This Chicken Paprikash recipe is a delicious one-pan weeknight dinner meal that features perfectly browned chicken that's braised in a creamy, sour cream based paprika sauce. What's best is that you only need some pantry staples to make this at home and it's a total crowd-pleaser! This is one of our favorite dinner meals that's kids and husband approved!
Chicken Paprikash is a traditional Hungarian dish that's one of the staple recipes in Hungary. It's made using Hungarian sweet paprika, which adds a delicious flavor to the dish and only requires a few other ingredients.
This makes it the perfect meal for dinner on busy weeknights because you don't have to use many ingredients to get that delicious flavor.
For years, my go-to favorite way of preparing chicken was French Mustard Chicken. I love making it for special occasions. I had heard a lot about the Chicken Paprikash recipe but kept postponing making the recipe and posting it on my blog.
It wasn't until I purchased Hungarian Recipes Cookbook, that I started to explore traditional Hungarian cuisine. I felt confident those recipes would work well with my family and readers.
After years of experimenting and trying different ingredient combinations, I've come up with this particular Chicken Paprikash recipe that will give you authentic, delicious flavors in the comfort of your home.
Trust me; it's a complete crowd-pleaser that you're going to fall in love with!
You'll end up with fall-off-the-bone chicken with the most delicious sauce that's creamy, tangy and has the right level of paprika in it. Drizzle it all over your noodles, Basmati rice, or whatever else you're serving the chicken with.
Read on to learn exactly how to make this delicious Chicken Paprikash recipe!
- What is Chicken Paprikash?
- What Type of Paprika Should I Use to Make Chicken Paprikash?
- Can I Use Other Chicken Cuts for This Recipe?
- Why This Is The Best Chicken Paprikash Recipe
- What You Need to Make Chicken Paprikash At Home
- How to Make Chicken Paprikash Step by Step
- Tips For Making the Best Chicken Paprikash Every Single Time
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Variation Ideas for Chicken Paprikash
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Store Leftover Chicken Paprikash
What is Chicken Paprikash?
Chicken Paprikash is a classic Hungarian dish that's easy to make and tastes delicious too! It's also known as Paprikás Csirke in Hungarian (pronounced paprikash cheerke) and is one of the most popular dishes in Hungary.
This delicious dish is characterized by its ample use of paprika, which also gives the dish its name. It's a simple, stew-like comfort dish that's traditionally made with chicken thighs or drumsticks.
While there are many recipes for Chicken Paprikash, the basic ingredients for all of them are pretty much the same. Think loads of paprika, chicken, onions, garlic, water or broth, and some sour cream.
Some regions in Hungary add bell peppers and tomatoes, but that's usually not the classic way of making it. I've kept my recipe authentic and stuck to paprika, sour cream, and the essential ingredients mentioned above.
This not only makes it delicious but also simple to make, especially if you stock up on some Hungarian sweet paprika!
Chicken Paprikash is truly a staple in Hungarian cuisine. It's normally eaten with nokedli, but wide egg noodles can be easily used as an alternative substitute.
The key to preparing a tasty Chicken Paprikash sauce is to use the best Hungarian sweet paprika. Trust me; this dish is the definition of comfort food and one of my all-time favorites.
What Type of Paprika Should I Use to Make Chicken Paprikash?
Hungarian sweet paprika is traditionally used to make Chicken Paprikash and to get that authentic flavor. Hungarians are proud of their paprika and use only the best sweet and hot peppers to make it. The primary spice used in Hungarian cuisine has unmatched color and flavor.
But sometimes, exactly which paprika to use can be confusing for a lot of people since there are two types of Hungarian paprikas that are available in grocery stores: one is the 'hot' variety, and the other is the 'sweet' one. The latter is what we need for this recipe.
But just because it's called sweet paprika doesn't mean it's sweet! It's called that because it's made using sweeter peppers than the spicy, hot ones used to make Hungarian hot paprika.
While hot paprika is not what we're using in this recipe, you can definitely add a pinch or two of it to your Chicken Paprikash if you're looking to make it spicier.
