What to Do With Cheap Chicken Breasts? Try Chicken in Paprika Sauce
On the busy days before Christmas, you need something that's simple to make, not too pricey, and special for the season. How about Chicken in Paprika Sauce? It's made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts--on sale, of course--and pounded thin, so they'll be fork tender. The sauce gets an earthy taste from sauteed mushrooms and is a rich red color, softened with tangy light sour cream. The dish is quick to cook, warming on a cold evening, and elegant enough for guests. Serve it with egg noodles or mashed potatoes and a green vegetable for a wonderful meal that's easy but fit for the Advent season.
Chicken in Paprika Sauce -- Serves 4+
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons of canola oil
1/2 cup of flour
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
8 ounces of sliced mushrooms
2 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth (or 2 teaspoons of "Better than Bullion" mixed with 2 cups
1 tablespoon of minced dried onions
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of lemon pepper
1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes
1-2 tablespoons of sweet paprika
1 cup of light sour cream
If you've bought large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut them in half, lengthwise. Place the pieces between plastic wrap or parchment paper and pound them with a meat mallet (or the edge of a plate) until they're about 1/3 of an inch thick. Drop the cutlets in a plastic bag and add the flour and cornstarch. Shake the bag until the cutlets are well coated. Set the cutlets aside and heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add half of the cutlets and brown them on one side for several minutes. Flip the cutlets and brown the other side for two or three minutes. Remove the cutlets to a plate. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet, swirl it, and add the remaining cutlets, cooking them as you did the first batch and then removing them to the plate with the first batch of cutlets. Do not throw away the flour mixture, because you'll use it later. To the now empty skillet add the remaining oil and the mushrooms and brown the mushrooms for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle on the remaining flour/cornstarch mixture and stir it into the mushrooms for a couple of minutes, letting the flour coat the mushrooms and cook a little. Stir in the chicken broth, dried onions, salt, lemon pepper, dried parsley, and paprika (use 1 tablespoon for a milder taste and 2 if you like more spice). Let the mixture simmer, stirring it periodically, for 5-10 minutes or until thickened. Add the sour cream to the sauce and stir it in well. Add the chicken cutlets to the sauce and spoon some of the sauce over them to coat them. Turn off the heat and let the chicken warm in the sauce for about 5 minutes, then serve the chicken with the sauce. If you'd like, you can sprinkle a little fresh parsley on top of the chicken and sauce.