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Your Best Recipe For Chicken Paprikash

I've been reading the boards and have seen so many threads that someone else is making Chicken Paprikash. Since that is one dish I have never made, I would love to get your recipes on how you make it and what you serve with it. I've looked at a lot of recipes online and at a lot of lovely pictures, but there seems to be quite a bit of difference on how it is prepared. And you all have me salivating. So how do you make it? Currently I have regular paprika and smoky paprika in my cupboard.

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  1. The key to good chicken Paprikash is GOOD QUALITY paprika. None of that Durkee red dust, you need something Hungarian like Szeged. If you like it spicy, you can use 1/2 regular and 1/2 smoky. My grandmother made what she called galushkes, a type of egg based homemade dumpling similar to gnocchi, but not as formed. Egg noodles or rice are also great accompaniments. In our home, a side dish would be dilled cucumber salad, sweet and sour. Of course, apple strudel for dessert.

    4-5 lb. roasting chicken, cut in 10 pieces (2 breast, (ea cut in 1/2) 2 legs, 2 wings, 2 thighs)
    1 large yellow onion, diced
    1 green pepper, cleaned and diced
    1/2 cup white wine, on the dry side, nothing sweet
    1 cup good quality chicken broth, preferably homemade
    s&p to taste
    2 T paprika (or 1 T reg, 1 smoky)
    3T veg oil or EVOO
    1 T garlic, finely chopped
    1 cup sour cream

    In large 12 in skillet, brown onions and peppers in veg oil for 5-10 min till golden brown, not burned. Season chicken with s&p, garlic and paprika. Remove to small bowl. In same skillet, brown chicken very well for 10-15 min on med heat, you may need to do this in batches if your skillet isn't big enough for one layer. Return onion/pepper mixture to pan. Add white wine and chicken broth. Cover skillet and simmer on low heat for 30-40 min till chicken is cooked. (175 degrees) Remove cover. If more than 1/2-3/4 liquid remain, remove chicken and reduce liquid. Otherwise, add sour cream. Stir well and heat very gently. Do not allow chicken to boil once sour cream is added or it will curdle. Serve at once over noodles, dumplings or rice.

    21 Replies
    1. re: Diane in Bexley

      Your recipe is similar to mine, except that I mince, rather than dice my onion, and don't use green pepper or wine. Some recipes I've seen call for chopping up a small tomato or adding a few tablespoons of tomato puree. I've made Chicken Paprikash with and without the tomato and prefer it without. As for the paprika, smoky is not traditional, but could make for an interesting variation on the dish. The Spanish use smoked paprika, but Hungarians generally don't. You can mix mild with hot Hungarian paprika if you want a spicier result. I'd go easy on the hot, though, as too much of it can overwhelm everything else.

      1. re: cheesemaestro

        I'm with you. No wine, maybe some green pepper. no tomato sauce. sometimes I use bacon or bacon fat instead of the oil. and i saute some mushrooms on the side and add them at the end, too. i also use skinless chicken thighs and don't brown them, and no added broth. If you use pieces with skin, then you have to brown them, and i'm too lazy. but browned pieces with skin probably taste better.

        Diane is right in that the key is good quality hungarian paprika. not the smoked kind. Use sweet and a little hot--too much hot and the flavor is wrong.

        but really, in my family, the only reason to make paprikash is to have nokedli, the dumplings that paprikash is served with. my mom gave both me and my brother a nokedli maker as soon as we had our own kitchens, but you can push the batter through a colander if you don't have one. they're like spaetzle, but smaller.

        1. re: missmasala

          Also, Diane, was your grandmother Hungarian? Her galushkas sound like nokedli, but i've never heard them called galushkas when used with paprikas. i'll have to ask my hungarian mother about that.

          1. re: missmasala

            Galushkas might be Yiddish. My grandmother was born in Miskolcs, very Hungarian. I am 100% Hungarian Jewish.

            1. re: missmasala

              My mother's nokedli were quite a bit bigger than spatzle. She didn't have any kind of special tool for this - just scooped a small amount of batter onto a spoon, making a longish dumpling which was then scraped into the boiling water, one by one. I do it the same way. Rarely make them anymore - but now that you reminded me I think it's time...

              Oh and definitely green pepper but no tomato or wine. And because my parents were kosher, no sour cream (although I realize it's almost mandatory for this dish).

              My family is Transylvanian Hungarian - Nagyvarod and Koloszvar.

              1. re: Nyleve

                My Szathmar grandparents would consider it treif to put sour cream in the paprikash, but it does make it taste so much better. The addition of sour cream is my contribution.

                The method you described is the same as my Grandma made, but more like a large gnocchi in length. Am sure its the same, just different wording. They are delicious fried in butter and doused with sour cream as well. We often had them for a milchig meal when I was a kid.

                1. re: Diane in Bexley

                  That's funny, my Hungarian jewish mom always claims that nokedli must be smaller than spatzle. And she adds sour cream to her paprikas, as I do, because it tastes better, but my grandmother did not. Since I'm only 50% percent hungarian jew, I don't have any qualms about mixing milk and meat.

                  As for those looking for paprika, I brought mine back from my last visit to Budapest, but my suggestion is to invest in some good paprika and then, once opened, keep it in the freezer.
                  And if you think your paprika is old or not pungent enough, use a lot more of it. Won't be as good, but better than using less.

