Red, orange and green; small and large; round and long; hot and sweet. With more every week, the peppers were slowly taking over. So I needed to find a good use for them and quickly. Roasted peppers or a relish would be nice but then that just sits around the fridge needing something to put it on.
Going back to my Italian roots and spices from my trip to Istanbul, I came up with this spiced chicken dish topped with a sauce of peppers, onions and tomatoes. It thickens from cooking down the tomatoes. I used cherry tomatoes because I had an abundance of them as well. But you can dredge the chicken in flour before browning or you can add flour to make a roux if you want it thicker. I was keeping it simple and healthier. If you want it spicier, add some hot peppers to the mix, but it should be slightly fiery from the seasoning anyway.
Serve the sauce plain, which is very flavorful on its own, or add some sour cream to it and even some cheese (you know I love cheese) to give it a more complex flavor. I tried both and am not sure which one I liked better. Also, use whatever part of the chicken you prefer (leg, thigh, breast -if using a breast, dredge in flour to brown). As long as you like peppers and spice, you’ll enjoy this recipe.
Smoked Paprika Chicken with Peppers Sauce
Serves 2 or 4 (depending on portion size).
4 chicken thighs or quartered legs
5-8 peppers, assorted types and sizes of your choosing, julienned or chopped
1/2 cup of onions, sliced thin
1/4 cup of celery, thinly diced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 cup of tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 tbsps of grapeseed oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp of crushed red pepper
A few sprigs of thyme
1 tbsp of fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup of dry white wine
1/4 cup of sour cream (optional)
Feta cheese (optional)
Rinse the legs and pat dry. Season generously with salt, pepper and smoked paprika.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high. Add the legs and brown skin side down for 6 minutes. Turn and brown for another 3 minutes. Remove and place on paper towel lined plate to drain.
Remove all but about one tablespoon of the drippings from the pan. Add the peppers, onions, celery, garlic, red pepper and herbs. Sprinkle with more salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Saute. Add tomatoes. Add more salt, pepper and spices if desired. Cook for about 2 minutes.
Add wine and bring to a boil. Add chicken on top of vegetables. Lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 25 minutes or until done.
Remove chicken. Now you can add the sour cream if you want and/or cheese. Stir to mix.
Whichever sauce variation you choose, spoon on top of the chicken. Serve with some greens or a salad. Or add the sauce to some pasta or rice. To drink, pour whatever wine you added to the sauce. You could even use a red since this is rich enough.