Cooking Time: 1-1/2 hours
2 tablespoons canola oil
(2) 2-1/2 to 3 pound chickens, cut into serving pieces and rinsed well
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups chopped sweet onion
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose-flour
1/4 cup sweet Hungarian paprika
1 cup chicken stock or nonfat, low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
Optional – Butter noodles for serving
Organize your ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375º F.
Heat the oil (2 Tbsp) in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the chicken pieces (2-1/2 to 3 lbs) with salt and pepper to taste and place it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil. Sear, turning frequently, for about 5 minutes or until golden. You will have to do this in batches as you don’t want to crowd the pan.
Transfer the seared chicken to a platter while you continue to sear the remaining chicken.
When all of the chicken has been seared, you should still have a nice layer of fat in the pan. If not, add oil to generously coat the bottom of the pan.
Place the pan over medium heat. When very hot, add the onions (3 cups, chopped) and bell pepper (1 cup, diced) and cook, stirring frequently, for about 12 minutes or until the onions are just soft with a tinge of color.
Sprinkle the flour (1 Tbsp) and paprika (1/4 cup) over the onions and continue to cook, stirring, for about 1 minute or until well blended.
Add the chicken stock (1 cup) and bay leaf (1) and bring to a simmer.
Return the chicken pieces along with any accumulated juices to the pan and again bring to a simmer. Taste and, if necessary, season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and transfer to the preheated oven.
Braise, turning the chicken from time to time, for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is very tender.
Remove the pan from the oven. Uncover and using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a warm platter. Tent lightly with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Remove and discard the bay leaf from the sauce.
Let the sauce cool just enough to allow the fat to rise to the top. Using a ladle, carefully skim off and discard the excess fat.
Return the pan to high heat and bring to a boil, boiling just until the sauce thickens nicely. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream (1-1/2 cups).
When blended, return the chicken pieces to the pan. Taste and, if necessary, season with salt and pepper. Place over medium heat and cook, spooning the sauce over the chicken, for about 5 minutes or until hot and thick. (Once the sour cream has been added do not boil or the sauce will curdle.)
Remove from the heat and serve with hot buttered noodles, if desired.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs can be used. If so, the cooking time should be cut by at least half to keep the meat from getting tough and stringy.
The stew keeps and travels well so is a great dish to prepare when guests are expected or a potluck supper is at hand.
Suggested Side Dishes:
Buttered wide noodles or mashed potatoes. A tossed green salad would complete the meal.