Soups and Stews

Chicken Paprikash (Sue's version)

4 chicken thighs, skin on
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
11 cups of water
16 oz sour cream
1 clove garlic
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 heaping tbsp hungarian paprika (Szeged)
1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper(or regular)
3 tsp salt  (more to taste)
1 tbsp chicken bouillon
1 pinch of cayenne pepper

to thicken sauce
2 cups of the broth
1/2 cup of flour


6 eggs
6 cups of milk
5-6 cups of flour
1 tsp salt

To make the sauce

In a large dutch oven or soup pan, add oil, butter and onions. Stir in minced garlic and add chicken thighs. Brown chicken over medium/low heat for about 15-20 minutes.  Add thawed chicken breasts to pan and continue to cook until chicken thighs and breasts are almost cooked through.  Add water. It may look like a lot of water, but when you remove the chicken pieces, the water level will lower. Toss in the bay leaf. Stir in the paprika, salt, pepper and bouillion. Continue to cook altogether for another 15-20 minutes.

When chicken is cooked through, remove from pan and set aside.  Lower heat on sauce.  Whisk in sour cream and add cayenne pepper.  Sauce should be a very nice reddish/orange color and it will be thin at this point.  Remove 2 cups of the sauce to a separate large bowl and whisk in the flour to make a sort of roux.  Add flour/roux mixture back to the pot and continue to whisk. Repeat if necessary. The consistency should be thicker than soup, but not too thick. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Meanwhile, as sauce simmers, clean the chicken thighs off the bone and shred the chicken. Chop the chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Add all the chicken back to the sauce.  At this point it should be a nice, creamy-soupy, sauce with pieces of chicken. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, as sauce simmers, you can make your dumplings.   Fill a LARGE pot with water and bring to a boil.  In a large mixing bowl beat eggs and milk together.  Add salt.  The only way I can describe making the dumplings is to add in the flour until it's really hard to stir.  Once it all sticks to my whisk and I have a hard time mixing the dough any more, then I know the dumplings are done.  You can test them by dropping a 1/2 tsp into boiling water. It should sink, but then float to the top of the water. Allow it to cook for a minute or so. The dumpling should be soft but not runny. You should be able to cut it.  If it's too runny, add more flour. I use a dumpling (spaetzle) maker. other people just drop by the teaspoonful.  Add as many dumplings to the pot as you think will fit without over doing it and cook until done. Remove to strainer then to separate bowl. Rinse well.  You can make these ahead of time if you want.  As a matter of fact, I recommend you make them first and test them so you get them right.   You can also buy pre-made dumplings at the store. 

When dumplings are done, add a nice portion to a bowl and top with the paprikash. Serve with additional salt or pepper if you want it.

I try not to add too much salt when I initially cook it because of my husband's heart issues. So, you can always add salt as you go.  
This is a pain in the ass recipe but it's very good when made right.  This is the first time I've ever measured, usually I just add things.  You can add various spices if you feel like it's too bland.  I've added dried Lipton Onion Soup mix, garlic salt, more bay leaves, more cayenne, more salt or pepper, more bouillion, more just depends on your taste.

This recipe served 10 people with leftovers.  You can serve a nice crusty bread or cheddar biscuits with it and a nice salad. What a great meal.

Chicken Noodle Soup

6-8 chicken thighs, plus 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper, 1 tbsp olive oil (or one whole chicken)
10-12 cups of water
3 chicken boullion cubes
2 beef boullion cubes
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thin
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup diced tomatoes (chopped, stewed, whatever)
1/2 tbsp salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tbsp parsley

On foil lined sheet, spread out chicken thighs and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes. Add water to large pot on stove. Remove chicken thighs from oven and add to pot of water and begin to cook over medium-low heat. Add carrot, celery, onion, boullion, thyme, oregano, tomatoes, bay leaf, garlic, salt and pepper.  (I have also just boiled the chicken in a pot of water and it's come out just as well. So do whatever the fuck you feel like doing-if you use the whole chicken though, don't forget to remove the shit from the cavity before you boil it)

Cook for at least an hour allowing all flavors to blend together. Remove chicken thighs from the soup and on a separate plate, remove the meat from the skin and bones. Chop chicken or pull apart into bite size pieces and return to pot of soup. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Meanwhile, boil noodles in a separate pot of water. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. (or as directed on package)

Add a cupful of noodles to bowl and ladel in enough soup to cover the noodles....Enjoy!

Keep in mind, you may need to adjust the following ingredients to get the best taste: salt, pepper, oregano, boullion, thyme.

adjustment: sometimes I add a can of cream of chicken soup for a different texture if I have it on hand.