                  1. re: Diane in Bexley

                    Speaking of which...what about shlishkes? (Not sure if I have the spelling right on that.) My mother once gave me her recipe but it was so hilariously vague as to be pointless. It's a potato-based dough - like gnocchi - so begins with a "big potato, some eggs and enough flour to make a good dough". I tried to make them but ended up using about 5 lbs of flour before anything looked like a "good dough" and then they were leaden and horrible. I may give it another try sometime but my mother is no longer around as a consultant so I'll be flying solo.

                    1. re: Nyleve

                      I'm gonna jump in here and suggest that your shlishkes dough would be better extruded (like spaetzle) than rolled out. If they're done that way you can get away with a much lighter dough and they'll be more like dumplings than the rubber balls you apparently wound up with.

                      My paprikash recipe came from my first wife's mom, who I'm sure got it from a '50s magazine - it was called Chicken Paprika and served on rice, for pete's sake! - so it's not really playing in this league. However, I did change the flavor substantially by subbing in ground dried ancho chile for the paprika, and we have found it good. There are so many varieties of good red chiles available now in powder form that I think a lot more experimentation is called for, unless you're strict about authenticity.

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        I have no doubt that ancho chiles would make for a very tasty paprikas, but I have to admit that for me it's all about comfort food and memory. So when I make it, it has to be like my mother's. To the point that, even though I am about as far from kosher as I can get, I don't add sour cream to the dish (despite how delicious it might be). Good Hungarian paprika - mostly sweet but a little hot is ok too - and that's it. Funny how there are just some foods that are so deeply ingrained that they can't be altered.

                        As for shlishkes, I know there's a way to make them edible without being extruded. My mother made the dough, rolled it by hand into ropes, then cut the ropes into small bits and rolled those bits into long worm-shapes. These were boiled, then drained and fried with bread crumbs. Egad I am going to have to make this - I'm sure it's been 25 years since I've eaten shlishkes.

                        1. re: Will Owen

                          Are you kidding? My mother would skewer me if I subbed ancho chili powder for the hungarian paprika and then had the chutzpah to call it paprikas. She even got upset about a recent NY times article that claimed smoked spanish paprika was better than hungarian paprika. Don't mess with hungarians and their paprika!

                          1. re: missmasala

                            Seriously! Never mess with the paprika. DH learned the hard way when he suggested adding wine, etc. to my Paprikas that you do NOT mess with grandma's recipes. Mine consists of chicken, diced onion, paprika (sweet and half sharp), enough water to cover, a piece of green pepper, a piece of tomato, and finished with sour cream that has a spoonful of flour stirred in.

                            1. re: foodslut

                              Exactly. Do. Not. Mess. And just for the record, my mother wouldn't have made this with skinless, boneless breasts even at gunpoint. It had to be the whole chicken, bones in, skin on and she only ate the thighs and legs. It's not so much a food as it is a religious observance.

                        2. re: Nyleve

                          shlishkes sound like something I've eaten in Hungary, but not something my mother made or makes regularly. However, they do sound a lot like gnocchi, and I've had success getting a drier dough with less flour by baking the potatoes instead of boiling them. Microwaving works, too--anything that doesn't make them waterlogged, like boiling.
                          Also, if the dough is really sticky and you let it rest, it becomes more manageable.

                          And my mother gives hilariously vague recipes, too. I e-mailed her the other day to ask for her recipe for tomato soup dumplings and she wrote back that "they are like the other ones, but without the milk." That was it. That's her idea of a recipe.

                          1. re: missmasala

                            Now I'm on a mission. I must find a recipe for shlishkes and MAKE THEM. Last year I gave my son a Jewish cookbook and I'm almost positive there was a shlishke recipe in it - I'll ask him to copy it and send it to me. I could hunt down my mother's handwritten recipe but, well, there's not really any point, is there. "Like the other ones, but without the milk" - of course.

                            1. re: Nyleve

                              Ny,I wil ask my mother for a recipe. She lives in S.Florida in a large Jewish area full of seniors from all over (probably the largest concentration of Holocaust survivors too). She loves to do stuff like this - it will giveher an opportunity to ask lots of people.Will report back with a recipe in a few days.

                  2. re: missmasala

                    Made paprikash last week-used a big flat barbecue spatula with holes to make nokedii. Worked great.

                2. re: Diane in Bexley

                  Can you help me? I've had chicken paprikash at a couple resturaunts and from a homemade recipe and all of them left the bones in when serving. Is that how it was served traditionally?

                  1. re: das6332

                    Absolutely. My mother would never buy boneless chicken nor take bones out of anything when serving. One is expected to suck on the bones. Well, at least my father did.

                    1. re: das6332

                      Even the very inauthentic first recipe I had for this required bone-in, skin-on chicken. Cooked right it should come off the bone very easily. Picking up the bone and sucking on it is strictly optional! But fun.

                  2. Thank you for posting this. DH loves chicken paprikash & I've been looking for a good recipe.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: fauchon

                      You are welcome. I am excited to try some of these. I'm sure there are some varied recipes out there. I am lucky as DH is excited to try new things I have been finding. So far, everything I have made him from the CH board he has loved.

