Chicken Paprikash

BudgetGluten-FreeLow CarbPaprika

Chicken paprikash with chicken pieces, browned in butter, cooked with onions and paprika, then served with a little sour cream mixed in.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Chicken, onions, butter, stock, paprika, salt, sour cream. That’s about it, and all you need for one of the best dishes on the planet, chicken paprikash.

Uncomplicated. Unpretentious. So good you’ll be drinking the sauce!

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Cooks up quickly too. Serve it with noodles or dumplings (shown with spaetzle).

how to make chicken paprikash

We first posted a version of this recipe in 2006 and quickly learned that many people have a family favorite way of making chicken paprikash.

The dish is a tradition of Hungary (spelled there “paprikas”), though we are not claiming that our version is traditional. Some people add tomatoes and peppers, some a lot more paprika, or more or less sour cream.

Feel free to experiment with amounts to find what works best for your taste. And if you have a favorite way of preparing it, please let us know in the comments.

Chicken Paprikash Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

We like cooking chicken skin-on and bone-in, but this recipe will easily work with boneless, skinless chicken pieces as well, if that's what you prefer.

Paprika can go flat and tasteless if it is too old. So check your paprika first, before starting this dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds of chicken pieces, preferably thighs and legs
  • Salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds yellow onions, (about 2-3 large onions)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian
  • 1 teaspoon (or to taste), hot paprika or cayenne
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Method

1 Salt the chicken pieces well and let them sit at room temperature while you cut the onions. Slice the onions lengthwise (top to root).

2 Brown the chicken pieces: Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter. When the butter is hot, pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and place them skin-side down in the pan.

chicken pieces in pan browned chicken pieces in pan

Let the chicken pieces cook 4-5 minutes on one side, until well browned, then turn them over and let them cook 2-3 minutes on the other side. (Take care when turning so as not to tear the skin if any is sticking to the pan.)

Remove the chicken from the pan to a bowl, set aside.

3 Sauté the onions: Add the sliced onions to the sauté pan and cook them, stirring occasionally, scraping up the browned bits from the chicken, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.

cook onions for chicken paprikash

4 Add the paprika and some black pepper to the onions and stir to combine. Let cook for a minute.

add paprika to onions for chicken paprikash

5 Add the chicken broth, place chicken on onions, cover and cook: Add the chicken broth, again scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and then nestle the chicken pieces into the pan, on top of the onions.

add chicken to onions for chicken paprikash

Cover and cook on a low simmer for 20-25 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken pieces).

When the chicken is cooked through (165°F if you use a thermometer, or if the juices run clear, not pink when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a knife) remove the pan from the heat.

(If you want, you can also keep cooking the chicken until it begins to fall off the bone, which may take another 30 minutes or so.)

6 Remove chicken, stir in sour cream: When the chicken is done to your taste, remove the chicken from the pan. Allow the pan to cool for a minute and then slowly stir in the sour cream and add salt to taste.

If the sour cream cools the sauce too much, turn the heat back on just enough to warm it through. Add the chicken back to the pan and coat with the sauce.

add sour cream to chicken paprikash in pan

7 Serve: Serve with dumplings, rice, egg noodles or potatoes. (If cooking gluten-free, serve with rice, potatoes or gluten-free noodles or dumplings.)

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

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Links:

Chicken Paprikash with Traditional Hungarian Dumplings - from No Recipes

Pork Paprikash - from Meats, Roots and Leaves

Homemade spaetzle - from Deb of Smitten Kitchen

chicken paprikash

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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162 Comments / Reviews

No ImageChicken Paprikash

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Chrissie

    Delicious!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. loretta

    what is the side dish pictured?

    Show Replies (1)
  3. David

    I only made this because I bought some paprika on Amazon that was highly rated and I thought the paprika was impossible use (too smokey). One impressive positive review mentioned chicken paprikash. So here we are. The paprika is great and I have a new delicious, easy and quick to make recipe. I changed my rating on Amazon. Thanks Elise.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Maria

    Brown onions chopped small in crisco, not butter. Add one fourth of a tomato and piece of green pepper. Add about 2-4 til of Hungarian sweet paprika. Add chicken pieces and coat and let brown. Stir to get all chicken coated. Do not put sour cream as if you have leftovers, you can’t save in fridge. Curdles. When you make the little dumplings, known as “nokerli”. It sauce and chicken on top, then ad a bit of sour cream if you want. Delicious!!!

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Sabrina

    My husband requested chicken paprikash which so far in our relationship, only his mother has made (she is a really good cook with a Hungarian/German heritage so…) I followed what one of the review suggested and put 3 tbsp of Hungarian paprika instead of 2. I got distracted and forgot to put the sour cream But my husband LOVED IT! He said it was pretty close to his mom’s recipe when it comes to taste. Thanks so much for sharing, we will do it again!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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