This Chicken Paprikash is a homemade version of the popular Hungarian dish, made as close to authentic as possible, with a handful of ingredients. Comforting, rich and flavorful, this chicken dinner is bound to be a favorite!
Why This Recipe Works
Talk about comfort food! This vibrant Chicken Paprikash is a famous Hungarian dish, right next to goulash. It is called after the generously used spice in this recipe: paprika. It's a very common spice in Hungarian cuisine. Many European countries have their own versions of this paprika chicken dish. My version below is as close to the authentic version as possible, using easy-to-find ingredients.
- chicken: bone-in chicken pieces like thighs,
- vegetables: garlic, onion, red bell pepper,
- paprika: sweet, Hungarian style,
- chicken stock or broth: to make the sauce,
- cornstarch or flour: to thicken the sauce,
- sour cream: makes the sauce rich and creamy.
How to make Chicken Paprikash?
- Start by trimming the skin of the chicken pieces.
- Heat up oil and butter in a large skillet.
- Brown chicken on both sides, about 6 minutes each.
- Remove chicken onto a plate. Set aside.
- Add garlic, onion and pepper.
- Saute until the onion is translucent.
- Lower the heat to medium-low.
- Add more oil to the pan and stir in.
- Add paprika and stir in. Cook the mixture for about 1 minute.
- Return the chicken to the pan.
- Add 1 cup of the stock and bring the mixture to simmer.
- Cook the dish for 30 minutes.
- Check the internal temperature of the chicken, then remove it onto a plate.
- Mix cornstarch or flour with water and add to the pan. Stir in and cook until it thickens. Add more stock if you want more sauce.
- Remove the pan from heat and let the sauce cool.
- Add sour cream and stir in.
- Return the chicken to the sauce.
What paprika should I use for this dish?
As the name suggests, paprika is the key ingredient in this dish. To get as close to authentic flavor, I highly recommend using the sweet Hungarian paprika, not just regular paprika from the spice aisle. The Hungarian Style Sweet Paprika from Szeged, imported from Hungary, is great and easy to find. I do not recommend using smoked paprika.
How to serve Chicken Paprikash?
The classic way of serving this dish is with egg noodles. If you are not a fan of noodles, mashed potatoes always work great! It's actually what we prefer. They are perfect with every last bit of the delicious sauce!
Best tips for making Chicken Paprikash:
- Chicken: use chicken pieces, like thighs, drumsticks, even breasts;
- Paprika: look for Hungarian-style sweet paprika; I think smoked paprika is overwhelming; add oil before adding paprika; it is oil soluble and it will activate the flavor by sauteeing it for a minute; if you add paprika to a "dry" pan, it will scorch and turn bitter;
- Sauce: I prefer to remove the chicken thighs from the pan before thickening the sauce and adding sour cream; it's easier to stir it; adding cornstarch or flour is optional, you can let the dish simmer until the excess liquid evaporates;
- Sour cream: to prevent separating, make sure to pull the sour cream out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature; I also like to cool the sauce before adding it; the simmering sauce will be too hot.
Tomatoes or no tomatoes?
Many recipes add chopped fresh or crushed tomatoes to the paprikash sauce. An authentic recipe, if you ask someone with Hungarian roots, will not call for tomatoes. They will change the flavor. I like to focus on the paprika and use a bell or sweet pepper to deepen the flavor and add texture.
You may expect this dish to be very spicy just by its color. It's rich and vibrant! It is in fact not spicy at all. The sweet paprika in the sauce, enriched at the end with sour cream is very flavorful!
Absolutely! You can prepare the dish, just do not add the sour cream. Place it in a glass container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat, then add sour cream.
Yes! Prepare the dish but hold off on the sour cream. Cool the chicken and sauce completely. Place in a freezer-safe container, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge, heat up in the skillet.
Greek yogurt is a great substitute. If you don't have either, heavy cream will work as well.
I always recommend to check the internal temperature when cooking chicken. It should be at least 165 degrees F, when the thermometer is inserted in the thickes part of the thigh.
More chicken recipes:
If you like this recipe and make it, let me know in the comments below! Don't forget to rate it if you enjoyed it!
- 2 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs see notes
- 1 cup chopped red bell or sweet pepper
- 3 tablespoons sweet paprika Hungarian style
- 1 large yellow onion sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 ½ cup chicken stock or broth
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch optional
- 1 tablespoon water
- chopped parsley for garnish
- First, trim the excess fat and remove skin from the chicken pieces. Season with salt and pepper, on both sides.1 teaspoon salt, 4 bone-in chicken thighs, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Heat up oil and butter in a large skillet.2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Brown chicken on both sides, about 6 minutes each. This is building flavor, so make sure it is nice and brown. Remove chicken onto a plate. Set aside.
- Add garlic, onion and pepper to the pan. Saute until the onion is translucent.1 large yellow onion, 2 garlic cloves, 1 cup chopped red bell or sweet pepper
- Lower the heat to medium-low. Add more oil to the pan and stir in.
- Add paprika and stir in. Cook the mixture for about 1 minute. This activates the spice.3 tablespoons sweet paprika
- Return the chicken to the pan. Add 1 cup of the stock, stir in. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer. Cook the dish for 30 minutes.1 ½ cup chicken stock or broth
- Check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should be at least 165° F. Remove chicken onto a plate.
- Mix cornstarch or flour with water and add to the pan. Stir in and cook until it thickens. Add more stock if you want more sauce.2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoon water
- Remove the pan from heat and let the sauce cool for about 5 minutes. You do not want it to simmer.
- Add sour cream and stir in. Return the chicken to the sauce.½ cup sour cream
- Garnish with chopped parsley.chopped parsley
- Serve with egg noodles, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes or even rice. Pour the sauce generously over the chicken.
- The classic way of serving this dish is with egg noodles. If you are not a fan of noodles, mashed potatoes always work great! It’s actually what we prefer. They are perfect with every last bit of the delicious sauce!
- Use bone-in chicken pieces, like thighs, drumsticks, even breasts. Remove skin.
- To freeze: prepare the dish but hold off on the sour cream. Cool the chicken and sauce completely. Place in a freezer-safe container, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge, heat up in the skillet.
- Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use calorie counter you are familiar with.