                    2. Í tried this recipe in the slow cooker (and didn't even sear the chicken first). Still came out great. Made it twice already with some slight variations to account for the slow cooker (more spices, more flour, etc.) and it turned out great with either white rice or egg noodles.


                      Agreed that the regular, supermarket paprika is flavorless and horrible. I had bought great paprika in Macedonia and was dying to use it. So glad I finally found a great dish to use it in!

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: yfunk3

                        How long did you cook it in the slow cooker? On high, medium or low?

                        1. re: boyzoma

                          Do you think it can be done using boneless chicken? I usually cook everything on low in the slow cooker.

                          1. re: pamd

                            I have made it with B/S chicken, would not advise a slow cooker. Since B/S chicken cooks so quickly, here is what I have done - made a sauce by browning onions and pepper, add paprika, wine & stock, cook down a little. I don't like thickened sauces, but you could add a roux if you like. In separate skillet, brown chicken (cutlets or strips, whatever you prefer) in some oil or EVOO. Add sauce and sour cream. Don't boil, but simmer for 10 min or so for flavors to meld.

                            I don't care for slow cooker, but it seems like B/S chicken would be very tough after long braise.

                            1. re: Diane in Bexley

                              Nope, I've never gotten tough chicken from using boneless/skinless chicken thighs in the slow cooker, and I've made the mistake of cooking dishes past 8 hours on low (overnight, while I was sleeping) or 4 hours on high a couple times before I figured it out. White meat chicken is where I could see it becoming tough.

                              I find the key with slow cookers is just to look after it every now and then (I do it every hour or so), so I don't recommend walking away or leaving the house for too long. The newer slow cookers do get pretty hot and it's just similar to simmering on the lowest heat setting on the stove.

                          2. re: boyzoma

                            I cooked it on high for 3-4 hours (not more, or it'll be too much...best to check in on it every hour or so to make sure it's not boiling too much), but I don't see why you can't cook it on low for 6 or more hours and not get the same results. I would try to avoid cooking it TOO long, as you might get that weird, generic "slow cooker" taste if you do. I try to mix in the flour and sour cream mixture about a half hour or so before I turn off the cooker.

                            And I've made this dish with bone-in and boneless chicken thighs, so both are fine and work wonderfully. Breast/white meat might get a bit dry if you cook it too long, but I'm sure it'll still taste the same.

                            ETA: I have a cheap Hamilton Beach slow cooker that was made in the past ten years, so the heat is definitely higher than the old-timey Crockpots.

                        2. I haven't made this in a long time, but when I did, I used the recipe in Joy of Cooking (trade paperback edition available in bookstores in 1978). It worked flawlessly every time.

                          I just happened to read about Chicken Paprikash again last night, in Molly Stevens' All About Braising. She says to get good Hungarian paprika. In the back, she cites Penzey's as her source.


                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Jay F

                            Thanks for that info. So I see 2 different kinds of Hungarian paprika. Would you use the sweet or the half-sharp?

                            1. re: boyzoma

                              Penzey's Hugarian paprika is very good, but check your supermarket to see if it carries the Szeged brand, which will work fine. I use only sweet paprika, but you can mix in a little of the half-sharp if you like.

                              1. re: boyzoma

                                I'd probably get the half-sharp. There wasn't anything like Penzey's when I first made this. I just bought whatever I found at the store. I think there was a brand that came in a red can that was from Hungary.

                                EDIT: Szeged, which cheesemaestro mentions above, is the brand in the red can.

                                1. re: Jay F

                                  My mom uses the Joy of Cooking recipe also. I LOVE it when she makes Chicken Paprikash. I have yet to get the recipe from her, but it is sooo good.
                                  I think normally you would use Hungarian sweet paprika unless you want more heat.

                                2. I use George Lang's recipe -- AMAZING. His cookbook, The Cuisine of Hungary, is great too. I checked it out of the library and ended up absorbed! I would like to read his memoir too -- Nobody Knows the Truffles I've Seen. I usually serve this with egg noodles, but I would like to try the dumplings. Cozy, cozy, cozy, a favorite for chilly nights. Here's his recipe, paraphrased of course:

                                  George Lang's Paprikas Csirke
                                  (Paprika Chicken)

                                  2 medium-sized onions, peeled and minced
                                  2 tablespoons lard
                                  1 "plump" chicken, about 3 pounds, cut in pieces-- I use 3 pounds thighs
                                  1 to 2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
                                  1 heaping tablespoon "Noble Rose" paprika (or any top quality paprika, as mentioned above)
                                  1 teaspoon salt
                                  2 tablespoons sour cream
                                  1 tablespoon flour
                                  2 tablespoons heavy cream
                                  Egg Dumplings (he has a recipe for these too)

                                  Cook onions in lard in a 4 or 5 quart Dutch oven over low heat until almost pasty but not browned, about 5 minutes.

                                  Add chicken and tomato, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

                                  Stir in paprika, 1/2 cup water, and salt and cook, covered, on very low heat, for half an hour. Toward the end, remove the lid to let the liquid evaporate, then cook the chicken checking that it doesn't burn. Add a few more tablespoons of water if necessary.

                                  Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside. Mix together the sour cream, flour, and 1 teaspoon of cold water and stir it into the sauce in the pan until it's very smooth. Add a sliced green pepper (I skip this, not a fan of green pepper) and reserved chicken and check the salt. Cover pot and cook over very low heat until tender.