Can I Use Other Chicken Cuts for This Recipe?
Chicken legs or separate thighs and drumsticks are traditionally used to make Chicken Paprikash. But you can easily substitute it with boneless, skinless chicken as well such as chicken breasts.
However, keep in mind that you will lose some flavor since a lot of it is in the bones and it will also shorten the cooking time.
And so, if you want to make this recipe with chicken breast, there is one thing to keep in mind. Boneless skinless chicken breasts cook faster than bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs.
To ensure chicken breasts remain juicy, give them a quick sear until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Then, continue cooking for no more than 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F. That's where an instant meat thermometer comes in handy.
Why This Is The Best Chicken Paprikash Recipe
Authentic flavors: This Chicken Paprikash recipe will give you authentic flavors with the same ingredients and techniques that are used to make this recipe traditionally.
Easy to make: Just because we're using an authentic recipe doesn't mean it has to be complicated. This is one of the easiest recipes and something even first-time cooks can try!
One-pot: What's best is that we'll be making everything in one pot, so there is no need for extra pots and pans and dishwashing. It's incredibly convenient, and making it in one pan actually makes it taste even better! Win-win situation!
Family-friendly: The flavors in the dish are incredibly delicious, and it's the perfect comfort food dish. Trust me; your family will love it, even the kids!
What You Need to Make Chicken Paprikash At Home
All you need are some incredibly simple, pantry-staple ingredients to make this delicious chicken paprikash recipe at home.
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. Please scroll to the recipe card below for the exact ingredients and measurements.
- Chicken: I've used bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs because the meat comes out juicy and with a crispy skin. You can also make Paprikash with chicken breast. I've mentioned how to do this above.
- Olive oil: We'll be needing some olive oil to sauté our onion and bring out all the aromatic flavors. This will add a beautiful depth to your chicken paprikash recipe.
- Onion: You can use either a yellow or white onion to get those delicious aromatic flavors for this dish.
- Paprika: You'll, of course, also need some paprika. I've used sweet paprika and smoked paprika for this recipe. I recommend stocking up on some Hungarian sweet paprika if possible.
- Chicken broth: We'll use chicken broth for the liquid in our sauce. This will add more flavor than just using water. I recommend going with preferably low sodium broth so that you can adjust the seasonings yourself.
- Flour: We'll also need some simple, all-purpose flour. It's the thickening agent for our sauce to give you the best consistency.
- Sour cream: The creaminess and flavor in the sauce are thanks to sour cream. Look for the best quality one you can find since it'll really add flavor and richness to the sauce.
- Milk: You'll also need some milk that we'll use to get the right consistency in the sauce and give it a lighter flavor.
- Parsley: We'll garnish our delicious Chicken Paprikash with freshly chopped parsley.
- Seasonings: You'll need some simple salt and black pepper to get the right flavor and season it to taste.
How to Make Chicken Paprikash Step by Step
Making this Chicken Paprikash recipe at home is super easy and will give you great results every single time. Here's how to make it step by step:
- Rub chicken thighs with paprika
Start off with liberally sprinkling your chicken things with paprika. Traditionally, Hungarian sweet paprika is used. However, you can also add a tad of smoked paprika for an extra flavor if you want. Season with salt and pepper as well.
- Sauté the onion and sear chicken
- Simmer chicken
Add broth and simmer until the chicken is ready, which should take approximately 40 minutes.
- Prepare the sauce
At the same time, whisk together flour, sour cream, and milk until no lumps remain.
- Add sauce to a pan
Remove the chicken from the pan, stir in the sour cream sauce and wait until it thickens.
- Cook chicken in a sauce.
Return the chicken to the pan, let it cook for another minute, and turn off the heat. Now all you have to do is sprinkle your Chicken Paprikash with parsley and serve.
Your delicious Chicken Paprikash is ready to be served!
Tips For Making the Best Chicken Paprikash Every Single Time
It's important to follow the recipe instructions carefully for the best outcome. For example, be sure to simmer your chicken for just the right amount of time to cook perfectly without drying out.
