Hungarian Paprika Chicken

My heritage is Hungarian and over the years I have experimented with the recipes. As you might guess judging from my picture I love food. Hungarian recipes tend to be high in fat and calories. This is one that I have been working with that has a lot of the of the original flavor but is healthier. It is best to use a mature hen but a mature hen has layers of fat that can spell trouble if you are watching cholesterol and calories. Using a chicken less than a year old works. Checking the breastbone for growth tells the age. Anymore a yearling can be very plump. Cut up the chicken or get one cut up (it will cost more) and thoroughlywash and dry the main pieces. The breast, thigh and legs are all you want. Put the rest even the organs in a stock pot and boil them down adding a little salt and pepper. Freeze in a plastic covered bowl after straining for up to 6 months. I must insist on using lard. The new lard has less problems than the old before they changed the composition of hogs and made them less fat. It is better than using corn oils, but if you cannot bring yourself to this use peanut oil. If you are allergic to peanuts peanut oil does not usually cause a problem. Cold pressed or organic will. Bring a frying pan up to heat with about 2 tablespoons of the oil of choice in the bottom. Take your dry chicken and put each piece in a bag containing sweet Hungarian paprika mix. .About a 1/8 cup paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the same pepper and garlic powder. Shake each piece and brown on all sides in a skillet. Set aside on a draining rack. In a large bowl mix 1 cup low fat sour cream with 1 cup low fat yogurt. In the frying pan place 1 cup diced up celery with 1 cup chopped onion. When they become transparent add 3 to 4 crushed garlic cloves to the mix. Add 2 sprigs of thyme. Next add 1 cup of white wine to clear the pan. empty in a 2 quart high sided baking dish. Layer chicken around the bottom and cover all with sour cream yogurt mixture. Bake at 350 for 45 min covered ( can be alum. foil). Uncover and bake an additional 15 min.. Let stand 20 min. before serving. Traditionally you would have dropped dumplings in the pot but there goes the calories. I have served this with rice, but garlic mashed potatoes are great with this. It is hard to cook the dishes light .but by using good spices (which have no calories) you can still make a good dish. Serve with a salad and maybe steamed veggies. Try it, you will like it.

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