David is a talented writer and a man who loves to cook. When I asked him for a recipe, he pointed out that he has a regular feature on his blog ‘Feeding the Active Writer’ but he gave me one of his favorite dishes so I could do this piece on him. I will say that of his writing, I think my favorite was EMT, a short story about emergency medicine on the moon. Growing up, my father was a medic, and Burkhead’s story resonated strongly with me. Also, he does very good, readable Hard SF, which isn’t the easiest thing to do.
This is a relatively quick and easy dish to assemble, so I will suggest that you check out the short novel Survival Test while the paprikash is simmering.
- 2-3 lbs chicken
- 1-2 large onions
- Fresh mushrooms
- 2-3 tbsp butter
- 1/4 c paprika (the good stuff, Hungarian if you can find it. The cheap stuff has no flavor, might as well throw sawdust in the pot)
- 1 c chicken stock
- 1 c yogurt
- 2 tbsp flour
- salt and pepper to taste
Begin by searing the chicken until browned on both sides (I was using legs and thighs for this, but boneless thighs or breasts would be nice) in the butter in a heavy-bottomed or cast iron pan. Remove the chicken, set aside, and caramelize the onions and mushrooms together. Add the paprika, then the chicken. Don’t allow the paprika to burn, as it will develop a bitter unpleasant taste. Pour in the chicken stock and cover the pan, allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk the flour into the yogurt (you can also use sour cream for this). Then before adding it to the cooking pot, temper the creamy mixture with a few spoonfuls of the hot sauce, whisking it in. Pour the tempered mixture into the pot and cook gently, stirring often, until the sauce is thickening. Remove from heat.
Serve over egg noodles, or as Burkhead suggests, his zero-carb flaxmeal muffins. We had it with steamed broccoli on the side as well, and it was a delicious meal.
You can find the index page for the Eat This While You Read That! series here.