Pu-erh tea comes from the Yunnan province in China. The popularity of Pu-erh tea has been increasing mainly due to the many health benefits that are attributed to it. Studies show that pu-erh not only lowers blood cholesterol but also prevents bad cholesterol from forming in the arteries, that pu-erh has great antioxidant benefits, stimulates weight reduction and is beneficial to digestion.
It brews to a dark copper color and yields a very full bodied, earthy, peaty tasting tea, capable of 3-5 steepings.
Brew tea at 212º - steep for 3 minutes.
Chicken and Mushroom Paprikash
Recipe from Culinary Tea by Cynthia Gold & Lise Stern
¼ cup Pu-erh loose leaf tea (or Lapsang Souchong)
1 ½ cups boiling water
4 lbs bone-in chicken thighs, skin left on
Fresh sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch slices
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch slices
1 ½ cups thinly sliced mushrooms
3 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika, divided
2 tsp hot Hungarian paprika
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup sour cream
Fresh parsley sprigs, for garnish
Place the tea leaves in a glass measuring cup or bowl and add the boiling water. Steep, covered, for 5 minutes. Strain, discarding the leaves; cool.
Place the chicken thighs in a gallon size resealable plastic bag. Pour the fully cooled tea over the chicken, seal bag, and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days, turning the chicken over once. When ready to proceed, remove chicken from the tea, pat dry, and reserve the liquid to use later. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper to taste.
In large pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp of the oil over medium heat. Place half the thighs in the pot and brown each side, about 5-7 minutes per side. Transfer the browned thighs to a plate. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil to the pot and brown remaining chicken and transfer to the plate. Pour off any excess fat, keeping 1 Tbsp in the pan.
Add the onions and cook over medium heat 5-8 minutes until softened. Add the peppers and mushrooms and cook until the onions are browned, another several minutes. Add 2 Tbsp of the sweet paprika, the hot paprika, and the flour. Stir well and cook until you can smell the paprika. Add tomatoes, reserved tea from the marinated chicken, marjoram, and thyme. Stir well, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Return the browned chicken to the pot and cover with the tomato-vegetable mixture. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the chicken is tender, about 1 hour.
Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the chicken to a warmed platter and tent with foil. Skim excess fat off the surface of the sauce in the pan and stir in the remaining 1 Tbsp sweet paprika. Temper the sour cream by stirring small amounts of the sauce into the sour cream until it is quite warm, then stirring all the sour cream into the sauce. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
To serve, spoon the sauce over the chicken on the platter, and garnish with parsley springs. Serve any extra sauce in a pitcher on the side.
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