My Little Dumpling: Chicken Paprikash

Darlings!  It's a FRESH NEW YEAR and the Creative Cooking Crew is back and ready for all the foodie challenges thrown our way!  January's theme is DUMPLINGS!  And there couldn't be a more open and wide ranging food choice for this challenge than the dumpling.  

The dictionary states the definition for "dumpling" in these simple terms.   

dumpling (plural dumplings)

  1. A ball of dough that is cooked and may have a filling and/or additional ingredients in the dough.
  2. A term of endearment
                  My little dumpling. 

Now that the holiday feasting has passed, I too have become a "little dumpling." Because of all the heavy and white flour laden foods I'd been consuming in mass quantities over the holidays, I had a hard time getting started on this challenge.  This little dumpling doesn't need to eat any dumplings just now!  

These foie gras dumplings from Hakkasan at the Tropical Brunch I organized for Les Dames d'Escoffier were delicious.

It has been said that every culture has their own version of a dumpling and I'm certain that I've tried many of them!    Some of my all time favorite dumplings are the Chinese dumplings because they come in so many different fillings and shapes.  I'll never forget going to a trendy dumpling house in New York City years back to be treated to lovely little dim sum dumplings stuffed with delicate, pink shrimp and fashioned in the shape of bunnies and ducks.  The attention to detail in those expertly crafted dumplings along with their uniformity would always amaze me.  

Now that I grow garlic chives in my own garden, I often make gow gee dumplings using pre-made wrappers and then stuffed with a combination of pork and garlic chives with shaoxing rice wine, which adds a very authentic flavor.

    Home-maade potato gnocchi dumplings in blue cheese cream sauce are hubby's favorite!

    A few years back, I decided to get over my fear of DOUGH and started to tackle gnocchi.  I never realized how simple they were to make!   At the same time, I never realized how one could screw up such a simple dish so easily either!  Over processing roasted pumpkin the other day turned my gnocchi into glue!  I realized that one has to be in a certain state of mind to make gnocchi:  patient.

    For a different take on the usual boiled dumpling, I fried these gnocchi in butter and served with grated parmigiano cheese.

      Since I've been so busy with work and haven't had a lot of time to give to creating a new dumpling for the challenge, I was considering making a recipe that I created a few months back.  It's a Southwestern-style casserole with a savory base of sauteed poblano chilies, ground beef, beans, tomatoes and corn with spicy chilies, cumin and oregano.  I top it with my take on a new dumpling, which to me is actually a cornmeal biscuit with cheddar cheese and green onions and then baked.

      Was it a drop biscuit?  A cobbler?  Technically, it's still considered a dumpling!

      My Southwestern-style casserole with cheesy corn dumplings.

          Since my time has been engrossed with proposal writing for clients for team building, I decided not to tax my poor little dumpling head and make an old family favorite:  Chicken paprikash.

          Like spaghetti bolognese, it seems there are a number of ways to make this dish but all of them include sweet paprika, onions, sour cream and dumplings.  The Hungarian dumpling I've seen associated with paprikash is called "nokedi" and looks similar to spaetzle (a dumpling I've eaten many times but never made myself!)  My version of the dumpling is a bit larger.

            To start the paprikash, you saute several chopped onions with two tablespoons of sweet paprika, salt and pepper.  My recipe calls for shortening, but I use oil now.  The frying onions, chicken and paprika will fill your home with a comforting and heavenly scent.  After browning you add a bit of water or broth, cover and let it cook until it falls off the bone. For variety, I added mushrooms as well.  When the chicken is cooked, you add a cup of sour cream to the sauce to thicken it.

            While the chicken is cooking, make the dumplings using egg, flour, water and the rest of the sour cream.  These dumplings have a very sticky consistency and I used a small scoop to make it easier to get them into the boiling water as well as keeping them uniform in shape.  Once they float to the top, scoop them out and serve, they are ready!

            My version of chicken paprikash with dumplings!  

            Ahhhh......a family favorite.  The sauce is so delicious, you will want to eat it with a spoon to make sure you get every, single drop.  The dumplings are dense and plentiful and when I eat this, I always make sure to get a bit of dumpling with every single bite of chicken!  The sour cream adds a bit of tang as well as thickens the rich sauce.

            If you are looking for lovely and light, fluffy dumplings then these are not for you!  Though delicious, these dumplings are as heavy as lead and made for a good, solid meal for hungry people on cold nights!  Needless to say, The DJ, my husband, thoroughly enjoyed this meal as I don't make it often!

            Darlings, what is your favorite dumpling to make?  Or to eat?  Do tell La Diva all about it!  


            Ciao for now, darlings!


            Joan Nova said...

            Real comfort food for a chilly day. Not that we have too many of them in FL but waking up to 39 degrees this morning makes me think a pot of chicken paprikash would be a very comforting dinner.

            Velva said...

            Chicken papriash is soul food. Love it.

            I always feel gross after the holidays. I crave green! Still, I could really enjoy all the types of dumplings you displayed here on this post.

            Happy New Year my friend.


            LaDivaCucina said...

            Joan, it was perfect for that cold night! Like a chicken goulash!

            I feel that way too, Velva! Thanks for the well wishes, Happy New Year to you too! Thanks for your comments!


            I could really go for this right now. So cold in New many dumplings so little time...


            I could really go for this right now. So cold in New many dumplings so little time...

            Lazaro Cooks said...

            Fantastic dumpling selection. That chicken looks boss.

            deana sidney said...

            Nice idea using the left-over sour cream to do the dumpling... feels terribly authentic that way. I know my gram used to make dumplings but I wasn't crazy for them as a kid. Since then, I have had a few of this variety that were light as air and relish. You did the challenge proud with them... I read that early ravioli was made with and without skins so the 'without' would be like your dumpling, boiled in broth.
            Perfect dish for winter!

            Wendy Tien said...

            Love paprikash and those dumplings sound nice and moist! I might have to make some this weekend!

            Wendy Tien said...

            Love paprikash and those dumplings sound nice and moist! I might have to make some this weekend!

            Victoria said...

            This is truly the ultimate comfort food! A different take on chicken and dumplings ;-)

            Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

            This is a fabulous and hardy dumpling dish for cold winter days. I have made Chicken paprikash once before but my nokedi were a total fail. Yours just looks so amazing. Will have to try again!

            Jennifer Kendall said...

            oooh yum - this looks so warm and comforting, I would give anything for a bowl of this right now!

            Maureen C. Berry said...

            I like the addition of sour cream to thicken. I always plop a spoonful on top. Nice change up to a traditional dish.

            I love your little vignettes throughout the post, too to round out the challenge.