Try Hungarian Chicken Paprikash For A Taste Of Hungary!
If you enjoy paprika spice and chicken, then we have a dinner recipe for you: Hungarian chicken paprikash.
Known as Paprikás Csirke – literally “paprika chicken” in Hungarian – this classic Hungarian dish is a staple in many families.
Made from pieces of chicken stewed in a delicious paprika sauce, this warm and hearty dish is commonly served with Hungarian egg noodles (Nokedli), rice, or potatoes.
This chicken paprikash recipe is actually pretty easy to make considering how many it feeds and how many steps are involved.
Eric grew up eating chicken paprika made by his Hungarian grandma so it’s a dish that he holds close to his heart.
Unsurprisingly, chicken paprikash is a special/important recipe for a lot of people and their families because of the positive emotions and memories the dish may evoke.
We also often eat chicken paprikash when we visit Budapest – and it’s always fun to see the different recipe variations (read below).
Recipe Tips & Substitutions
Before you cook, be sure to read these recipe tips, considerations, and substitutions so that you don’t miss any details!
Some people brown their chicken before adding the other ingredients for more flavor. Eric’s grandmother did not brown her meat (and this is the traditional way of making the recipe), so we also don’t usually do it – but you definitely can if you want to.
As for the chicken, we usually use legs, thighs, or a combination of both. Anything with skin on and bone in will add to the flavors of the paprikash.
Our simplified version of chicken paprikash uses chicken breast (because it’s easier to eat and prepare) but you can tell the difference in flavors.
You can add green bell pepper (or another type of pepper) to the chicken paprikash if you want some more vegetables. Just make sure to cut the pepper into small pieces and add it with the tomato.
Ideally, Hungarian paprika is used for this recipe. However, it can be harder to find in North America because Hungarian paprika has to be made in/imported from Hungary.
You can order authentic sweet Hungarian paprika online. Alternatively, you can also use sweet paprika (which is the common paprika in the grocery store) – it will affect the flavor a little bit but it will still be very tasty.
How to Make Hungarian Chicken Paprikash – Step by Step Instructions
To make authentic chicken paprikash, you can find the recipe card with exact measurements at the bottom of this post.
If you’re making paprika chicken for the first time and want to see visuals, you can follow along with the step by step recipe process photos in this section.
First, peel the onion and chop it into very small pieces.
Also, wash the tomato and cut it into small pieces as well.
Next, wash the meat and pat it dry.
Heat oil in a large pot, then add the onions and sauté them on medium heat for around 5 minutes until translucent. Stir regularly.
Once the onions are soft and clear, add the tomato pieces. Stir them in, and sauté them for a few minutes as well.
Next, turn down the heat to low. Then add the paprika and a little splash of broth. This will make sure the paprika doesn’t burn (this would make it bitter).
Mix everything together.
Now add the meat.
Also, pour in the broth. The broth should just cover the contents in the pot.
Bring the broth to a boil, then turn down the heat and place the lid on the pot.
Let the chicken simmer on low heat for around one hour. Stir occasionally.
After around 45 minutes remove the lid from the pot. This way some of the water can evaporate and thicken the sauce a little bit.
Once the hour is up, check if the meat is tender and comes off the bone easily.
If it doesn’t, let it simmer for a little while longer until it is tender enough.
Remove the pieces of chicken from the pot and set them aside on a plate.
Then stir the sour cream into the sauce and add salt as well as pepper to taste.
If you want the sauce to thicken further, dissolve a little bit of cornstarch in some cold water and add it to the pot as well.
Bring everything to a light simmer and stir constantly until the sauce has thickened.
Place the meat back into the sauce to reheat.
Serve the chicken paprikash with nokedli – also known as spaetzle in Germany – potatoes, rice or other types of pasta.
To store leftover chicken paprikash, let the meat and the sauce cool in the pot. Then transfer it to a sealed container with a lid and place it in the fridge.
It’ll last for up to three days but it should really be eaten sooner rather than later because of the meat contents.
To reheat, simply add the chicken and sauce to a pot, place it onto the stove, and add a little water if you thickened your broth with cornstarch (it might have thickened quite a bit in the fridge). Simmer the chicken paprikash on medium-low heat until the chicken is once again heated through.
Alternatively, you can also reheat the chicken paprikash in the microwave.
Depending on the amount of Nokedli you have leftover, you can also reheat the egg dumplings or make some new dumplings or rice to go with the paprikash.
