Stop right there. I know what you’re thinking.
“Chicken goulash? You what?”
Yes, chicken. If we’ve upset a few purists, profound apologies.
Look, we were planning the evening meal, and realised that we had a bit of a craving for poultry – there has been a glut of red meat and fish in our world of late. Welcome to Sweden at Christmas.
We also confessed to harbouring strong desires for a goulash, which we attributed to a combination of the cold, the (still) exceedingly short days, and the ways paprika and tomatoes do their thing to the unconscious mind.
Wait, back up a second. Chicken, and a goulash. Chicken goulash? A goulash, but made with chicken?
We’re into dangerous territory here, Dr. Livingstone. Tasty, but definitely dangerous.
Cast aside any culinary prejudices you may have, and enjoy this somewhat unorthodox version of the Hungarian classic with plenty of steamed cauliflower on the side.
Just don’t ask for it in Budapest, OK?
- about 1kg of chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 medium onions, finely sliced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 2 celery sticks, finely diced
- 1 red pepper, de-seeded and finely sliced
- 1 green pepper, de-seeded and finely sliced
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp paprika
- 1 Jalapeño chilli, minced
- 2 500g tins, chopped tomatoes
- 2 tsp Herbes de Provence – see Notes
- 2 tsp cumin seed – see Notes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- Heat 4 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a large non-stick pan. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, and stir fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the finely chopped carrot and celery. Stir fry for 3 minutes. Add the sliced onions and peppers. Continue to stir fry until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes or so.
- Add the garlic and Jalapeño chilli. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the Herbes de Provence and the paprika. Season with the salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Stir fry for a further 2 minutes, adding a splash of hot water if anything threatens to stick or burn.
- Add the 2 tins of chopped tomatoes to the pan. Stir well, bring up to a low simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes or so.
- Add the chicken to the sauce. Stir well, and return to a low simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is done, i.e. when a piece is completely white when cut in half.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Serve.
- Here I used cumin seeds because that’s what I had available to me. Ideally you should use caraway seeds.
- You could argue until the cows come home about the “correct” herbs to use here, although when you read around, there seems to be a consensus around thyme, parsley, and a bay leaf or two going into the pot. As with the cumin seeds, I used what I had available to me at the time, the Herbes de Provence. A bit of a fudge perhaps, but one that worked well enough.