Chicken Paprika and Food Bloggers Support for Sandy #FBS4Sandy

Chicken Paprika

The theme of today’s blog hop was supposed to be Brussels sprouts, but we’ve had a little change of plan. As I’ve gotten the reports from friends and family and seen the increasingly dire photos of the aftermath from Hurricane Sandy, I’ve felt helpless. All I want to do is hop on a plane to help with the relief effort, to pick up the pieces in the Rockaways, to clean up Red Hook and lend a hand in Breezy Point or Staten Island. But I know that’s not realistic and I knew there had to be another way to help. As usual, the food blogging community has come through and Barbara from Creative Culinary and Jenn from Jenn Cuisine have created this event, Food Bloggers Support for Sandy.The hope is that those of us who can’t be on the ground helping with the relief effort can at least give something to the cause. Those who are participating are posting a comfort food recipe as well – “Something that you would make for someone in need, to help them feel at home.” I think chicken paprika, one of the most famous Hungarian dishes, fits the bill. It’s rich and creamy, simple and flavorful. Served over buttered egg noodles, it really is comfort on a plate.

Fortunately, my friends and family all made it through Sandy in one piece. But not everyone was so lucky. There were heartbreaking reports, including my best friend’s neighbor who, along with his girlfriend, were hit by a falling tree and killed. Sandy was no joke. Many of my good friends live in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a low-lying evacuation zone that was ravaged by the storm. One friend lost his entire apartment – water came up to the ceiling of his basement abode. It’s a mess.

Meanwhile, my parents in lower Manhattan were without power, heat or hot water for nearly a week. Fortunately they had a battery operated radio and gas stove; my dad made sure they were well fed. Likewise my in-laws, also in lower Manhattan, lost not only heat and power but water entirely. They left the city as soon as they were able. My sister’s workplace, a non-profit that sells artists’ books in Chelsea, lost most of their inventory and archives dating back to the 70s when their basement flooded. Many galleries in the area suffered severe damage.

And all of this is still minor in comparison to what others faced, and continue to face. The temperature dropped and now it’s snowing, leaving people who are without heat or home in a dire situation.

Chicken Paprika

How to help

I’ve done research and reached out to my amazing friends on the ground to compile a list of ways to help out. Choose whatever one calls out to you. Just please, consider helping in some small way. My Red Hook friends and I are also working on a community cookbook to help raise money, so look out for more on that in the coming weeks.

  • The Red Cross – an amazing organization that is always on the front lines of relief. I’ve heard firsthand that they’re doing some good work, so consider donating to them here. To get even more bang for your buck, find an organization that will match your donation. Shopping site Rue La La will match every donation to the Red Cross dollar for dollar through November 12 and up to $75,000 (go here). Or, if you donate more than $25 to the Red Cross through the James Beard Foundation (info here – through 11/9), you’ll automatically be entered to win a dinner for two at Michael Mina’s RN74 in San Francisco. Click on the other “team members” to see what other chefs and sommeliers are raising money and what you might get in exchange – donate $30 through Mark Forgione, for example, (here) and be entered to win dinner at his amazing restaurant in New York.
  • Occupy Sandy – This gets my vote for the group that is doing the most on the ground in New York City. A pure and good hearted grassroots effort sprang up almost immediately and got to work organizing volunteers and addressing real and pressing needs. They have done an amazing job of mobilizing people, putting them to work where they’re needed, and getting to the furthest reaches of the city to help and bring aid. To get regularly updated info on how and where to volunteer through them go to their website or Facebook page.To donate money go here, or, to get supplies that people actually need to those in need check out their brilliant Amazon “registry” (here), where you can send wool blankets, shovels, and even things like disposable cameras (people need to take photos for insurance claims) to people who really need it.
  • Mail supplies – a friend of a friend on Facebook wrote from hard hit Hoboken: “Needs: Blankets, Flashlights, D batteries toiletries, adult and baby diapers, formula , baby food, non-perishable food. No water or clothes. No glass. Send to: Hurricane Relief / Hoboken High School / 800 Clinton Street / Hoboken,NJ 07030 – is delivering to Hoboken and it should arrive the next day.”
  • Local Organizations – while big organizations like the Red Cross do amazing work, sometimes I feel better donating to smaller, local organizations where I know that my gift will make a real difference. I’ve already mentioned Red Hook, Brooklyn a few times and obviously it’s a place that is close to my heart. Please consider helping out at Red Hook Initiative (RHI) here, Restored Red Hook here, or Red Hook Food Vendors (who are raising money to deliver food to people affected by Sandy) here. Time’s Up, a local bike/environmental org is leading fossil fuel disaster relief bike rides to deliver food, blankets, bike-powered charging stations, and mobile bike repair units to neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Sandy; find out more here. And, to help out folks in Rockaway, Breezy Point and Broad Channel,  In Good Company Hospitality Relief Fund is doing some great work (go here).
  • More – The New York Times has created a disaster relief fund, which you can read about here. To learn about which restaurants in New York are helping out with hurricane relief efforts, check out this great post in Grub Street. And everyone’s favorite public radio station, WNYC, has put together another great list of relief efforts here.
5.0 from 5 reviews
Paprikas Csirke ~ Chicken Paprika
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
According to Culinaria Hungary, "In western Europe chicken paprikas became a prize-winning dish at the end of the 19th century, when Georges August Escoffier, the famous French chef, put Poulet au Paprika on the menu at the splendid Grand Hotel in Monte Carlo." It remains one of the most famous, and most comforting, of all Hungarian dishes.
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Hungarian
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
  • 2½ teaspoons oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 heaping tablespoon mild paprika
  • 2 pounds (about 1 kilo) chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Salt
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1⅔ cup (400 ml) sour cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons flour
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until transparent.
  2. Add the paprika and stir to combine.
  3. Add the chicken and cook over high heat for a few minutes, stirring often.
  4. Lower the heat, season with salt and add the red pepper and tomato. Stir to combine and cover with a lid. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes, stirring only occasionally. Add a little water if the pan is too dry.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir together the sour cream and flour until smooth. Add to the skillet, stir, and gently simmer for another 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and serve with buttered egg noodles (the traditional accompaniment is actually a cucumber salad).
Gluten free if you substitute the little bit of flour at the end for gf flour or a teaspoon or corn starch.