Chicken paprikash is a chicken dish cooked in a thickened sauce with a heavy use of Hungarian paprika.
Chicken paprikash is a Hungarian dish. It is called Paprikás Csirke – literally “paprika chicken” in Hungarian.
Hungarian goulash is more of a soup and usually made with beef whereas paprikash is chicken cooked in a sauce with a heavy use of paprika.
Chicken paprikash is traditionally served with Nokedli egg dumplings – also known as German spaetzle. However, it can also be eaten with rice or potatoes.
For more tasty Hungarian recipes, you can try these classics on for size:
- Hungarian Goulash – Traditional Gulyás recipe with beef, potato, carrots, and lots of paprika!
- Stuffed Peppers – Delicious Töltött Paprika with rice and meat in a thickened tomato sauce
- Marhapörkölt – Hungarian beef stew that goes well with egg noodles (Nokedli)
Hungarian Chicken Paprikash
- 2 pounds chicken pieces, e.g. thighs, legs, bone-in with skin
- 2 medium-sized yellow onions
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 3 tablespoons sweet paprika, ideally Hungarian paprika
- 1 tomato
- 2 cups chicken broth
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch, optional
- Peel the onion and chop it into very small pieces. Also, wash the tomato and cut it into small pieces as well.
- Wash the meat, then pat it dry.
- Heat the oil in a large pot, then add the onions and sauté them on medium heat for around 5 minutes until translucent. Stir regularly.
- Add the tomato pieces, stir them in, and sauté them for a few minutes as well.
- Turn down the heat to low. Add the paprika and a tiny splash of broth so the paprika doesn’t burn (this would make it bitter). Mix everything together.
- Now add the meat as well as the broth. The broth should just cover the contents in the pot.
- Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat and place the lid on the pot. Let the chicken paprikash simmer on low heat for around one hour. Stir occasionally.
- After 45 minutes remove the lid from the pot so that some of the water can evaporate and thicken the sauce a little bit. After the hour is up, see if the meat is tender and comes off the bone easily. If it doesn’t, let it simmer for another few minutes until it is tender enough.
- Remove the pieces of meat from the pot and set them aside on a plate. Then stir the sour cream into the sauce and add salt as well as pepper to taste. If you want the sauce to thicken further, you can also dissolve some cornstarch in a little bit of cold water and add it to the pot as well. Bring everything to a light simmer and stir constantly until the sauce has thickened. Place the meat back into the sauce to reheat.
- Remove the chicken paprikash from the stove and serve with nokedli/spaetzle, other pasta such as fusilli, potatoes, or rice.
- Sometimes bell pepper (or another type of pepper) is added to the paprikash, but Eric’s Hungarian grandma never made hers with pepper and we usually don’t either – but it is an option. Just make sure to cut it into very small pieces.
- You can brown the meat in the pot in oil first but (again) Eric’s Hungarian grandma never browned her meat and traditionally this recipe is done without browning the meat. However, it definitely is an option.
This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.
7 thoughts on “Hungarian Chicken Paprikash (Paprikás Csirke)”
This is how I grew up eating paprikas. No browning.
I only use about a cup of broth a whole chicken. And per my grandmother in Hungarian, “a heaping wooden spoon of good Hungarian paprika “.
Thanks for sharing, Deborah! /Lisa
Very close to what I learned from my Hungarian mother-in-law except she added a section of Hungarian wax pepper, a tablespoon of tomato paste, and stirred a tablespoon of flour into the sour cream before adding it to the pot at the end.
Thanks for sharing, Barbara! It’s always so interesting to learn about other versions of a recipe. I’ll try stirring in a tablespoon of flour into the sour cream next time I make it. /Lisa
Ok-I have been on the dang internet for several hour’s just on finding a solid recipe for this dish. Literally, either top “controversial” things (which you do address 1 & in comment 2) are “tomato v.no tomato” or “brown chicken 1st v. Not” last is “sour cream upon serving v.. mixed into cooking w/a starch”. I watched a Budapest cook-she doesn’t brown chicken, she does add sour cream to dish-but no starch. The bottom line is I’m recognizing that this is regional dish, possibly a migration dish based on availability of produce. Overall-this is the closest “original to Hungarian chicke paprikash I’ve seen in U.S!
I grew up in a Hungarian house. My grandmother never browned the chicken. It does create a different flavor profile that I don’t care for. My dad would add a bit of thickener to some diluted sour cream to thicken.
Happy to found at last people who love cooking and eat and can properly cook european dishes. greets from Greece.