So… I am done. That’s it. I am now Dr. Anna, for whatever that is worth. Not a lot, really, but it’s still something. Now I have to re-write my blog profile blurb and I have no idea what to say. Before, I was a long-suffering grad student, trying to take the edge off a painful schooling experience by eating wonderful things. Now, I am just a person who eats a lot. I am in need of a new niche. If y’all come up with something, let me know. I am feeling dramatically unspecial right now. Boohoo me, right? Not really. I am also immensely relieved and excited to move on, and to get back all the sleep I lost and re-grow all the hair I pulled out in the last two months of dissertation writing and defending. That might take a while though.
One thing that I knew for sure all along is that I would not have made it this far or anywhere at all without the help (and tolerance) of my friends. They came out in force to keep me sane and keep me fed throughout the entire process. One evening, my friend Melissa brought her kitchen to mine. She came over with her favorite Dutch oven, pre-measured ingredients, and a recipe for chicken goulash with sour cream biscuits (from Bon Appetit? Gourmet? Don’t recall. I don’t remember a lot of things from the last month). I tried to help her with making dinner, but have a serious suspicion that I was in her way more than anything else. Turns out I am useless with a pasty cutter and even worse at handling raw chicken. Luckily, I am an excellent eater. No complaints from anyone on that end.
The goulash was a thing of beauty.
Chicken Goulash with Sour Cream Biscuits
2 lbs skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 ½ cups flour
5 tbsp cold unsalted butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp baking powder
2 ½ cups chicken stock
1 cup sour cream
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp hot Hungarian paprika
2/4 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp thyme
- Preheat oven 425F
- Dust chicken with flour
- Melt 1 tbsp butter and olive oil in Dutch oven. Brown chicken on all sides and remove to plate. (may want to add a little bit more flour at this point if you like a thicker stew)
Meanwhile, make biscuits:
- Pulse flour, baking powder, ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper in a food processor. Add 4 tbsp cold butter and pulse.
- Whisk ½ cup chicken stock with ½ cup sour cream and add to flour mixture. Pulse until dough forms. Form into 10-12 round biscuits.
- Saute vegetables in Dutch oven until softened, scraping up chicken bits.
- Return chicken to the pot add spices and toast for a couple of minutes.
- Add remaining of chicken broth and sour cream.
- Place biscuits on top of stew.
- Bake for 20 minutes covered. Remove cover and broil for 2 more minutes to brown the biscuit tops.
Melissa’s recipe substitutions and notes – Melissa used white breast meat instead of thigh meat to cut down on the fattiness of the dish (much appreciated) and half regular paprika and half hot paprika to moderate the heat. It was still seriously hot, mind you, and I am not a spice wuss. One final recipe note – make double the number of biscuits. Seriously. They were so good I wanted to hug them. A little tangy from the sour cream and so smooth and creamy. They were perfect with the hot and spicy stew beneath. Oh, and the next day, the flavors in the stew meld together and the liquid soaks up into the biscuits to make bready flavor bombs. Ridiculously good.
If you don’t have a friend like Melissa, I suggest you go find one immediately. It will be worth your while. It was mine.