Chicken Paprikash: The Perfect Polar Vortex Dish

When we were in Hungary this past October, we made a pilgrimage to Szeged, land of paprika.

It was glorious—bright red peppers drying as far as the eye could see. We toured the paprika facility and the paprika museum (yes, it’s a thing) before tucking in to a wonderful fish paprikash at a local restaurant. Of course I bought oodles of the freshly ground paprika so that I could attempt to recreate some of the delicious food of Hungary when I returned home. This Chicken Paprikash certainly fit the bill; if I close my eyes and breathe deep, it takes me right back to Szeged.

Julie’s Chicken Paprikash
Serves 8

  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (I use breasts, thighs and drumsticks)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons sweet (as opposed to hot) Hungarian paprika
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth (I prefer low-sodium broth)
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
  • Optional: 1 Hungarian waxed pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced into rings (these can be hot, so be careful!)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley for garnish
  • Serve with buttered noodles or spaëtzle.

Directions:  

1. If using breasts, cut each in half for manageable pieces. Generously salt and pepper chicken.

2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Working in shifts, place chicken pieces in pan without crowding, skin side down, and cook until browned, about five minutes. Flip and cook other side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken pieces.

3. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot and lower heat to medium. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, for two or three minutes. Add in garlic and red pepper and sauté until all vegetables are softened, about five minutes. Stir in paprika and flour and stir constantly until mixture begins to stick to pan, about one minute. Stir in broth, whisking until smooth. Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil, then return chicken to the pot along with any accumulated juices.

4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. (Alternately, you can put the covered pot in a 350-degree oven to finish cooking the chicken, which frees up space on the stove for spaëtzle making!).

5. Remove chicken pieces to a cutting board; remove skin and bones. You can either shred chicken or leave it in large pieces. Reserve.

6. Remove stew pot from heat. Whisk sour cream or yogurt into stew liquid; add chicken back in and stir to combine. Serve over buttered noodles or spaëtzle and sprinkle with parsley.