                                  Just before serving, whip in the heavy cream. Serve with egg dumplings.

                                  Lang explains that the magic is in combining sour cream and heavy cream as "the ideal way to prepare his dish" and that in Hungary, upon serving, the chicken is topped with a few additional spoonfuls of sour cream.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: twilight goddess

                                    Sounds divine. Do you have the recipe for the egg dumplings as well?

                                  2. The recipe that started the Paprikas rush was mine on a previous WFD thread, I think. Here's a permalink to the one I used with my notes/changes listed first:


                                    I dislike green peppers, but would use chopped red peppers in its place in this recipe should I want to add them (this recipe doesn't call for them). It's not the standard Paprikas recipe, but I LOVED the chicken thighs on the bone being browned/cooked and then sauced. And the Aleppo pepper definitely adds a nice little "bite" as well (preferable to me vs. using red pepper flakes).

                                    But I agree with Diane - using a good Hungarian paprika (I have Penzey's sweet paprika) is the way to go. I also have a smoked Hungarian paprika, but wasn't in the mood for the smoky flavor when I made my Paprikas.

                                    And boyzoma? I think you could go with any of the recipes that seem to strike you as sounding good and not go wrong - there's probably not one "this is IT!" recipe, but variations on the same theme. Either way, they'll all get to the same place - a great dinner. :-)

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      I knew I'd seen a recipe somewhere. Thanks for that link. I plan on making several versions to see what we like so getting your information is great. I may have to send an order into Penzey's though, as there are a number of tempting recipes lately that I don't have the spices for. What a shame. :-)

                                      1. re: boyzoma

                                        Oh, you MUST place an order from Penzey's. I'm sure there are many many many many herbs and spices that you could use. ;-)

                                        OR...depending on where you live, if you're near Portland, OR, you could check out one of their two stores. I think it *requires* a trip to Portland, in fact. Make sure their spices pass the "sniff test." ;-)


                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                        And here was mine, which followed soon after. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7409...

                                        I have noticed that my recipe calls for about double the amount of paprika that others do. I use the Szeged, which is Hungarian. The canister came from my MIL and may be a couple years old, so maybe it's not as potent as what others are using. In any case, I like the sauce to have a really rich, pungent paprika flavor, so I'll stick with 5 Tbsp.

                                        Interestingly, America's Test Kitchen rated McCormick's paprika above most others, including the Hungarian, which is deemed "bitter-tasting." Gasp.

                                        Also, I have to agree with LindaWhit: although many recipes just call for simmering the raw chicken in the liquid, you get a much more flavorful dish if you brown the pieces first.

                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                          I used yours, Christina, and it was wonderful. I liked the increase in the paprika. I've been craving it ever since the last of the leftovers disappeared. I served it with egg noodles, and the boyfriend has asked if making spaetzle 'was very difficult?' Which was more of a hint that a question. So, put learn-to-make-spaetzle on my list of things to do.

                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                            yippee. :)

                                            I want a spaetzle hob, but I've heard you can use one of those large-holed graters (like this: http://images.usoutdoorstore.com/usou... ) to make them in a pinch instead. Scraping them into tiny dumplings with a spoon sounds too labor intensive and hot over a pot of boiling water.

                                            I, too, am wondering how soon before I can reasonably get away with making paprikas again. DH is going to catch on to the fact that I'm obsessed soon.

                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                              And if DH doesn't complain, you'll just know that he's of a like mind.

                                              I had one of those graters, but I gave it away when I moved! They're cheap enough though. Though, if I use a colander, I'll use my smallest stock pot for the water. It's just tall enough so that I can just sit the colander on top of the pot without worrying about getting wet, instead of trying to hold it above the water with one hand.

                                      3. Here's a recipe based on my mothers's and crossed w/ a couple of others I've come across over the years. I don't have a drop of Hungarian blood (as far as I know), but my friend's Polish grandmother made a fantastic veal paprikas that influenced this recipe, if that counts. She made spaetzle. Much as I love spaetzle, I usually serve my paprikas w/broad egg noodles.

                                        Chicken Paprikas

                                        1 T. pork or bacon fat or piece of fatback
                                        1 chicken, cut into pieces, patted dry (I use 8 thighs), skin removed
                                        salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
                                        2 med. onions, chopped
                                        2 T. flour
                                        2-3 skinned, fresh (or canned) whole tomatoes, chopped (I used 2 T tomato paste this last time)
                                        1-2 T Hungarian paprika, or more to taste (I used Szeged sweet)
                                        1 1/2 c. chicken stock
                                        1 c. sour cream

                                        In lg. heavy pot, heat pork fat over med. high heat (until rendered if using fatback). NOTE: people who don't eat pork can substitute olive oil for pork fat. Add chicken skin and cook until at least 1/4 c of fat is rendered. Discard skins, and pour off fat so that you end up with about 1/4 c. in the bottom of the pan. Salt & pepper chicken pieces. Add to pot and brown for a minute or two on each side. Remove and set aside. Lower heat to medium. Add onion and cook until soft, 5-6 minutes. Add flour, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes; stir another minute. Add 1-2 T paprika; stir another minute. Add chicken broth; stir well, and bring to simmer. Add chicken pieces (w/any accumulated juices). Return pot to simmer. Cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender (about 20-30 minutes). Remove cover and simmer another 10 minutes or so, reducing sauce slightly. Just before serving, add more paprika to taste. Adjust salt and pepper. Stir in sour cream.

