One of my other favorite things to do when I visit a new city is take a cooking course to learn more about the local cuisine. Even when traveling around America you can find a lot of great cooking courses that highlight regional cooking. European travel is even more exciting because the food and flavors can vary so much between the countries. I was excited to team up with Chefparade Cooking School while I was in Prague and enjoyed one of their courses that included a market tour and a cooking class.
The Chefparade school is located right next to an amazing market where both locals and tourists can shop for amazing produce, cheese, meats and other delicious food items. There was a good mix of actual farmers and their goods, second-hand sellers that bring produce to the market for the farmers and then some odds and ends vendors that just resell what they have purchased at the grocery store. There certainly was an abundance of potatoes, squash and apples which was perfect for what we would be cooking in the class!
The class consisted of 3 courses: Garlic Soup, Paprika Chicken and Dumplings and Apple Strudel. I’ll share the recipe for the chicken and dumplings with you today and then the other recipes at a later date. Trust me, you’re going to want to make all of these recipes! There was another couple in the class and one person there on their own so as a team we prepared everything for the meal and enjoyed it together. It was actually kinda nice!
The Paprika Chicken was quite easy to prepare and takes very few ingredients. What really makes the dish special is the creamy sauce that goes on the plate for serving. There are 3 types of dumplings in Czech cooking and we made the ones that are more like stuffing dumplings (Carlsbad dumplings). You shouldn’t be intimidated by these as they are quite simple to make and probably are my favorite of the three.
We finished up the class by making apple strudel and enjoying our delicious dessert over coffee. I would certainly recommend checking out a class for tourists at Chefparade if you ever visit Prague. The recipes are not always the same as your group will have a chance to choose from different options with each course. They even have special seasonal options available.
- 250 g old buns (roll, toast bread)
- 2 eggs
- 100 g flour
- 2 ml milk
- White pepper
- For the chicken:
- 1 package of 4 chicken thighs and drumsticks
- 2 large onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons paprika.
- 8 cups of chicken broth
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of flour
- ½ cup of sour cream
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For the dumplings: Dice up bread into small cubes and leave to dry in the oven. Take out of the oven and douse in milk, add egg yolks, chopped parsley, salt and nutmeg.
- Mix all together and leave for about 10 minutes to rest. Then gently fold in whisked egg whites and the dough is ready.
- Lay out a piece of plastic wrap and form the 'dough' into a loaf shape. Wrap the resulting dough in tightly in the plastic wrap, tying off the ends, and cook in boiling water for 15-20 minutes according to its size.
- Remove, unwrap and slice into rounds.
- For the chicken: In a large castiron pot add olive oil and onions and cook until caramelized.
- Add the chicken and paprika and cook on medium heat until the meat if cooked fully, remember to keep stirring so the paprika does not stick to the bottom.
- Add your chicken broth, cover, and let simmer for about 30 minutes (or until chicken becomes soft and tender).
- In a bowl mix the flour, sour cream, lemon, and a little bit of the gravy from the pot until it becomes one smooth texture then add to the pot slowly while mixing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle the sauce into shallow bowls and serve with the chicken and dumplings.
Special thanks to Chefparade for hosting me during my time in Prague! If you’re in Prague and would like to experience making your own real Czech cuisine be sure to check out a class at their amazing school.