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Hungarian Chicken Paprikash is a traditional Hungarian dish made from simple, real food ingredients. Succulent pieces of chicken are simmered in the most flavorful sauce, made with the best Hungarian Paprika with a cream base. Serve it with Nokedli noodles or parsley potatoes and you’ve got yourself a truly amazing comfort food that you’ll want to have over and over.
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What is Chicken Paprikash
Chicken Paprikash (aka, chicken paprika) is perhaps the best known Hungarian dish. The name is derived from the abundant use of the spice that is very common to Hungarian cuisine…paprika. If you’ve been following my blog you’ll also know that I recently used it in my Hungarian Mushroom Soup, Pörkölt, and Hungarian Goulash too. You’ll also find it used for Hungarian Lecho.
This Chicken Paprikash is made from a few very simple, real food ingredients: chicken, onions and garlic, chicken stock, paprika, flour, and cream. Some cooks will add tomato paste or chopped tomatoes, whereas others argue that authentic chicken paprikash doesn’t contain any tomatoes.
I personally like the addition of tomato paste and that’s why I used it in this recipe. But feel free to skip it, if you’re from the other school.
What Type of Paprika is Best for Chicken Paprikash
You’ll want to use the best Authentic Hungarian Sweet Paprika. The difference between Hungarian sweet paprika and your regular paprika is in the depth of the flavor. Hungarians really take pride in the tastes of their paprika, and a simple comparison will show you why.
Contrary to its name, Sweet Hungarian Paprika is not actually sweet. Frankly, I believe the ‘sweet’ descriptor was just intended as a contrast to Hot Hungarian Paprika (ie, if not ‘Hot’ then ‘Sweet’). I only used Sweet Paprika for this Chicken but if you want to spice things up a bit then feel free to add some hot paprika as well.
What Chicken is Best for this Recipe
Traditionally this Hungarian dish is made with bone-in, skin-on, chicken thighs and drumsticks and that’s what I used for this recipe. I believe that chicken on the bone tastes more flavorful. You can try my recipe for Chicken Chasseur with skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (it’s out of this world delicious).
However, if you really don’t like bone-in chicken, you can use boneless chicken thighs – just watch them carefully as they’ll cook faster. You can also use chicken breast, but it has a tendency to become dry. Point being is that this is a personal choice; feel free to experiment.
If you’re interested in organic chicken you may want to check out ButcherBox. They take the legwork out of hunting for a good cut of meat by delivering it directly to your door. I’ve found that they always have good promotions running too (if you decide to sign up with them make sure to take advantage of the freebie).
Ingredients Needed to make this Hungarian Chicken
Here’s your grocery list of items that you’ll need to purchase or pick from your pantry (for exact measurements scroll down to the printable recipe card):
- Bone-in, skin-on, chicken thighs, and drumsticks;
- Cooking Oil;
- Hungarian Sweet Paprika;
- Tomato Paste;
- Chicken Broth;
- Sour cream;
- Fresh Parsley.
How to Make Hungarian Chicken Paprikash
Here are easy steps to make this awesome chicken recipe:
Step 1: Season your chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat up a skillet, add cooking oil and sear the chicken in batches, until nicely brown. Do not overcrowd the chicken and use a splatter guard if the chicken is splashing around (tip: place chicken skin side down and do not disturb for 6-7 minutes, then flip and cook for 3-4 minutes on the other side; this will ensure a nice sear on the skin).
Step 2: Chop your onions and garlic. Once the chicken is seared on both sides, remove it to a plate and add onions into the same pan (if too much fat has accumulated in a skillet, remove some of it so you are left with approx 1 tablespoon of fat). Saute onions until translucent, for about 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add garlic and cook for one minute. Then add flour to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Then add paprika & tomato paste and mix well.
Step 4: Then add chicken broth and place chicken back into the skillet. Cover it and cook for about 20 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked through. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the skillet so you can finish up the sauce.
Step 5: Prepare the roux: combine sour cream with flour and a splash of water. Start gradually adding a little bit of sauce to it to temper it until you have a full cup. Then pour it over the sauce and let it come to a boil.
Step 6: Serve the chicken with sauce (see below pairing suggestions).
Can Chicken Paprikash be Frozen?
Yes! You can freeze it in an airtight container and store it for up to 2 months. This is a great recipe to cook in advance or make more and freeze leftovers. Remove from the freezer and thaw for 24 hours in a fridge. Place in a deep pan and cook until bubbly and heat up through.
What to Serve Chicken Paprikash With
In Hungary, most of the time this chicken would be served with Nokledi, which are Hungarian noodles (very similar to German Spaetzle). But if you don’t want to make these you can serve this Chicken with:
- Egg Noodles;
- Mashed Potatoes;
- Parsley Potatoes; or
- Rice, Barley or Quina.