                                        1. My first and only attempt at Chicken Paprikash was this one:

                                          very simple but very delicious. i would make it again. i only had plain old grocery store paprika and smoked paprika in the house, and i used both, and it tasted great, but i'm sure it wasn't authentic. Served with dilled wide egg noodles. this is making me crave it so much that i think i'll make it tonight!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                            That sounds so good, Maria, serving it with dilled noodles. I'm thinking I really need to make this again, and I will definitely get some dill.

                                            1. re: Jay F

                                              I posted on the What's for Dinner thread that i made it again, tonight! loved it.

                                          2. I have used George Lang's recipe and the Cooks Illustrated recipe to come up with the following:

                                            Chicken Paprikash

                                            Oil For Browning Chicken (Olive Oil or lard or rendered bacon fat)
                                            3 lbs chicken thighs
                                            1 large onion
                                            1 red pepper and 1 green pepper sliced thin
                                            3 ½ tablespoons paprika
                                            1 tablespoon flour
                                            ½ cup dry white wine or water
                                            1 14 oz can tomatoes drained
                                            1/4 to 1/3 cup sour cream
                                            2 tablespoons heavy cream

                                            Salt and Pepper chicken pieces
                                            Brown chicken skin side down until skin is crisp, then turn and brown other side
                                            Remove and discard skin from chicken
                                            Add onion to fat and cook until softened and starting to get gold
                                            Add peppers and cook for a few minutes till soft
                                            Stir in 3 tablespoons of paprika and 1 tablespoon of flour cook for about 2 minutes till blended
                                            Add ½ cup of white wine or water
                                            Add 1 14 ½ oz can of diced tomatoes that are drained and some salt
                                            Put chicken back in the pot
                                            Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes either in oven at 300 or on top of stove low heat
                                            Combine 1/3 cup of sour cream, 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and ½ tablespoon of paprika and add to sauce tempering.

                                            1. Finally got the email from my mom with the paprikas recipe!
                                              Looking it over, it seemed way too simple, and I immediately thought she must be leaving something out, but really, it's just a simple peasant dish.
                                              Anyways, here is what we grew up with. Hungarian on my dad's side, from Eger, but my Irish mom learned to make all of our Hungarian dishes most deliciously.

                                              Chicken Paprikas with Spatzle

                                              A 2-3 lb frying chicken, cut up or 8-10 bone-in, skinless thighs
                                              1 c flour
                                              1/1/2 t salt
                                              1/4 t black pepper
                                              2 T oil, canola or other
                                              1/2 c finely chopped onion
                                              2 cloves garlic, minced, about 1 t
                                              3 T sweet Hungarian paprika, DIVIDED
                                              chicken broth, 1 14-oz can, maybe a little more

                                              Sour cream for serving

                                              >Rinse and pat dry chicken pieces.
                                              Put the flour, salt, pepper and 1 1/2 T of the paprika (note: half of total paprika!) in a bag. Coat chicken evenly by shaking two pieces at a time in the bag. Reserve the leftover flour mixture for later.
                                              >Heat the oil in a large dutch-oven or covered casserole, when hot, brown the chicken pieces a few at a time until all are lightly browned on both sides. Set chicken aside as they brown.
                                              When all the chicken is browned and removed from pot, add onion and saute, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Lower heat if necessary so onions will not burn.
                                              Saute until they become translucent, then add the garlic and stir one to two minutes more.
                                              Add 1/2 c of the chicken broth, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of pan. Add more broth if necessary.
                                              >Return chicken to pot and arrange in one layer if possible. Add additional broth so liquid barely covers the chicken.
                                              Adjust heat to a slow simmer and cook chicken 30 to 45 minutes or until pieces are tender when pierced with a fork. Turn pieces over halfway through and rearrange pieces if they are not in one layer.
                                              *I think she partially covers the pan once the broth is added, although she does not mention this.
                                              >Meanwhile make a roux to thicken the paprikas: Heat 2 T oil or butter in a small skillet or saucepan. Add 2 T of reserved seasoned flour mixture plus 1 1/2 T paprika, one at a time, to the oil to make a roux, making sure to cook the flour.
                                              Whisk in some chicken broth a little at a time; to make a smooth sauce add more broth a little at a time as needed. Put aside until chicken is almost cooked.
                                              When you think the chicken is almost done, stir the roux into the pot. The sauce in the pot should be like a gravy. If too thick, add more broth, too thin, more roux. Taste and add more salt if necessary.


