Chicken Paprikas

I’m using the library to get a taste around the world! I love traveling and experiencing new things, especially yummy food.

I visited Budapest, Hungary two years ago and ordered the simple dish of Chicken Paprikas at a cafe, which is chicken in a paprika sauce. Sorely underused in the States, Hungarians prove that this spice is not just for deviled eggs.


Paprika might as well be the national spice of Hungary. It flavors many a dish and is even a common potato chip flavor (it’s fantastic, by the way). Chicken Paprikas is hearty comfort food with a punch of flavor depending on the paprika that you use.

I purchased some smoked paprika at the market and have added extra flair to some of my favorite dishes at home. I wanted to recreate the traditional Hungarian dish I had at that cafe, using The Paprikas Weiss Hungarian Cookbook by Edward Weiss with Ruth Buchan.


Chicken Paprikas

4 tablespoons butter

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

3/4 cup of cold water, divided

3 1/2 pounds of chicken (recipe calls for a whole chicken cut in pieces. I used drumsticks)

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped or 1 can crushed/diced potatoes

1 tablespoon of sweet or hot paprika. I used smoke paprika and used a little less

Salt and pepper to taste

Sour cream as a garnish


Heat butter in a skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of water. Cover the skillet and reduce heat as low as possible and steam the onion for an hour.* Add the chicken, pepper, tomato and paprika. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of water. Bring to medium heat and then cover and cook for 35 minutes, or until chicken in tender.

Serve the sour cream on the side. Serve the chicken with traditional Hungarian noodles or a cucumber salad.

*Steaming the onion for an hour is the only way to get maximum flavor from it. Since this dish is cooking for a short amount of time, it is recommended to steam it first. Add water if necessary so the onion won’t burn.


This dish earned rave reviews from the family. However, this was a little different than the one I had in Hungary. There it was served with a creamy sauce. To get that same effect, you could blend the onion/tomato/pepper mixture with the sour cream and serve over the chicken.


3 responses to “Chicken Paprikas

  1. This sounds delicious. I’m going to have to check out this book. I love paprika and agree that it’s underused in the US. I started putting a tsp of it into my cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese (a basic white sauce with grated cheddar) to give it a more robust color (my kids were young, my husband just out of college, and we were getting cheese commodities and the cheddar often wasn’t colored orange!) and it also added a nice flavor. Most of the paprika I find in Utah is pretty mild. But the smoked paprika, as you mentioned, has a bit more kick!

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