WARNING: There is some politically related material here, besides the chicken paprikash. I’m gonna try and hold it in, but this is intense, it’s what I’m feeling right now, and it’s gonna bleed though a little. If any political trolling happens in the comments, deletions will occur.
Morning. After election day. Remnants of last night’s party litter the living area. Half a bottle of red wine and most of a bottle of loser’s champagne slosh around in my head. I need some chicken paprikash.
I know, that seems like a jump there. But it makes sense. Chicken paprikash is warm, filling, and nourishing in all of the ways this election was not. It’s done in ten minutes, unlike this never ending slog of a political season. It’s simple and unchallenging. Plain. Boring.
Coffee, check. Slice up onions, peppers, check. Slice up leftover chicken, check.
Just don’t think about it. Sphere of influence, sphere of influence. Focus on now. Chicken paprikash.
Saute, chicken stock, paprika, yogurt.
Yeah, I use yogurt instead of sour cream. It makes things tangier and a little lighter.
Oh, and my paprika isn’t actually paprika. I buy dried mild chiles in bulk from the beautiful Mexican grocery store just blocks from my house, where everything is amazing and super cheap, and there are no walls. Then I grind the chiles up in my food processor. It’s the same stuff as paprika, pretty much, but fresher.
Finally, couscous. I use couscous because it cooks fast and you don’t have to drain anything. You just need boiling water and a bowl. And maybe a plate to cover the bowl.
That’s it. Now I have chicken paprikash. It is a beautiful thing, and it will fill me up and I will focus on what I can do today, and how I can be kind to those around me. Maybe I can make chicken paprikash for some people to show them I love them.
FOR THE NERDS
I gotta say, it’s not easy to talk about the necessities of a sustainable food system right now. Locavore cuisine seems very unimportant in the face of all this country might be facing. But until something actionable rears its head, I’ll try to stick to what I know. And hey, if nuclear warheads start flying and we are all blown back into the stone age, we’ll have to know how to feed ourselves, right?
First off, this chicken paprikash is FAST. I use leftover chicken, which serves both to repurpose potential food waste, and avoids the issue of raw meat cleanup. Really fast and easy meals are foundational for a workable, easily adopted cuisine.
Next up, there’s plenty of vegetables in the form of onion, bell peppers, and chiles, which are all easily grown in the Kansas City climate. Including lots of local vegetables can go a long, long way towards making a meal bot healthy and environmentally sustainable.
Last, there’s the couscous. I chose couscous as the starch because you don’t even need to boil it, you can just add hot liquid and let it steam. It’s a great time saver.
Couscous is not made here in Kansas City, but it is a wheat product, and wheat is all over the place in the Midwest. This is a POTENTIALLY local food item.
This meal is just really, really simple. Simple is good. I want more of life to be as simple chicken paprikash.
I’m just gonna drink my coffee and eat my chicken paprikash.
Because it’s good. It’s warm and comforting.
We all need some comfort sometimes.
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup cooked diced chicken
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 cup couscous
- 2 Tbsp paprika
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- In a large pan, sauce the onion and pepper in a bit of oil over medium high heat until slightly browned. Add the diced chicken and chicken stock, and bring to a simmer.
- In a large bowl, mix the couscous and a pinch of salt. When the stock simmers, measure out () and add it to the couscous. Stir the couscous and cover the bowl with a plate for five minutes.
- Add the paprika and the salt to the skillet and stir well. Remove from heat. Mix some of the liquid into the Greek yogurt to temper it, then mix the yogurt into the skillet. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve the paprikash over the couscous.
- Instead of paprika, I use dried mild chiles that I buy in bulk from the Mexican market.