                                              2 2/3 c flour
                                              1 t salt
                                              1 egg
                                              1 c water

                                              1/4 c butter, melted
                                              >Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil, adding salt (2 t salt to 2 quarts water).
                                              >Combine flour and salt. In a med-sized bowl beat the egg and water together, slowly add the flour mixture, stirring until smooth.
                                              Batter should be thick and break from a spoon, instead of pouring in a continuous stream. If you are using a spatzle maker make the batter a little thinner by adding more water so that it will drop slowly into the boiling water.
                                              >Using a woode spoon, scoop up a spoonful of batter, hold it over the boiling water and with a kitchen knife, push off 1/2 teaspoon sized pieces into the water. Cook only one layer of noodles at a time; do not crowd.
                                              After noodles rise to the surface, boil gently 5-8 minutes, or until soft when pressed against the side of the pan with a spoon.
                                              Remove from water with a slotted spoon, draining over water for a second. Place in a warm bowl, toss lightly with melted butter.
                                              The spatzel can be made ahead and reheated in the oven or in a large skillet.
                                              To serve, put chicken on a rimmed platter, add sour cream to the pot, about 1 c, stir well and pour over chicken. Or, omit sour cream and pass it at the table.

                                              Whew! That was a lot of direction, but I had to give it in my mother's words. Hope this makes sense. I for one am making this in the next couple of days, if not tonight.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. I'm going to have to make this again soon. I've got a whole young turkey that I'm planning to split into white and dark portions. The dark portions make great paprikas. My only worry is that this turkey is one of those brine-injected birds; that might make the sauce salty if I'm not careful.

                                                1. Originally this was a way to cook a tough old bird, but there is no law that says you can't use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I always include hot paprika, chopped tomato, broth, a bit of diced red pepper, which I prefer over green, plenty of mushrooms, shallots, and because I try to cook healthy I add Greek yogurt instead of sour cream just before serving over egg noodles. Substituting floured boneless breasts cut into pieces greatly reduces cooking time.

                                                  1. I made the version from my very worn 1973 trade paperback copy of Joy of Cooking, p. 468, the other night.

                                                    I bought Penzey's sweet paprika. And instead of a 2.5 lb. whole chicken, I used nearly 3 lbs. of chicken thighs. This Chicken Paprika still as delicious as I remembered, though I think I'll brown the chicken next time I make it. I also plan to try it with skinless, bone-in chicken thighs as well, and maybe avoid some of that orange fat on top.

                                                    The recipe made a lot of sauce, so I'm also going to increase the amount of chicken to 4 lbs.

                                                    1. I use the recipe from seriouseats.com (http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...) and love it! For weeknight dinners, I actually use boneless skinless breasts and cube it before serving, so it turns into something closer to a stew in look. Its faster to cook and easier to eat, so double win in my book!

                                                      1. I love seeing this thread revived on occasion.

                                                        Chicken Paprikash really is one of those dishes you never think about until prompted by someone else talking about it as we did in the What's For Dinner thread, and then it reminds so many of us of good memories and tasty meals!

                                                        1. First off, I'm not Hungarian, just an enthusiastic home cook, but here's the Paprikash recipe I make. It's easy and good for weeknights.

                                                          3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
                                                          vegetable or olive oil
                                                          1 red bell pepper, julienned
                                                          1 medium white onion, sliced into half-rings
                                                          salt and pepper
                                                          lots of Hungarian paprika - I just sort of add dash after dash until the color looks about right, but I use several tablespoons
                                                          1 small can tomato puree
                                                          several big spoonfuls of sour cream
                                                          fresh parsley, chopped, for serving

                                                          Heat the oil in a pan. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Add to the pan, add salt and pepper, cook until chicken is slightly browned. Add the onion and pepper and cook until beginning to soften. Add paprika and cook a little more. Add tomato sauce and more s&p and paprika. Cook a little more, until some of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the sour cream. Taste and adjust seasonings. If sauce is thin, simmer until reduced a bit. Add a little water or chicken broth if too thick.

                                                          I serve ladled over boild, smashed new potatoes, mashed potatoes, rice, or egg noodles. Sprinkle with parsley.

                                                          The boyfriend ADORES it!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: ebeth00

                                                            It was chicken paprikash that made me realize that I had been using red dust instead of paprika...I used Penzey's half-sharp in the same volume as I had been using the twenty-year-old box of ersatz 'paprika' in the recipe and it was so intense it almost blew me out of my chair...incredibly intense but amazingly tasty. I just stirred in a bit more sour cream and chicken stock and it was fantastic. I've never gone back to inferior paprika (and I finally caved and threw out every spice in the house that appeared to be more than a decade old. And I"m not kidding about the decade...I was using some spices from a set my mom got as a wedding present...and she and my dad got married in 1960.)

                                                            1. re: tonifi

                                                              Yes, I grew up in a household where it was firmly believed that paprika had no flavor, but was just for decoration. I'm SO grateful to have learned better.

                                                              BTW, I have used ground chiles in place of paprika for this dish, and it ain't Hungarian but it sure is good.

                                                          2. Making paprikas tonight...can't wait! Time to revive this thread...

                                                            1. Thanks for reviving this thread, Christina! My daughter is away on a school trip, so my 8-year-old son and I have been on our own all week and trying to make it special time together. He's completely obsessed with paprika (even puts it on waffles!), so this was the perfect dinner for us to make together the other night. I used the New York Times Essential Cookbook version, which is very simple...no tomatoes, peppers, etc -- just chicken, paprika, sour cream (greek yogurt in my case), onion, garlic, butter, flour and chicken stock. We used a combination of sweet smoked paprika from California and hot Hungarian paprika (both from our great local spice store). Served over egg noodles of course. A very simple sauce that definitely makes paprika the star of the show!

