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

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

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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 (at least 165° 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.

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. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Chicken Paprikash on Simply Recipes. 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

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If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

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.

More from Elise

115 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Susan

    So easy, and my husband–from whom I rarely get compliments (he expects my food to be really good)–told me how good it was three times! And my son, who says he hates onions, had seconds. My daughters were recently in Hungary and had brought me lots of paprika, so it was fresh and fragrant … yum!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Tracey

    Yum . This has become a favourite of mine. As I am only cooking for myself during the week and cooking for one can become expensive I like to find recipes that I can freeze and reheat.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Holly

    I’ve made this a dozen times. Making again tonight. So easy, so tasty, and I always have these ingredients on hand. Thank you for a satisfying meal to add to the rotation.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Andrea

    Really love this recipe! So simple and so tasty!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Kay

    Omg, this was SO GOOD. I had visited Budapest earlier this year and enjoyed this at a restaurant that was highly recommended. I forgot to add the sour cream, but didn’t even notice. Served on rotini noodles and it was excellent. Will definitely be making this again.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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Chicken Paprikash