What’s for Dinner? I’m Hungary. Chicken Paprikash

by Sarah on September 26, 2010

Ba dum bum!

And so ends my short career in comedy.

So listen.  It’s time for the Project Food Blogs’ 2nd challenge.  The task at hand involves classic dishes from other cultures, cultures that we-the bloggers/cooks-aren’t as familiar with.  Another part of my immediate challenge was to feed my cousin, who doesn’t eat red meat.  So using chicken was my starting point.  I definitely wanted to use a whole chicken, or chicken pieces, rather than boring old boneless chicken breasts that I think my darling cousin eats on a far-too-regular basis.

Also, when I think “classic recipe”, particularly from other cultures, my brain conjures up pictures of old yellowing Gourmet magazines, The New York Times International Cookbook, and those oldies-but-goodies, the Time-Life ‘Foods of the World’ cookbooks from the 60’s.  And my brain doesn’t have to wander far to conjure up those images, since my cookbook shelves contain all of the above.

(these informational and beautifully photographed books also came with accompanying spiral books that contained all the recipes)

It was a time that home cooks were getting back into the kitchen and peoples’ palates were expanding beyond instant potato flakes and TV dinners to include cuisines from around the world–Duck a l’orange, Indian curries, fondue, Chinese cuisine….and ‘paprika chicken’ from Hungary.  I love reading stories of these American home cooks’ culinary awakenings and liken them to Nana’s own forays into the kitchen.  It is thus that we pay homage to one of Hungary’s Classic Dishes–what was known to 60’s America as ‘Chicken Paprikash’, aka Paprikáscsirke.

Easy to find ingredients–just make sure you purchase imported Hungarian sweet paprika!

Like most braised dishes, first we’ll season and then dredge our chicken parts in a light dusting of flour.  These chicken pieces have had their skins removed.

Over medium-high heat, brown the chicken in batches, making sure not to crowd the pan.  Just turn it once.  It should only take a few minutes.

Remove the chicken to a plate and add the vegetables and paprika.  Cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.

Return the chicken to the pan and add 3 cups of chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot for about 15 minutes so that the chicken can finish cooking.

So while the chicken is doing it’s thing….add 2 big Tbsp flour to a small (1 cup) container of sour cream.  Stir in a ladle full of the sauce and stir to combine.  Add the sour cream mixture to the pot of chicken and mix thoroughly.

The sauce will thicken and become a light orange.

Now, you COULD serve this over rice, or you COULD serve it over buttered noodles….but if you want to go really authentic, you’ll want to make your own dumplings, called nokedly.  And they’re so darn easy, why wouldn’t you make them?  All you need is flour, water, salt and eggs.

Like any dough, make a well with the flour and salt and pour in the eggs and water.  Stir it around so that a dough forms.  Knead it for a minute so that it’s smooth.

In a pot of boiling salted water, drop in bits of dough and let cook for about 6 minutes.  You can make these in advance–just rinse them in cold water, put them in a bowl and cover with a damp paper towel.

When you’re ready to serve, reheat the nokedly with butter and a small handful of chopped parsley.

Place the dumplings in a bowl and place the chicken on top.  Ladle some of the sauce over.  You can serve more sauce on the side, if you like.


Looks good enough to eat, doesn’t it?  Hearty, rich and full of flavor, this is a perfect dish to welcome back Autumn and the cooler weather that comes with it.

So get cooking!  You can thank me later.


Chicken Paprikash

6 lbs chicken parts, or a whole chicken cut up, skins removed

2 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 small sweet peppers, minced

4 oz. canned chopped tomato, drained

4 Tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika

3 cups chicken stock

1 cup sour cream

3 Tbsp flour + some for dredging

kosher salt, pepper

vegetable oil


Season chicken with salt and pepper, and dredge in flour.  Shake off extra flour.  Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 3 Tbsp vegetable oil and brown the chicken pieces, turning once.  Cook chicken in batches, taking care not to crowd the pan.  Remove chicken to a platter when finished and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium.  Add onion, peppers, garlic and tomato to Dutch oven.  Add paprika and 1 Tbsp salt.  Stir and let cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

Return the chicken to the pot and cover with stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

While chicken is cooking, mix 3 Tbsp flour with the sour cream.  When the chicken is cooked, add a ladle full of the sauce to the sour cream mixture and mix thoroughly, then add to the Dutch oven.  Stir to combine.  The sauce will thicken and turn a light orange color.

Serve over rice, buttered noodles or nokedly dumplings (recipe follows).


Nokedly (Hungarian Dumplings)

4 cups flour

2 eggs

1 cup water (more if needed)

2 tsp kosher salt

Butter, chopped parsley


Whisk salt and flour together in a large bowl.  Form a well in the center of the flour and crack eggs into the well.  Pour in water, then stir to combine.  A dough will form.  Knead for one minute, or until the dough is smooth.

Boil a  pot of salted water.  Tear off small walnut-sized pieces of dough and drop into the boiling water.  Let cook for about 6 minutes, or until cooked through.

If cooking in advance, rinse with cold water and cover with a damp paper towel.

To serve with Chicken Paprikash:  Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add about 4 Tbsp butter, melt, then add the nokedly to the pan.  Heat through.  Add a handful of chopped parsley and toss to combine.

Serve with Chicken Paprikash and sauce.


And don’t forget!  Voting for the Project Food Blog Challenge #2 begins tomorrow!

6AM Pacific Time September 27th through 6PM Pacific Time September 30th.

Don’t worry, I’ll give you a reminder.

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