I am a fan of the comic book films. They are action-y and fun and I think they are just great to watch. While enjoying the latest Captain America flick I happened to notice a pretty significant (well, to me anyway) food scene! Imagine my surprise and joy at discovering meaningful food where I wasn’t expecting it. Yay!
The scene is where Vision tries to recreate an authentic dish from the region of Sokovia- hometown of Scarlet Witch. It is a Sokovian version of chicken paprikash; a traditional, Eastern European, comfort food made with chicken, paprika, onions and love.
Watch the scene here:
This scene is significant, not only because it gives me something to cook from the film but because it hints at the relationship to come between these two characters. In the comics, Scarlet Witch and Vision fall in love and get married. By cooking for her, Vision is beginning to manifest his feelings for Wanda. This is especially evident in the fact that he cooks her a dish with meaning, not just a sandwich, but an authentic comfort food from her homeland. Food has always been instrumental in communicating love, and it’s how Vision has chosen to express his beginning affections for Scarlet Witch. I love that this film is giving their relationship some attention amidst all the drama between the Captain and Iron Man.
In order for me to get this dish right I had to imagine where Sokovia would be if it actually existed. Luckily for me there are people out there that make maps of these things. Based on what I have found, Sokovia would exist somewhere in Eastern Europe situated between Bulgaria and Turkey.
So, I researched traditional Eastern European paprikash recipes and I found that like American Chili, there are several variations of the dish based on geographic location and family tradition and preference. However, I did find some common denominators and went for it.
The dish calls for bone in chicken, most using a whole, quartered chicken. I happened across some great looking chicken thighs at the butcher shop and used them. The thing to remember here is that this dish relies on bone-in chicken for some of its flavor. I sprinkled them with a bit of salt and pepper. Next I dredged it in my flour and seasoning mixture and browned it in a skillet over medium heat.
Once browned, I removed the chicken from the pan and added the onions; sautéing until tender and adding more paprika. Once soft, I added the chicken back in the pot and added in the chicken broth. I brought the mixture up to a boil and then simmered, covered for about 35 minutes.
I served this dish over egg noodles but I ate bread with the leftovers. I really enjoyed this dish. It was perfect for a cold, rainy night. After making it I could completely understand why Vision chose this to make for Wanda. It is comfy and homey, like a warm hug He was attempting to give her a sense of comfort, of home and doing that for someone definitely sends a message of love. Overall, making this dish has given a small gesture in a one minute scene a huge amount of depth, while at the same time gives me the warm fuzzies about the film because it chose to include such a romantic token in such an action-y film.
Vision’s Chicken Paprikash
3-4 pounds Chicken pieces (I used bone in thighs)
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
4 Tbsp Hungarian Paprika
1/2 Cup Flour
2 Cups Chicken Broth
- Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper
- Mix flour and half the paprika
- Heat oil over medium heat.
- Dredge chicken in flour mixture and brown on both sides.
- Remove chicken from pot, add onion, and sauté until tender.
- Add the rest of the paprika and salt and pepper to taste, cook for one minute.
- Add chicken back into pot and add broth.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 35 minutes or until chicken is done.
- Serve over rice, egg noodles or with crusty bread.