Chicken Paprikash Recipe (2024)



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Tereza Nemessanyi

Hi! Hungarian-Czech American here. I've tried every recipe out there. Some comments:
--CRITICAL: heat onions til transparent, then REMOVE pan from heat. Add paprika and mush into paste. Why? Paprika is fat soluble and if hits side of pan and burns, turns bitter. Besides fresh paprika this is the most important step. Only then add chicken (which I do raw, unseasoned).
--Tomato or not tomato? serious question. As far as i am concerned if include tomato or tomato paste it is not authentic :-)


Why are spices sold in large quantities if they are going to be tasteless so quickly?

Tereza Nemessanyi

The traditional starch is actually "nokedli"/spaetzli. Egg/flour based dough but is actually really a treat to make from scratch and not difficult.

The start of this dish (onions + paprika) is the standard start to many Hungarian stews (gulyas, porkolt). From there, you take different directions depending on the meat and what else you add. Easy to remember 1T paprika and 1 onion per pound of meat.

Finally - these work great in slow cooker and also freeze beautifully. SUPER easy.


Lovely recipe. And you are right about the freshness of paprika. I must add that recipes are regional in Hungary, so to call one "the" Hungarian chicken paprikash recipe would be off. I come from the south of H. and we use the whole chicken, cut up; cook the dish on the stove top only; add absolutely no flour; but add freshly made egg dumplings (galushka), a fresh green pepper (like Hungarian wax), and sour cream is a must :) Fresh, crusty bread to sop up juice. Jo etvagyat!

Kathy Millard

I love and respect Sam Sifton, but this is a very bad recipe and not just for Hungarians. This is foolproof: in 3 tbs of oil, fry a large, diced onion till transparent. Pull off the heat and add one tbs of paprika and the washed, cut up pieces of chicken. Stir. Return to heat and add a cup of water and some salt. Cook covered on slow heat for an hour. Pull off the heat and add 6 ounces of sour cream, or better still crème fraiche or cream, stir and serve.

Old Jimma from the Old Country

Boys, if you are in the dog house with your wife and never cook, make this for a Saturday evening dinner. Serve with several cool pilsners, and you'll be able to inch you way out of the dog house.

An after dinner whiskey aperitif (like Scotch) on the patio will help a little more.

Good luck. It worked for me.

Melva L

I buy all my spices from Penzey's ( ) online. They offer spices is small containers. I believe their products are fresher. They have brick & mortar stores; if you live in a metropolitan area, there is probably one near you ..


Alwa;ys store paprika in the refrigerator. It's the one spice that bugs can colonize.


Sweet Rose - or Noble Rose - Paprika, and x-nay on the tomatoes. Check out George Lang's The Cuisine of Hungary. And, the paprika: in the day there was H. Roth & Sons and Paprikas Weiss (RIP), selling 10, or more, varieties of paprika, all imported from Hungary, and arranged in a long, partitioned box, from sweet to hot. Between Lang, the proprietors at those shops, and a Hungarian friend, I learned to make it with lots of sauteed onions, sweet rose paprika, and nary a tomato in sight.


You'll need
- 2 eggs (preferably, L-sized)
- ~7 oz of flour
- 0.5 cup of water
- 2 pinches of salt

Throw all together in a bowl and form a thin dough that's just about not runny.

Boil some water, just like for pasta. Grab your cheese grinder, turn it over and scrape the dough through, into the boiling water. They are ready when they float up after like 3 minutes.

You can check below for reference:


My family is from Spain and we use a lot of paprika (or pimenton, rather) as well, and the number one rule is to NEVER add it to the oil or butter over the flame because it burns so easily. In fact, it's best to not only remove the pan from the heat, but allow it a few minutes to cool down. As another commenter noted, it's oil soluable so you don't need to blast paprika with heat to get its flavor.


it does but just will be a little dry. the classic recipe is an entire chicken so the breast would be included. Another hack i'd recommend is boneless skinless thighs because it's less fatty and super easy.


Hi Kristina,

I'd have to say, your student was not right.
The sour cream with flour is authentic. If you don't add them, you've got pörkölt, not paprikás.
Tomatoes, on the other hand are not exactly authentic, but are used regionally. I, for example, usually include them as they add nicely to the juice. For this you need to peel and chop them so they blend in during cooking.
I'd recommend you add garlic as well - also kind of a regional/personal preference.


