November 16, 2008

Jen's Chicken Paprika

This is my favorite meal ever. I am talking favorite.

Favorite, favorite.

If I committed a heinous crime and was put to death via lethal injection by a jury of my peers, this would be my last meal. (Logistically speaking, either my mother would have to come cook it for me, or I would need to be granted access to the prison kitchen or something...I would petition for leniency in this matter.)


(Yes, I have given it that much thought.)

This recipe is an actual family secret. It was passed down from my dad's family from the old country. My great-grandmother taught my grandmother, when she and my grandpa got married. My grandmother then taught my mother, when she and my dad got married. My mother taught me. There is no written recipe, and there probably never will be. I would not let my own husband eat this dish until I was sure that he was worthy. He still has never been allowed to take leftovers out of the house. In fact, he wasn't even allowed to have leftovers, until after our son was born. It sounds crazy, but it is true. That is how closely guarded this recipe is in my family. My own son will learn to make it, if he upholds the tradition of secrecy. His future wife, however, will need to put in at least 20 years of marriage and give me at least 2 grandchildren before I will teach her to make it...and that is only if I like her. All bets are off if she rubs me the wrong way. There is a list of other criteria, but I don't want you to think I am totally off my rocker...I will keep the rest to myself.

Once in a while I will do some random recipe searches on the Internet to see if anyone has gotten close to cracking my beloved dish. Rest assured, they haven't. Not even close. I have done some extensive 'googling' on this matter, and thankfully no one has even scratched the surface of this recipe. Wolfgang Puck does make a very distant (and laughable) variation...but that is the only (remotely close) facsimile that I have found. HA!

That is why I can sleep easy at night.

Needless to say, I will not be printing a recipe here, either. I am just merely telling you what we are having for dinner. I may or may not take a photo. We will see if I am still in a generous mood after dinner. I will say that I am making a much smaller batch this time (I am trying to devise a quick cooking method), because the full monty takes hours of painstaking work. I am also toying with the idea of letting the husband take some for lunch tomorrow. I am still undecided. I don't know if he can be trusted, because he is always trying to snoop around the kitchen when I am making it...a huge no-no. If he plays his cards right, and stays out of the kitchen when I am cooking, he may get lucky with leftovers. For safety sake, I may drive the leftovers to his office tomorrow, watch him eat them, and then take the container back home to secure the evidence. He is certainly not allowed to flaunt it or share them in anyway. Not even a bite. In fact, he should not even talk about it.

The first rule about Chicken Paprika, is that you don't talk about Chicken Paprika...

As it stands, I may have shared too much already.

The Result:
My quick cooking method did not work all that great. This dish definitely needs a long cooking time for the (blank) to combine with the (blank) and the (blank). With that being said...even though this was not the best version I have ever was still plate-licking good. Alas, the husband will not be having leftovers, after all. I cannot let a sub-par version of this dish get out in public. I could never live with myself if tonight's attempt were to leak, and someone thought that this was as good as it got. Clearly, the only choice I have is to destroy the leftovers and never speak of this quick cooking version again.

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