new directions in dinner.

Friends, a momentous thing happened recently: I came out to my partner.

As a food blogger, to be clear. I’ve been out as a queer since forever. That was easy! But this made me feel silly (don’t ask me why), so I just … sat on it until such point as I assumed he’d picked up on it, due to it literally being discussed in front of him and him cooking off my recipes multiple times. But no, apparently, none of that made a dent. He was cooking off one of my recipes recently and said something like, “Who tells you to pre-chop your vegetables in the middle of the instructions?” And I smirked and said, “Yeah, I wonder what bitch did that.” And he just kind of stared at me, and I said, “Me, oh my god, I am the bitch.”

Anyway he thought it was cool and wanted to collaborate on bringing some of his recipes to you so that just goes to show that being embarrassed for two years was an excellent use of my time and energy.

We’re going to start easy and delicious, with his take on goulash. This is an Eastern European dish that is usually made with beef, but he doesn’t eat mammals, so he makes it with chicken and it’s honestly amazing. What resemblance it actually bears to traditional Hungarian food, no idea. But a metric ton of paprika covers a multitude of sins.

Also before he makes it he spends I shit you not two and a half fucking hours cleaning the chicken thighs, to the point where making goulash is now a two-day affair: one day for cleaning thighs and one day for cooking goulash. For the love of God do not do this. It is deranged behavior.

Here’s how you make it. His words, not mine. If it sucks, blame him. I am as always blameless in all things. Also please note that this makes enough goulash to feed a Hungarian army. Prepare your storage accordingly.

3-4 lbs. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cleaned and cut into strips)
3 tbs olive oil, divided
1.5 heads of garlic (peeled)
4-6 onions (depending on size), (peeled and finely sliced)
2 carrots (peeled and finely sliced)
2 red bell peppers (deveined and cut into strips)
1.5 cups chicken stock
½ cup (roughly) sweet paprika
1-2 tbs. Hot paprika
1 20 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 20 oz. can diced tomatoes
Salt (to taste)

  1. Heat 1 tbs of oil in a large frying pan.  Brown the chicken thighs on both sides, in as many batches as it takes.
  2. Transfer the chicken thighs to a large stock pot or dutch oven.  Spread into a single layer, so that each piece is touching the bottom.  
  3. Deglaze the pan you used to brown the chicken with a small amount of stock and pour the glaze into the pot.  Add enough stock so that the chicken is half-submerged, but not floating.  Crush the garlic into the pot [note from Sara: you use a garlic press! totally new information for me!], add the paprikas, and stir them into the stock.  Cover the pot and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until fork tender.  If the fluid level drops, replace with more stock. This should use up your 1.5 cups. Note that you can do all the next steps while the chicken is simmering, including adding stuff to the chicken pot.
  4. Put half the onions into the frying pan at high heat and sprinkle with salt (to sweat them). Don’t add oil yet. Once the juices have boiled off, the onions will begin to stick to the bottom of the pan.  Lower the heat to medium, add 1 tbs of oil and stir constantly, sautéing until thoroughly caramelized (about 10 minutes).  Transfer them to the stock pot, deglaze the pan with stock, and pour the glaze into the pot.  Repeat with the other half of the onions.
  5. Saute the carrots and red peppers in the remaining oil until tender (3-5 minutes).  Transfer to the stock pot.
  6. The chicken should be done simmering by now.  Add the crushed and diced tomatoes.  Allow the pot to simmer for awhile to blend the flavors, then adjust the spices as needed.  
  7. Serve over pasta, with sour cream.

About Sara

I like to talk about media, food, and gender.
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