                                                              Here's a link to other reports on this recipe from when this book was COTM:

                                                              And here's the actual recipe:

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: mebby

                                                                Yum! Sounds tasty and a nice quick version for a weeknight. If you are interested in having the dish again, maybe try one of the longer-braised versions above for comparison's sake! I personally just love the rich gravy and tender meat you get with cooking it low and slow. And, as you may have guessed from my recipe, I'm also a total paprika-head :)

                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                  Thank you -- I will. I hadn't really noted differences in cooking time, was mainly focused on ingredient differences in the various versions, so I'll go back through with that in mind. That said, my little guy was pretty proud to pack those leftovers in his lunchbox the next day!

                                                                  1. re: mebby

                                                                    It's awesome you cook together. You're making memories---and delicious meals. I am pretty possessive of my paprikas leftovers and was sad when DH finished ours off a few days ago, lol.

                                                                    In case you'd be interested, here's my slightly revised recipe for paprikas:

                                                                    -3 - 4 meaty turkey legs (or 2 1/2 - 3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken legs/thighs)
                                                                    -salt and pepper
                                                                    -2 Tbsp. bacon drippings or 1 Tbsp. ea. butter and oil
                                                                    -1 lg. yellow onion, diced
                                                                    -2 - 3 bay leaves
                                                                    -2 banana peppers or 1 bell pepper (any color), seeded and diced (I have even made this with a poblano pepper, and it turned out great)
                                                                    -3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
                                                                    -1 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
                                                                    -5 Tbsp. sweet paprika (yup, that's Tablespoons...trust me)
                                                                    -1/2 c. dry white vermouth or white wine, optional
                                                                    -4 c. chicken broth
                                                                    -cayenne or hot paprika, to taste
                                                                    -pinch of tarragon or marjoram
                                                                    -1 c. sour cream (full-fat highly preferred)
                                                                    -splash of tamari/Maggi/Bragg's amino acids/Worcestershire sauce/Kitchen Bouquet
                                                                    -1-2 Tbsp. flour, optional
                                                                    -smoked salt or liquid smoke, optional

                                                                    1. Heat the fat in a large enameled casserole, season the poultry with s&p, and brown well on all sides. Brown in batches to avoid steaming. Remove the meat to a plate. If planning to braise the paprikas in the oven, preheat to 300F.

                                                                    2. Add onion to the drippings and saute until almost translucent. Add diced pepper and bay leaves and cook a few minutes more.

                                                                    3. Lower the heat and stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook until they begin to color. Next, add the paprika, stirring for about 30 seconds to avoid burning.

                                                                    4. Deglaze the pot with the vermouth or equivalent amount of broth/water. Return the meat and its juices to the pot and cover with the 4 c. broth. If necessary, add more water or broth to almost submerge the pieces. Add the hot pepper, herbs, smoked salt, and tamari, bring to a simmer, and cover.

                                                                    5. Cook at a bare simmer for 70-90 min. or bake partly covered at 300F until meat is very tender and begins to separate from the bones. Remove poultry from pot and let cool, then skin, debone, and separate the meat into chunks. Discard the skin and bones.

                                                                    6. De-fat the braising liquid using your preferred method. (I used to suggest bringing it to a rapid boil on the stovetop and skimming the fat that accumulates around the edges with a large spoon. However, I recently had more success letting the braise rest for about 10 minutes undisturbed, then laying a double-layer of paper towels just on the oily surface and quickly lifting the towels off. You lose very little broth that way but capture 90% of the fat on the surface.)

                                                                    7. Thicken the braising liquid. You can 1) whisk the flour into the sour cream in a bowl and temper the sour cream with a few tablespoons of hot sauce before slowly stirring the mixture into the pot. Keep the sauce at a bare simmer and stir until thickened. OR, 2) for a gluten-free option, bring the braising liquid to a rapid boil on the stovetop until reduced by at least 1/3. This takes about 10 minutes, I'd guess. Let cool slightly, then temper and stir in the sour cream as described before.

                                                                    8. Add the meat back to the pot. Heat through, check for seasoning, and remove the bay leaves. Serve with your preferred starch or side.

                                                                    This tastes best if you give it a few hours for the flavors to meld.

                                                              2. i am marking this to read later

                                                                1. Back in the 80s, my hungarian neighbor (first gen) made a delicious chicken paprika. Can't remember his technique, but I do know, contrary to what most people recommend, his was relatively soupy (in pot, chicken was practically covered with sauce). His had a lot of sour cream, with big white chunks still floating around, and the chicken cooked long enough to fall off the bone (an hour or more). He also used imported hungarian paprika, if that makes a difference.

                                                                  First time I've made it, I followed an americanized chicken paprika recipe tonight...needs work as it didn't turn out well.

                                                                  I don't recommend using smoked paprika because I used regular sweet paprika (not imported) and it still tasted too smokey. However, I'm guessing I'm not adding enough sour cream to temper that flavor.

                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: jahogna

                                                                    My parents are both 1st generation Hungarians. My father's side of the family makes chicken paprikas as your neighbor used to make. It is basically just stirring sour cream into the broth, without adding anything to thicken the sauce and without tempering the sour cream. They serve the chicken in the broth and the galuska (dumplings) on the side.