Use high-quality ingredients: Quality ingredients are essential for creating a delicious dish. For this Chicken Paprikash, use good-quality olive oil, paprika, and sour cream for best results.
Adjust the seasonings to taste: Taste your dish before serving and adjust the seasonings as necessary. You may need a bit more salt, pepper, or paprika, depending on your personal preference.
Braise in the oven: I've made my Chicken Paprikash on the stovetop, but you can also braise it in the oven. After you've added chicken broth to the chicken, pop everything into the oven and cook at 350 F for 40 minutes. You're guaranteed to get the same results!
Traditionally, authentic Chicken Paprikash is served with Nokedli. These Hungarian egg noodles remind me of Ukrainian Galushki quite a bit. They're nearly the same thing as Spaetzle but are shorter and stubbier.
If you want to serve your chicken with Nokedli, here's a great recipe for that. Alternatively, you can serve it over some mashed potatoes, egg noodles, rice, or potato gnocchi.
Recipe Variation Ideas for Chicken Paprikash
This classic Hungarian dish is so flavorful and easy to make you'll want to try out some of these delicious variations! Here are some great ideas:
Spice it up: Add some chili flakes or a pinch of hot paprika to the sauce for extra heat.
Try different proteins: Instead of chicken thighs, use chicken breasts, pork loin, or even shrimp. Cooking times will change depending on the type of meat you use.
Add vegetables: Although traditionally vegetables aren't used you can definitely add them to the dish. Some bell peppers work great since they're actually used in some parts of Hungary to make Chicken Paprikash!
Swap out the sour cream: For a lighter version, replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt. But keep in mind that this will alter the overall flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Type of Paprika Should I Use?
Traditionally, Hungarian sweet paprika is used to make this recipe. But you can also use regular sweet paprika and a little smoked paprika as I have in this recipe. It gives a delicious, authentic flavor every single time.
What Type of Chicken Should I Use?
I've used chicken thighs for this recipe as it's classically done, but you can also use chicken breasts instead. Read my section above on how to use chicken breast instead.
What if I Don't Have Sour Cream?
Sour cream gives this delicious Hungarian dish its classic flavor. But for a lighter version, you can also substitute it with Greek yogurt but keep in mind that the dish won't be 'authentic' then.
How Do I Know When The Chicken is Done?
An instant-read thermometer will come in handy to answer this question. The chicken is cooked when it reaches 165°F with an instant-read thermometer or if you cut into the chicken and the juices run clear and there is no pink.
How to Store Leftover Chicken Paprikash
Leftovers from your delicious chicken paprikash recipe can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Simply reheat it on the stovetop and adjust the consistency of the sauce with chicken broth and/or milk if needed.
Even though you can technically freeze Chicken Paprikash, I don't recommend doing so since it contains sour cream and the consistency and texture of the sauce will change once it's frozen and thawed.
If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment below and rate it. I always appreciate the feedback. Also, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
If you're looking for a quick overview of the recipe, please check out my Hungarian Chicken Paprikash web-story.
Hungarian Chicken Paprikash
Rub chicken thighs with paprika
Sauté the onion and sear the chicken
Simmer the chicken
- Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and simmer for 40 minutes or until instant meat thermometer reads 165 F. When chicken is ready, remove it to a clean plate and set aside.
Prepare the sauce
- While chicken is simmering, in a small bowl whisk together sour cream, flour, and milk.
Add sauce to a pan
- Add the sour cream mixture to the pan and simmer stirring constantly until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
Cook chicken in a sauce
- Return chicken to the pan, cover with the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately!
Iryna Bychkiv is the founder and writer of the culinary website Lavender & Macarons, where she shares clean, European-inspired recipes that are delicious, easy to prepare, and made with wholesome ingredients. Iryna loves creating meals that are simple yet healthy and unique, including vegan and vegetarian recipes.
Iryna is also a freelance writer for MSN and Associated Press Wire.