The Joy of Soul Food Blog by Pamela Holmes

The Joy of Soul Food Blog by Pamela Holmes

Soul food memories and the recipes that come along with them.

Paprika Chicken

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My brother Larry called and asked for my mother's paprika chicken recipe a couple of months ago and immediately my mouth started to water.

My mother prepared Sunday Dinner on Saturday night. She put the sabbath's day meat in the oven while I watched Saturday Night Live or Wolfman Jack, before she went to bed. On Sunday morning our home smelled like culinary heaven. It always promised an amazing feast which we would as a family enjoy at 1:30 after church. (We usually had to be back at church for the 3:30 program where the choir would perform an A&B selection. She was the choir director.).

One of my favorite Sunday dinners was paprika chicken and I had not prepared or thought of it in well over 10 years. Paprika chicken is baked in the oven slowly with the most basic soul food ingredients, salt, pepper,and granulated garlic. We cut up two whole chickens, seasoned the pieces generously adding paprika to each piece and our standard seasonings.

We added just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan and filled the baking dish with chicken (she had 8 children). She then prinkled the chicken with a light dusting of flour and dotted the whole think with small squares of butter.

We put this whole thing in the oven, covered loosely with aluminum foil "until the meat fell off the bone." There was not much technical about knowing when chicken was done. There was no meat thermometer or timer on the stove. If the meat on the leg has not contracted up to the thigh, it was not yet ready. And if your chicken did not fall off the bone, then your chicken was not "right." And above all things in soul food, you want your food to be "right."

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