Make it up to the point you add the sour cream. Take out what you want to save and freeze it. Add the sour cream when you reheat and serve.


I have had success keeping paprika in the refrigerator (and for longer periods, in the freezer) tightly sealed up.

Rob Davis

...and if you happen to have some sweet peppers on hand...why not?

Denis in Boston

Really delicious. Made it several times, here are some quick ideas. Only chicken on the bone and preferably only dark meat. Separate the flour and make and cook a roux separately then you can add paprika for 30 secs before adding more liquid. This cooks paprika without burning. This is a frickasee (sp?) do not use the oven. Let it bubble on the stove top for about 30 minutes and test the temp with a thermometer to get doneness without overcooking.


This is now a go-to recipe for us. Modifications: 1) we add sliced mushrooms (baby portabella) at the same time we add the chicken and 2) we dice half the onion (for flavor) and slice the other half (onion strings).

Denis in Boston

This was great. Agree about not wanting to burn the paprika. Keep in mind that what you are doing is making a roux, that's why the flour. So you might want to consider adding one at a time. Add flour to pan making sure you have enough fat, perhaps simply add another tbsp of butter first. Once the roux is cooked enough to banish the flour taste, you can add the paprika and carry on to a delicious meal.


I found this recipe years ago before I subscribed to NYT Cooking. It's my partner's most-requested dish. The recipe as-is is excellent. We find that using smoked paprika for one of the three tbsp of paprika is yummy, and I have also made a version of this using garam masala in place of some of the paprika. Obviously those tweaks are taking it to a new place of inauthenticity, but all versions I have made have been absolutely delicious.


This was soooo good. Had to omit the tomatoes due to dietary restrictions, added a mix of mini bell peppers when I sautéed the onions. Used 1/2 sweet paprika and 1/2 smoked. Will be making this again soon!


Real Hungarians use bell peppers


Why are we preheating an oven? Overengineering of a simple dish. Sautee onion rings til transparent, take off heat and add 3 generous TBSP of real Hungarian paprika, stir to coat. Place chicken pieces on top. Cover. Cook on v low heat for 90 minutes. Remove chicken and debone. Add sour cream to juices and stir. Test for seasoning. Add chicken pieces back in. Serve over Spätzle or egg noodles. That’s it.

Ellen Stine

So many odd things with this recipe - how big a can of crushed tomatoes? This works just as well if made on the top of stove - no oven needed. The sauce should not be thick - rather medium. And the paprika should not be added to hot oil. Try looking a a true Hungarian recipe like AnnaMaria’s kitchen on facebook. And, noodles are not the best. Make nodli or us rice.


You can make this in the microwave or over a camp fire: no oven or stove needed. This "odd" recipe is for an oven-baked dish. Step 3 says to cook until "the sauce has thickened slightly."

Sarah T

I don’t understand why this recipe only has 4 stars. Authentic or not, it is SO DELICIOUS and INCREDIBLY EASY. Feeds a crowd too!


This was very good, especially after a couple of days. I will make it again.

Jen Wronkovich-Clark

This is the third time I’ve made this recipe and we love it! I double the sauce because it’s the best part. This time after browning the chicken and putting the sauce together just left it uncovered in the oven for an additional 90min on low. The chicken was soft and the sauce so thick. It was perfect over spatzle and with a glass of Pinot noir.


3 tb flour was too much, made it a bit pasty until i added more liquid.


Step 2: "cook until the mixture is fragrant and the taste of the flour has been cooked out, approximately 4 to 5 minutes."

Carol L.

Delicious. I used red onion (that's what I had) and used a garlic press for the garlic (easier).

S. Nadia

Yes yes cook the paprika for 5 minutes so you have some nice scorched bitter paprika. I made this recipe to a tee. I am a good cook. There is no way the paprika just doesn't scorch after that long. I found another recipe that seems more authentic, has good reviews and you only stick in paprika AFTER you take the pan off the stove. Do yourself a favor and find yourself a better recipe for this dish.

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Chicken Paprikash Recipe (2024)


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