I am a proud New Yorker, and I love my city. Both the people and the city are incredibly resilient during times of tragedy, and always put their best food forward, but they need your help. Please consider giving time, money, or resources to any of the organizations I mentioned above, or one of your own choosing. I picked ones that are close to my heart, but there are many other areas that have been affected and could use your help as well. Haiti, for example, was ravaged once again.

To check out all the other bloggers who are participating, visit the blog hop over at Creative Culinary.

33 thoughts on “Chicken Paprika and Food Bloggers Support for Sandy #FBS4Sandy

  1. Lisa

    Katherine..I think this is a wonderful Friday bloghop. I can’t tell you how many friends and family are in dire straits right now. Just yesterday I left work early and visited a friend at the Jersey Shore. A tree went trough the top and side of his house!! I brought lots of cookies and loaded up at Whole Foods. I’ve also donated two weeks of paychecks and will give more if I cab afford to. We were lucky compared to most..just backyard damage..and short losses of power. Well..I linked up some comfort foods – I only wish I could make them for every victim of Sandy.

    • Katherine

      Wow Lisa – what an incredible effort! You’re truly a model for the rest of us. I can’t believe the devastation this storm has wreaked. Thanks so much for all your contributions, and for linking up!

      • Lisa

        No, not a model for the rest of you..just a girl who was rocked to the core emotionally once I saw it ‘live’ the past week. You just want to do everything you’re capable of to help – so heartbreaking.

        • Katherine

          I know exactly what you mean. I was so surprised when they started shutting down the subways and whatnot before the storm even hit…and then so shocked to see the aftermath.

  2. kitchenriffs

    Sandy was such a nasty storm! I used to live in the NYC area so I know loads of people there. A lot were without power (and heat in many cases) for close to a week. And the Jersey shore was just flattened in parts. I used to live in Florida and I’ve certainly seen worse hurricane damage, but never as much to such a densely populated area. Anyway, Chicken Paprika is a great dish – one of the classics that isn’t seen so much these days. Too bad, because it not only has great flavor, but is beautiful to boot! Good job – thanks.

  3. Jessica | Oh Cake

    Oh Katherine! I am so sorry to hear about your friends and what they are your family are going through. I have family in NJ who are also still suffering without power. For the life of me I can’t remember which one, but I *believe* the ed-in-chief of one of the big food mags lives in Red Hook – you might reach out for help with the cookbook benefit.

  4. mjskit

    Perfect choice for this week’s hop topic!!! I was in tears reading about how your family and friends and friends of friends were affected. And there are SO many others. We’ve been trying to reach a friend of ours who lives on the coast of RI, but no luck thus far. All I can do from NM is give what I can to help and that I have done. BTW – earlier this week I was looking for a Chicken Paprika recipe and couldn’t find one I like. Well, here it is! Pin this recipe and hop. Your family and friends will definitely be in my thoughts!

  5. Kim

    What a fabulous idea! We have donated to the Red Cross. Thinking about and praying for all of those affected by Sandy. Thanks for hosting and a nice weekend!

  6. Kim Bee

    Katherine this is such a great cause and kudos to you for getting involved. I need to plan my own post about it. It’s such a horrible thing to happen to families. I cannot even imagine what they are going through. I feel for your folks, in-laws and sister. And everyone else that was touched by this.

    You cooked up a batch of comfort for sure. This is the perfect recipe to make things feel normal.

  7. Manu

    I am so sorry to read about what happened! Sandy was a terrible natural disaster! Nature can be so scary at times… Great post Katherine! My thoughts are for your friends and family and all the others affected… and with you! Being far away when something like this happens is awful… I was already in Australia when L’Aquila was destroyed by a devastating quake and I felt so bad for not being able to do something “more”. I LOVE the idea of the cookbook though, that is the “something more” I missed! <3

  8. Anita at Hungry Couple

    I’ve lived here by entire life and have never seen anything like it. We were fortunate enough to stay safe but so many of my friends have lost so much or lived in the cold and dark for so long now. I’ve pinned a warm, comforting pumpkin soup which is what I offered to my stricken friends along with my home as shelter, fresh water, heat and hot food. Let’s hope we don’t see the likes of Sandy again.

  9. JJ @ 84thand3rd

    Oh Katherine, glad to hear that your family did not get hit too hard (relatively). We were extremely lucky and flew out of NY on the Thursday – only to watch the news on Friday talking about what was on the way, and look at each other in shock. Thank you for posting all the resources and for choosing this theme for the hop.

  10. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    Obviously I did this wrong because I never got the group of recipes to show up on my blog. LOL Sometimes I’m not to be trusted with technology.

    I love your chicken paprika and the victims of Sandy would love it too.

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