Traditional Chicken Paprikash Recipe

Chicken paprikash is such a popular dish worldwide that it almost needs no introduction. If you don't already have a recipe for this delicious Hungarian stew, recipe developer Jennine Rye has created one for you. Chicken paprikash is a deeply comforting dish that is packed full of flavor, and it is simple and pleasurable to cook.

The first and perhaps most important thing to know about chicken paprikash is in the name; paprika. Not all paprika is made the same, and for a great chicken paprikash you need to use the right paprika. Nobody knows quite how paprika found its way to Hungry, we only know that the plant first reached Hungary in the 1500s. Paprika, which comes in different varieties, is now considered central to Hungarian cuisine, and Hungarian paprika is the only real option if you want to cook up authentic paprikash.

The best way to serve up this great dish is with simple sides; let the flavors of the chicken paprikash do all the talking. Rice, potatoes, or noodles are all great accompaniments as they absorb all the delicious juices from the stew.

Gather the ingredients for this chicken paprikash

To make this traditional chicken paprikash, first you will need to gather the ingredients. You will need chicken thighs and drumsticks, cooking oil, an onion, red bell peppers, garlic, Hungarian paprika, flour, chopped tomatoes, chicken broth, sour cream, and salt and pepper. To maximize on the flavor of this dish, Jennine Rye recommends using chicken pieces that are bone in and skin on.

Brown the chicken

For this recipe you will want to use a deep, heavy bottomed pan with a lid. Heat up some oil and then add the chicken pieces to the pan. Fry them in the hot oil, turning them regularly to gently brown the chicken all over. Once it is browned, remove the chicken from the pan and place it on a plate to one side. Searing the chicken before adding it to the stew will enhance the flavor of the chicken, and the final dish as a result.

Prepare the stew

Add a little more oil to the pan and then sauté the onions for a few minutes before adding the sliced peppers to the mix. Continue to sauté the vegetables until they are softened, then put the garlic to the pan, followed by the ground Hungarian paprika. Allow the paprika to fry for a minute or two in the oil, as this helps to release flavor-soluble compounds in the spice, making the most of the flavor; this is known as blooming the spices. Make sure to keep an eye on the paprika so that it doesn't burn, stir in the flour and then add the canned tomatoes and the stock. Stir everything well until the ingredients are combined into a thick, red stew. 

Add the finishing touches

Return the browned chicken pieces to the pan, making sure they are well covered by the liquid. Place a lid on the pan and allow the paprikash to gently simmer for 30 minutes. After this time, remove the lid and allow the stew to simmer for another 5 minutes with the lid off, before adding the sour cream and mixing it in. Allow everything to simmer for another 5 minutes, before serving the paprikash with your favorite side dishes and some fresh steamed greens.

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and should be consumed within three days. Carefully reheat the chicken paprikash before enjoying it.

Traditional Chicken Paprikash Recipe
5 from 43 ratings
Learn how to make this classic Hungarian dish and be sure to use the star ingredient to get the traditional flavor: authentic Hungarian paprika.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Chicken paprikash in a saucepan
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
  • 2 ½ lb chicken thighs and drumsticks (skin on and bone in)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons ground Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  1. Heat up a large pan on medium high. Add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil, season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, and then add them to the pan. Brown the chicken all over, then remove it from the pan and set it to one side.
  2. Reduce the heat of the pan to a medium temperature and then add the chopped onions. Fry them for 5 minutes until they are soft and translucent, then add the chopped bell peppers to the pan and continue to fry the vegetables for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sliced garlic to the pan and cook for a minute or two until fragrant, then add the paprika and stir it in; fry everything for a minute or two longer before adding the plain flour. Stir everything together before adding the can of tomatoes and the chicken stock.
  4. Return the browned chicken to the pan and mix everything together. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pan with a lid, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid and let the paprikash simmer for 5 minutes, and then stir in the sour cream. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve hot with rice, potatoes, or noodles.
Calories per Serving 904
Total Fat 61.1 g
Saturated Fat 17.3 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 376.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 16.3 g
Dietary Fiber 4.6 g
Total Sugars 7.0 g
Sodium 1,467.3 mg
Protein 70.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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