What Equipment is Needed to Make Chicken Paprikash
Here are some items that you will need to make this chicken. You may have some or all of them already at home, but in case you don’t here are a couple of my favorites:
- Cast Iron Skillet;
- Measuring cup;
- Set of knives;
- Cutting board.
Other Popular Chicken Recipes to Try
- Mustard Chicken with Clementines
- Grilled Chicken Shawarma
- Oven Roasted Chicken Legs
- Olive Oil Chicken Mediterranean Style
- Chicken Provencal with Shallots and Garlic
Hungarian Chicken Paprikash
- 3.5 LB Chicken thighs and drumsticks
- 2 tbsp Butter or Cooking Oil
- 1 Sweet Onion chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic chopped
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 3 tbsp Sweet Hungarian Paprika
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 2 cups Chicken Broth up to 2.5 cups if you want more sauce
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup Sour Cream
- 1 tbsp Flour
- Splash of Water
- Season your chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat up a skillet, add cooking oil and sear the chicken in batches, until nicely brown. Do not overcrowd the chicken and use a splatter guard if the chicken is splashing around (tip: place chicken skin side down and do not disturb for 6-7 minutes, then flip and cook for 3-4 minutes on the other side; this will ensure a nice sear on the skin).
- Chop your onions and garlic. Once the chicken is seared on both sides, remove it to a plate and add onions into the same pan (if too much fat has accumulated in a skillet, remove some of it so you are left with approx 1 tablespoon of fat). Saute onions until translucent, for about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook for one minute. Then add flour to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Then add paprika & tomato paste and mix well.
- Then add chicken broth and place chicken back into the skillet. Cover it and cook for about 20 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked through. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the skillet so you can finish up the sauce.
- Prepare the roux: combine sour cream with flour and a splash of water. Start gradually adding a little bit of sauce to it to temper it until you have a full cup. Then pour it over the sauce and let it come to a boil.
- Serve the chicken with sauce and the side of noodles, potatoes or grains.
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Carrie | Clean Eating Kitchen
One of my favourite dishes! This looks so full of flavour, I can’t wait to give your recipe a go!
Thank you. Let me know how you liked it.
The recipe doesn’t say how much of the 2 Tbs of flour to add to the skillet nd how much to use for the roux. Is it half and half?
This really looks like my perfect comfort food! If you can believe it, I have never made chicken paprrikash! I can’t wait to try your version!
Thank you Beth!
Eden | Sweet Tea and Thyme
Just saw the Avengers movie where Black Widow talked about paprikash and wanted to find a recipe, what a great coincidence! It looks delicious, I can’t wait to try! Pinning!
That’s too funny! I need to watch it again and pay attention 🙂
The movie is “Captain America: Civil War”, which I’m actually watching right now on TNT. It was the mention of paprikash which made me look up this recipe, and the scene was with Vision and Wanda Maxima in the kitchen at the compound, not Black Widow.
It was Wanda and Vision who talk about it!
What delicious comfort food! This chicken paprikash looks so flavourful and I love that it is made using simple ingredients. Great suggestions on what to serve this chicken with too.
Thank you Marie.
Oh my goodness! This looks and sounds so delicious and full of amazing flavors! Can’t wait to give it a try 😁
Thank you Sonia!
a delicious meal
Rather than searing the chicken, I toss it on the grill on high for a few minutes, then set aside. From that point on, I followed the steps as Edyta outlined. I use a large wok with a lid, which presents well at the table. I’ve made this five times, so now I don’t need the recipe at all! Great, great, great.
Thank you so much! I’m so glad you like it 🙂
I’ve made paprikash a few times, but at the point you take the seared chicken out and begin to cook onions/paprika etc, i burn everything. Then when I put the chicken back in the sauce the skin loses all the precious crispiness I worked so hard for. This time, I am trying a slow cooker, and will add the flour/ sour cream mix after it’s cooked. I will let you know how it turns out!
Let me know how your slow cooker came out Julia.
Has anyone made this dish, then cleaned all of the meat off of the bones and froze the chicken meat in the sauce for serving at a later date? I’m having a large party and wondered if this way would be easier for my guests to eat.
Yes, that is exactly what I did. It is a little messy to eat with the bone on.
I added hot paprika to it as my wife needs the heat and it was great. We actual put a turkey thigh, sliced mushrooms in it and wow. You have to experiment.
Absolutely delicious. Had not tried it since I was a student in Paris. My Hungarian friends cooked it for me. The marriage of flavors is truly Hungarian and delicious. Thank you Edyta for bringing back beautiful memories.
Five out five!!
I love trying recipes on line and I love to read the comments. Many have helped with their experience in making the dish and provides a lot of insight on techniques and flavouring. However, what I don’t like is wasting my time going through comments that are not helpful like ” Looks great!” “Would love to try it!” ” It’s on my ‘to try’ list”.
