Chicken Paprikash (Paprikás Csirke)

Chicken Paprikash is a famous Hungarian dish, known for its mellow flavor, mild sweetness, and tender chicken. Some might consider it a stew, and I’m not arguing that fact – honestly, it really doesn’t matter. This stuff just tastes good. This dish is commonly served with egg noodles or spätzle-like dumplings. I thought that my roasted parsnips would be a good substitution, and it worked; their crispy outside and slight-spongy inside were perfectly paired with the chicken’s creamy sauce.

Today’s recipe is somewhat of a joint venture with my friends Melissa and Nicole from I love the concept of their site: they make a large batch of one dish in advance, and then freeze portions of it in their clever little “mealpods” for easy reheating. It allows them to eat healthy, regardless of how busy and frantic life gets. The only adjustment needed with my recipe to make it mealpod-friendly is to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of bone-in thighs/drumsticks. I sent them this recipe a few weeks ago and they made a version of their own; it turned out great!

You’ll Need:
1.5 lbs bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks (or six boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
1 large onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp butter or lard
2 tbsp Pride of Szeged Sweet Hungarian Paprika
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup sour cream

My paprika-based taste buds aren’t as finely tuned as I’d like them to be, but many people (especially Hungarians) swear by Pride of Szeged Sweet Hungarian Paprika, and that’s good enough for me. It’s definitely sweet, mild, and pleasantly aromatic.

Slice the onion and pepper into large pieces, like in the picture above. Set aside.

Gently rinse the chicken pieces with cold water, pat dry, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Warm the butter in a large pan on medium/high heat for about five minutes. Add the chicken parts and brown for about six minutes per side.

Once they are well-browned, set the pieces aside.

Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onion slices. Sauté for five minutes, stirring often, until the onions are softened. Add the pepper slices and sauté for another three minutes.

Add the marjoram, chicken broth, white wine, and half of the paprika, and stir everything together. Add the chicken pieces, moving the onions/pepper to make room for the chicken. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for one hour (45 minutes if you’re using boneless, skinless chicken thighs).

Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with tin foil. Raise the pan’s heat to medium and bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Stir in the remaining paprika and the sour cream until everything is well-mixed; be sure to temper the sour cream by adding some of the sauce to it before adding it all to the pan. Tempering will make sure the sour cream doesn’t curdle.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately with parsnip “dumplings”. If you’re making mealpods, simply put one chicken thigh, some sauce, and some parsnips in each pod.

14 thoughts on “Chicken Paprikash (Paprikás Csirke)

  1. Looks really nice.

    But as a hungarian, I just have to say it: nobody in Hungary makes this recipe with butter.
    The only acceptable fat for any paprikás, pörkölt or gulyás is lard.


  2. Looking forward to it! My husband is Hungarian and the last poster is right. No butter. Grandma would use oil, Grandpa would say lard. I’m going to try bacon fat and see how that’s received. I love the little noodles Grandma uses but eating paleo we’ll try the parsnips.


  3. Gotta agree as I’m Hungarian and have been making this for years and eating it courtesy of my grandma, who is a stellar cook :) No butter, definitely oil. My gram’s recipe doesn’t use marjoram but caraway seeds instead. Adding a tomato is always nice. Love the parsnip idea!! But nothing replaces those yummy and oh so non-paleo dumplings from scratch. :)


  4. I made this chicken paprikash the other day and it was delicious! I used all bone-in thighs, added mushrooms and extra red pepper, and decreased the wine (I used more chicken broth instead) and served it over rice noodles. My mom always made it with tomatoes and I’m allergic to them now, so I’m grateful to find a recipe that doesn’t include tomatoes! I will definitely make this again! Thank you!!!


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