How to Make Chicken Paprikás ~ this classic Hungarian chicken recipe is a little bit comfort, a little bit retro, a little bit spicy, and definitely one to add to your regular chicken dinner rotation!
Chicken Paprikás, or Paprikash, is a wonderful Hungarian dish that features a combination of flavors that I don’t often cook with, or encounter in restaurants, for that matter. It’s part of my love affair with spices of all kinds this fall. Tender chicken thighs simmer in a tomato rich sauce flavored with two kinds of paprika, both sweet, and hot smoked, all finished off with sour cream and lots of fresh dill. If you haven’t bought smoked paprika before, you’re in for a treat.
The whole thing cooks in one skillet, and starts out by sauteing lots of fresh chopped tomato, thinly sliced onion, and mushrooms. If you make this now you can take advantage of all those tomatoes that are still really red and juicy.
The browned chicken thighs follow after two kinds of paprika have been stirred in. Paprika is made from sweet or hot dried peppers, so it’s somewhat like chili powder. It’s mostly associated with Spanish and Hungarian cuisine, and most of it is grown in those countries, too.. I have cooked with both sweet and hot paprika before, but this is the first time I’ve used smoked.
Other than the fresh dill, the twp paprikas are the only spice used in the sauce, and it results in a really nice intense clear flavor. It’s beautifully red, too.
My husband and I are adventurous eaters, and I’ve been cooking from all over the globe lately, but after our first bite of this we both looked at each other with the same thought—the unusually rich flavor was a new one for us, or, if not completely new, touched on a flavor buried deep down wherever food memories go to rest. We liked it a lot.
Also try ~
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken Thighs
- Chicken with Cracked Olives and Herbs
- Creamy Chicken with Wild Rice and Mushrooms
- 4 large skinless boneless chicken thighs, about 1 lb
- salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 1 Tbs butter or olive oil2 Tbsp butter
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
- 8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
- 4 or 5 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 Tbsp sweet paprika
- 1 Tbsp hot smoked paprika
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- generous handful of chopped fresh dill
- Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and then brown it on both sides in the hot pan. Remove the chicken and set aside on a plate.
- Add the oil to the pan and saute the onions, tomato and mushrooms for several minutes, The onions should become softened, and the tomatoes begin to break down into a sauce. Add the paprikas, stir, and saute a minute more.
- Add the broth to the pan and stir to combine. Nestle the chicken thighs back into the sauce, and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes, covered, until the thighs are cooked through.
- At this point, evaluate whether the sauce is just right, or too thin. If it's too thin, take out the thighs and boil it down a bit. Then add the thighs back in, swirl in the sour cream, sprinkle generously with fresh dill, and serve over hot buttered egg noodles.
Questions and Reviews
Agree with Anonymous. I’m Hungarian and doing Chicken paprikas all the time, and learned from my grandma….so no mushroom and dill at all, and tomatoes come much later, and only a half not 4-5 pieces. Sour cream can be a nice addition, but it is not part of the dish.
The big secret is that when you add the paprika, take your dish off the heat or the paprika will be bitter, destroy your whole meal.
Thanks Magnes, it’s always wonderful to get feedback from someone who grew up with the dish!
This is my comfort food. My grandmother made it, my mom made it, and I now make it for myself. Never tried with dill, or mushrooms. We always sauteed some sweet bell pepper and garlic with the onion and tomato sauce. Serve with spaetzels (we never had a dumpling maker? Just rolled them into balls and boiled?). We always did the sour cream separate, served on the table so everyone could put in just as much as they liked.
This will always be the dish I ask for on my birthday. My absolute favorite thing.
I really need to try this with dumplings!
Traditional paprikas csirke does not have mushrooms, dill or tomatoes. Sour cream is also not always used.
It is traditionally served with nokedli, pasta like dumplings
I have made this dish many, many times in my days, as it was a family favourite. I have had it with potato wedges – which are just piled on top of the chicken and then practically steamed while the chicken continues to cook, or with the dumplings, which is my favourite. You will need a dumpling (spatzle) maker for this. It is more work, but well worth the effort. I also use a bay leaf during the cooking process for extra flavour, as well as red peppers. I’ve never made it with mushrooms.