These comments are great for the person who posted the recipe but very frustrating for those who wish to try it. Some sites have MANY comments and I just won’t take the time if there are too many of the above comments.
So, for those of you that find a recipe interesting, try it, then post your comments. That is what is helpful.
I 100% agree! I want to know if it turned out well not that it sounds good I already know it sounds good geezer lol
I was raised by a Hungarian family after I was adopted and this recipe tastes like my grandma used to make. So glad to find it. I used the tomato paste when I made it. Yum.
Chicken Paprikash: This is the recipe I knew growing up. Here is my recipe (from my Bohemian/Croatian Grandmother). Melt 1 stick of butter in a dutch oven(or just a really big pot) on between Med. to Med High heat. I KNOW THAT SOUNDS LIKE A LOT OF BUTTER, but this is not an ‘every week’ kind of meal…and yes, I use salted, sweet butter. Brown 2 1/2 – 3 lbs of bone in chicken(with skins) in batches(I use 3 breasts, and 2-3 thighs and sometimes a few legs). The white meat will be tender enough b/c you are cooking it for at nearly 2 hours. Okay, once the chicken is browned, set that aside and add at least 1 Vidalia onion chopped(sweet onion…rough cut is fine. The onion is going to break up anyway). You could use a few reg. yellow onions…but why? This is when I add ‘some’ Paprika. There are recipes that have ‘exact measurements’, but I just eyeball it. When all is said and done….it’s probably 2 Tbls. I use any paprika I have. Sweet Hungarian is always the best, but whatever you have. I have made this many a times with just regular $1.00 a container paprika – it will still be good.
Let that cook for roughly 5 minutes(I cover with a lid to help ‘steam’ the onions. At this point, I feel, you are just letting the onions fragrant the butter, because when the dish is finished, the onions just about disappear. Now, add your partially cooked chicken back to the pot with your onions. Add cold water(enough to cover the chicken – no need to add chicken broth b/c you are making a broth…and it’s cheaper that buying broth). Cover the pot; set to Med. Low heat. Simmer for at least an hour. Check the tenderness of the chicken(you basically want the chicken to fall off of the bones). When chicken is tender, transfer chicken to a bowl, platter, big plate(whatever you have). I then let the chicken cool a bit until I can handle it. After you remove the chicken, I lower the heat on the ‘gravy’ to a Med. Low heat(covered). At this point, I grab a nice sized mixing bowl and add a 16 oz. container of sour cream and anywhere from a heaping 1/4 cup…to almost 1/2 cup of flour(WE LIKE A LOT OF GRAVY). Using a whisk, slowly blend the two ingredients together. You want to use enough flour so when you are blending the two…it becomes almost as thick as cookie dough. If you don’t like a lot of gravy, use only an 8 oz. container of s/cream and 1/4 to 1/3rd cup of flour…totally up to you. After that is mixed together, your chicken should be slightly cooled to where you can separate chicken from bones. DON’T FOOL YOURSELF, IT WILL STILL BE HOT…but manageable.
You do not have to do this…and can just leave the pieces of chicken whole, but I think deboning and chopping the chicken up is just better. Once the chicken is separated and chopped, set aside. THIS NEXT STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT. In the bowl that has your sour cream and flour mixture…you are going to take a good 1/4 to 1/2 C. of the heated onion/water mixture and slowly stir into your sour cream mixture(well whisk it slowly until smooth). You do this so that when your sour cream mixture is added to the ‘cooked liquid’…the sour cream does not ‘break'(which basically means when you look in the pot…you will not see curds of sour cream, and paprika water…MIND YOU, IT WILL NOT CHANGE THE TASTE…JUST THE APPEARANCE…it will still taste good). There are set amounts that I have in my recipe, but it is really just eyeballing things…and live and learn. That is how I view most ‘cooking recipes’.
backing recipes are very different. Easier to alter ‘cooking’ recipes vs. ‘baking’ recipes. Normally I serve this with grocery store bought ‘bread dumplings’…in the freezer section of the grocery store. My local store does not have that(and after all that work, I am not going to make ‘homemade’ bread dumplings). Any pasta will work…wide egg noodles as an example. I would not recommend ‘potato dumplings’….yea, just “NO”.
I followed the recipe added a little extra chicken stock and it turned out delicious!!
I’ve made this twice now using your simple recipe and I’m not even really a cook. But I can cook. (:
Yours is the best recipe because it’s basic and produces the real thing.
All of my various friends who tried it loved it, even though they had never heard of it. My Hungarian friend who saw pictures said it looked “right.”
Now, I’m onto your Chicken Chasseur recipe next. Thanks
I just love your recipes. They are so super delish. I have made the paprikash tonight but adapted it to use the Instant pot. ( cut it in chunks, and 10 min HP and 10 min NPR. I also did the PIP with rice and it was a home run. And I totally agree, hungarian paprika is amazing. The paprika I used tonight was from Spain. Still super delish.