If you've ever seen the movie When Harry Met Sally (& if you haven't, you might not be old enough to cook yet) then you will probably remember this dialogue. As soon as I considered this chicken paprikash dish for dinner, I could hear them in my head...& it made me smile!

So tonight, I served up a delicious slow-cooker version of Chicken Paprikash (because we all need a warm meal to come home to), a side of savory buckwheat groats with green peas & a generous helping of laughter all around!

Slow-Cooker Chicken Paprikash
4 servings

1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken thighs
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 medium carrots, cut in 1/2" pieces & then quartered
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces
1 small onion cut into 1" pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 (14.5 oz) can organic stewed tomatoes
2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
2 Tbsp cold water
Pitted Kalamata olives

Place cut carrots, pepper, & onion in the bottom of a slow-cooker. Place chicken on top of vegetables & season with salt & pepper. In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, lemon zest, & paprika. Pour over chicken. Cover & cook on low for 5 hours. Turn heat to high. Mix cornstarch or arrowroot with cold water in a small bowl. Add to the chicken dish & gently stir. Cook for 30 more minutes on high.

Savory Buckwheat Groats & Green Peas
4 servings

2 cups organic chicken stock
1 cup buckwheat groats, dry toasted
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup frozen green peas

To dry toast the groats, place them in a saute pan over medium heat & stir occasionally until lightly golden. Bring chicken stock to a boil. Add groats, salt & frozen peas. Stir to combine. Cover & reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. (Start your groats when you put the cornstarch in your paprikash for perfect timing!)

Serve up the Chicken Paprikash garnished with Kalamata olives alongside the buckwheat groats. Enjoy the warmth of the paprika & the nutty goodness of the groats in this colorful meal!

Paprika: an amazing warm spice; surprisingly high in vitamin C; anti-bacterial; helps to improve circulation & normalize blood pressure; increases saliva production & stomach acids to aid in digestion; capsaicin has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells

Buckwheat: energizing & nutritious: great alternative to brown rice; it is not a wheat but a fruit seed related to the rhubarb; contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system including lowering blood pressure; as a good source of dietary fiber it does a great job of satisfying hunger while controlling blood sugar; excellent source of manganese, tryptophan & magnesium

Bob's Red Mill has an extensive product line including most of the grains I will introduce to you. Locally, I have found them at Vitamin Cottage, Sprouts, Albertsons & King Soopers. His product site offers a store finder for your convenience. Vitamin Cottage also has their own line of bulk & organic grains that I love.

I hope that your "paprikash" had just the right amount of pepper! Oh, & by the way, I do make a pretty outstanding "peecan paih"...there just simply isn't a single thing healthy about it...well, maybe the "peecans" :)

Bon Appetit,


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