When I think back to some of the most memorably cozy dishes from my childhood, two dishes in particular come to mind for me.
The first is the richly fragrant and deeply flavored from-scratch chicken soup that my mom (or even my dad on occasion) would prepare on a cold day for us to have to dip into for a few days, one that contained a whole chicken and a bountiful amount of aromatic vegetables, herbs and seasoning.
That soul-warming “golden elixir” would sit simmering and oh-so-gently bubbling and sputtering on the stove over a very low flame for hours and hours, until we could no longer take it and our appetites got the best of us.
And since very little was ever wasted with my parents, the chicken from that soup would also serve as a bonus meal, though since it had been simmered down for so long and was pretty much falling apart with much of its original juiciness and richness now expelled into our soup, it needed something to accompany it that would be savory and saucy.
1 (14 oz) smoked sausage, sliced on the bias into thin medallions
10 medium-size red skin potatoes, peeled and sliced into ½-inch thick circles (about 2 ¾ pounds)
2 tbsp butter
1 garlic clove, pressed through a garlic press
2 onions, quartered and thinly sliced
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 ½ c. chicken stock
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
¾ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Step 1: Heat about 1 tbsp oil in a large, deep, non-stick pan (or medium non-stick pot) over medium-high heat. Add the smoked sausage medallions to the hot oil and cook for a couple of minutes to caramelize and deep brown. Using a slotted spoon, take the sausage from the pan and set it aside.
Step 2: Melt the butter in the same pan/pot. Then, add the sliced onions and allow them to caramelize for about 5 to 7 minutes. Add in the garlic and season with salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and paprika. Stir well and continue to cook until the garlic is fragrant.
Step 3: Into the caramelized onions/garlic mixture, fold in the sliced potatoes. Pour in the chicken stock and stir well until the potatoes are evenly coated. Partially cover the pan/pot and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the potatoes are tender, stirring once or twice as it cooks.
Step 4: Return the caramelized sausage into the pan/pot. Add the parsley and gently stir until incorporated. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with more salt and pepper if desired.
Step 5: Remove from the heat when done and serve the goulash immediately with bread, Enjoy!