Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day Memories

With this Sunday being Mothers' Day I thought it would be fitting to recreate one of my mom's best dishes and share with all of you. My mom is no longer with me, but she is in spirit and I know she's be tickled to see me share and brag about one of her "Erika Only" specialties. I call this dish that because I have never heard a recipe quite like it- a lot of very similar dishes, but just nothing like Mom's.
Mom, me, and my daughter Debbee

My mother was a funny little gal. Born and raised in Germany she had a mastery of the English language one can only acquire living near a lot of American GIs in the 40s and 50s. She cussed A LOT, and often didn't realize you probably shouldn't use THAT word in THIS instance. She was a young girl during World War II and remembers the people welcoming the Allies to her hometown of Weisbaden, which had been badly damaged by bombings, people were hungry, many homeless and destitute. Shew grew up and later married an American soldier from Minnesota, my dad, and together they moved from Germany back to a teeny tiny town in Minnesota, where I would be born several years later.
Mom was a waitress at Johnny and Kay's waaaay back in the 70s
Because she came from a family of very modest means, they ate very simply. Meat on Sunday, soup and other inexpensive and easy-to-stretch foods the rest of the week. She was not a gourmet German cook by any means, and many of our meals growing up were very simple meat and potatoes dishes. The occasional German foods but not as much as just everyday normal American food. Her spaghetti sauce was legendary, her chili like no other and her lentil soup is by far my favorite food on this entire planet. But any time Mom asked if we wanted something special for dinner, this was my most requested dish, and I can't help but think she is probably looking down, hoisting her beer stein high and saying "Salut" as I type.

Mom's Chicken Paprika

chicken (whole, parts, breast only- whatever you prefer, I used boneless skinless thighs this time)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery- I use the leaves also
coupe gloves garlic, chopped
chicken stock or broth
1 bag frozen noodles or about 1 lb homemade
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper

In deep stockpot place onion, celery, garlic and chicken. Add chicken stock to cover chicken, add a couple grinds black pepper and a big pinch of salt. Cover pot, bring to boil then reduce and simmer until chicken is very tender and falls off the bone.

Remove and strain broth (SAVE THAT BROTH!!!) and when cool enough to handle, remove meat from the bones and cut into bite sized pieces. You CAN use boneless chicken but you definitely get better flavor with chicken on the bone, if you have time to cook it. Otherwise, leftover roast chicken and a can of chicken broth is a good quick substitute.

** Note- you CAN skip straining the brother if you are able to get all the chicken bones and skin and yuckies out if you want to leave the onions and celery bits in the broth. I sometimes do.

Return meat to pot, bring to boil. Add the noodles and cook until tender, adding more broth if necessary. You want the noodles to soak up most of the liquid during cooking, you don't want a soupy consistency. Stir OFTEN to prevent noodles from sticking or burning.

When noodles are done, remove from heat, drain off any excess liquid that might remain, and stir in the sour cream and 1-2 tablespoons paprika. Mix well, and serve.


  1. Toward the later part of each month I like to adventure out and stop in at some different blogs...This time I took the list off of canning group with facebook.
    Hope your Mother Day was blessed.
    When you fine the time stop on over for a cup of coffee.

    1. Thank you Dora!! I sure will pop over for a visit :)