How to Make Hungarian Chicken Paprikash

Chicken paprikash. Photo by Miriam Szokovski

Miriam Szokovski |

Chicken paprikash is a Hungarian comfort food, adapted by prewar Hungarian Jews to fit with the kosher laws, and passed down through the generations with love.

Because we do not mix meat or poultry with dairy in kosher cooking, the kosher version omits the sour cream that is often mixed in at the end of non-kosher versions. Those who grew up with Hungarian parents or grandparents will tell you that the smell of chicken paprikash evokes memories of warmth, comfort, home and family.

Because paprika is the main ingredient — and a more subtle flavor — it’s important to use good quality spice. If you can, use Hungarian sweet paprika. If you can’t find specific Hungarian paprika, at least buy a new container (from a store that has a high rate or turnover, so you know it hasn’t been sitting on the shelf forever).

Chicken paprikash is traditionally served with nokedli, little Hungarian egg dumplings, like spaetzle. Potatoes or egg noodles are good alternatives, and really any starch of your choosing will do. I tend to favor short-grain brown rice with this type of dish.

By the time it’s ready, the chicken should be falling off the bone soft. In fact, you may opt to pull it all off the bone and return it to the sauce and serve it like that.

Chicken paprikash. Photo by Miriam Szokovsky

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash | Meat
Serves: 4-6

3 onions
⅓ cup olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4-5 garlic cloves, sliced
4 tablespoons sweet paprika
4-6 chicken thighs
Kosher salt
Black pepper

Cut the onions into thin quarter rounds (or dice).

Use a deep frying pan with a cover.

Heat the pan over high heat and, once the pan is hot, add the onions. Dry fry for a few minutes, then add the oil and a teaspoon of kosher salt. Saute until translucent.

Add the diced bell peppers and sliced garlic cloves. Cook until just starting to soften.

Transfer the onion mixture to a bowl/plate/container and mix in the paprika.

Return the pan to the heat.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.

Place the chicken skin-side down in the pan, and brown it for 5-7 minutes, uncovered.

Add the onion mixture and 2 cups of water, and cover.

Simmer on a low flame, covered, for 90 minutes. Remove the cover and simmer for another 30 minutes (this will help the sauce reduce a little).

The chicken should be falling off the bone. Serve it with generous lashings of the sauce. T

Miriam Szokovski is a writer, editor and member of the
editorial team.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here