Chicken Paprikash with dumplings and cucumber salad

Hungarian chicken paprikash recipe

Ildiko Mikos

Contributing writer

I am a first-generation Hungarian and have grown up eating Hungarian food my entire life. Now I share the many Hungarian recipes which I have learned with my family and friends. A traditional Hungarian dish and one of my favourites is Chicken Paprikas  You can expect to find this dish in almost every restaurant throughout Hungary.

At its essence, it is chicken braised in a delicious onion and paprika sauce. Typically skin-on, bone-in thighs and drumsticks are used which produces a more flavourful and thicker sauce and yields meat that is more tender and moist.

Chicken Paprikash with dumplings and cucumber salad

Two ingredients in this dish are staples in Hungarian cuisine: paprika and sour cream. Bright red, high-quality Hungarian paprika from either Szeged or Kalocsa is recommended. The spiciness of this dish can be adjusted from mild to hot, depending on the ratio of sweet paprika and hot paprika that you add. You are in control of the heat! The paprika is what gives this dish its beautiful deep red color.

Chicken Paprikas is traditionally served with small egg-drop dumplings similar to spaetzle and a chilled, vinegar-based cucumber salad.


  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1.5 kg chicken pieces, bone-in and skin-on 
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 Hungarian banana pepper, cut into slices
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping tbsps good-quality sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tbsp good-quality hot Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp ground caraway seeds
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 heaping tbsps sour cream
  • 1 heaping tbsp all-purpose flour


  1. 1
    Melt the butter in a dutch oven or casserole dish on a high heat. Wash and prep chicken pieces. Season chicken with salt. When butter is hot, sear the chicken pieces on both sides and then set them aside into a bowl.
  2. 2
    Once all chicken has been seared, place the onions into the remaining butter and fond. Sauté until translucent. Add the sliced peppers, the diced tomatoes, and the minced garlic. Sauté just a bit longer.
  3. 3
    Remove from heat and add the paprika and ground caraway seeds. Don't add the paprika over heat, because it will burn easily and then taste bitter. 
  4. 4
    Once the paprika is well mixed in, add a little chicken stock. Then place all of the seared chicken pieces into this mixture. Add more chicken stock to just shy of 'completely covering' all of the chicken. Turn heat to high.
  5. 5
    Bring to a boil, and then cover and reduce heat to low. Let chicken simmer on low for about 45 minutes, until looks done. Stir frequently to prevent sticking to bottom or burning.
  6. 6
    Once the chicken is done and looking as if it will soon 'fall off the bone', then remove the chicken pieces with tongs and place them into a baking dish.
  7. 7
    Turn the heat up to medium beneath the sauce. Mix 2 heaping tbsp of sour cream with 1 heaping tbsp of flour into a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk together until smooth. Temper the sour cream with a ladleful of the hot paprika sauce and whisk briskly together so that there are no clumps. Add this whisked mixture back to the sauce and let cook for a short while to allow time for the sauce to thicken. 
  8. 8
    At this point, many people add the chicken back to the sauce and consider the dish 'done.' However, I like a thick and smooth sauce without bits. So once the sauce has thickened somewhat, I turn the heat off and process the sauce through a food mill (one of my favourite kitchen tools). This creates a smooth, rich sauce. Then pour the sauce over your chicken pieces in the baking dish. 
  9. 9
    Serve immediately or heat up in the oven for later. Garnish with parsley sprigs and a dollop of sour cream immediately before serving. 

Tip : If you make this dish, then make a decent amount, as outlined in the recipe. Chicken Paprikas warms up nicely to be enjoyed again a few nights later. It also freezes well. Lastly, it can be deconstructed and used as filling for savoury Chicken Paprikas-filled crêpes, also known as Hortobagyi Crêpes. Bon Appetit, or as we say in Hungarian, Jó Étvágyat!

Share this article

Ildiko Mikos

Author - Ildiko Mikos

Ildi is an empty nester and physician who lives to eat, loves the arts, and works to travel! Born in Buffalo, New York, she's also a first-generation immigrant of Hungarian descent, married to a first-generation Greek. She travels frequently throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Last Updated 11 October 2022

The Hungarian town of Eger


Previously part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Hungary is a small country in Central Europe, best known for its capital, Budapest. Founded over a thousand years ago, Budapest is an elegant city, its skyline adorned with castles, palaces and spires, and its food and wine scene is among the best in Europe.