                                                                    My mother's side of the family removes the chicken, strains the broth, and then thickens it with a flour/water slurry and reduces it down before adding sour cream. She tempers the sour cream by adding a bit of the sauce to the sour cream first then stirring that back into the sauce. Her paprikas sauce is very smooth. She serves the chicken on the side and the galuska (soft dumplings) swimming in the sauce.

                                                                    As for the smokiness you found in your dish, that is odd, I have never found paprika to have much of a natural smokiness. Did you use bacon fat in the dish? Did you coat the chicken with paprika prior to searing it? Maybe some of the paprika burned. Generally paprikas is a rather mild dish, though I make mine with extra paprika because I love the flavor.

                                                                    What recipe did you use? What was your technique?

                                                                    1. re: Springhaze2

                                                                      I used the recipe on the "simply recipes" site. It's actually not that bad...except for the recommended "2-3 Tbsp butter" (oily) and only cooking it "35 min" (chicken was cooked, but hard to get off the bone). However, reading the comments section subconsciously swayed me into putting very little stock and less sour cream - throwing the spice/tangy ratio completely off and making the sauce too thick. It was days after I made it that the some of the memories of my neighbor's version came back to me.

                                                                      Your mother's strained version sounds closer to my style; as cooked long onions are not particularly appetizing (too slimey and worm-like).

                                                                      I used butter and definitely didn't burn the paprika. Maybe paprika of any sort just just doesn't really work with my palate anymore...it reminds me of "BBQ" potato chips, which I've grown to dislike. Plus, this dish seems unpleasantly rich compared to the light stir-fry mode I've been in lately. I'm going to make CP at least one more time with way more stock, sour cream and cook time...we'll see.

                                                                      1. re: jahogna

                                                                        so I made chicken paprika a couple more times and have developed some changes...the main of which is simmering the chicken at least an hour.

                                                                        I also now substitute veg oil for butter, bump up the paprika to 4 Tbsp and use 1.5 - 2 cups water (broth is unnecessary), which doesn't leave you wanting for more sauce. I added 2 bay leaves to the simmer (don't know if that helped, but it didn't hurt, either)

                                                                        After simmering, I now use an immersion blender to puree all those slimey onions (which helps thicken the sauce, too). In fact, if you want even more sauce, you can put up to 2.5 cups water and just flour the chicken before searing to help thicken (in this case, you might want to add up to another Tbsp paprika).

                                                                        I realized this recipe is actually similar to making a curry, so I may try substituting curry powder for paprika and yogurt for sour cream (or not). Considering, you can't really go wrong with simmering chicken in water, you could probably use taco seasoning or come up with your own spice mix combos...just be sure to take it easy on the five spice.

                                                                        1. re: jahogna

                                                                          jahogna, Your changes, using veg oil, adding more water and more paprika and cooking it until the chicken falls apart is closer to the way I make it. I use veg oil, stock, and a lot of paprika (I don't measure.) I dice the onions rather than slicing and also add diced onions and carrots.

                                                                          At the end of cooking I remove the meat, and use a slotted spoon to remove most of the veggies. Thicken the sauce with flour and water and stir in a cup of sour cream.

                                                                          1. re: Springhaze2

                                                                            adding carrots (and I'm guessing you meant celery) would make it a little more french, but I'm sure it's good...just a little sweeter.

                                                                            The immersion blender is one of my favorite new tools. It helps thicken soups/sauces without flour....and saves me from having to wash a full size blender jar.

                                                                            1. re: jahogna

                                                                              I meant both celery and carrot. Mostly onions, with a few stalks of celery and one carrot.

                                                                  2. Here is a rustic version that I came across on Youtube. It calls for a whole, bone-in chicken which I regrettably avoid these days - I use skinless thighs.

                                                                    8 chicken thighs
                                                                    1 large cooking onion roughly chopped
                                                                    1 small tomato diced
                                                                    2 peppers coarsely chopped
                                                                    4 or 5 potatoes peeled and medium diced
                                                                    1 clove of garlic finely minced
                                                                    2 tbsp lard, bacon drippings or other fat
                                                                    3 tbs sweet Hungarian paprika
                                                                    salt to taste

                                                                    I try to avoid bell peppers. I prefer shepherds, cubanelles or wax peppers. One of the peppers should be hot - a jalapeno or Hungarian hot.

                                                                    Sautée the onion in a large pot over medium heat till translucent and then add the chicken. Brown until juices start to flow and then turn the heat to low.

                                                                    Add the paprika, stirring constantly until the chicken is coated and then quickly add some water to prevent the paprika from scorching.

                                                                    Add the pepper, garlic and tomato cover with water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and enough water to completely cover everything. Simmer till the potatoes are done.

                                                                    For what it's worth I post the link, but it's in Hungarian. Note that our cook adds pinched dumplings as well, "csipetke", which I don't.


                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: DockPotato

                                                                      no sour cream?..without that, CP wouldn't be as good, imo...and much hotter

                                                                      1. re: jahogna

                                                                        No sour cream. And hot and more liquid.

                                                                        My post prompted me to make up a pot last night. After my remarks about the peppers all I found in the fridge was half a red bell pepper which I used along with a bit of hot paprika. It was still very good.

                                                                        We make the sour cream version as well and enjoy it just as much.