Paprikás Csirke (Paprika Chicken)

3 Apr

paprikared peppercp2


Paprikás csirke (pronounced “paprikash cheerke”) is one of the most classic of Hungarian dishes. Named for the large amount of paprika that goes into the sauce, the paprikás method can also be applied to veal. In Hungary, this dish is usually eaten with galuska   (spaetzle), and a cucumber salad  with  a sweet-and-sour dressing is a perfect match to the peppery sauce.


What is Chicken Paprikash?

“Paprikash” comes from the Hungarian word for paprika, and describes a range of stew-like dishes made with meat, onions, lots of paprika, and sour cream. Tomatoes are not found in the authentic Hungarian dish, which gets all of its red-orange hue from paprika, but you will hardly find a paprikash anywhere in American that does not include tomatoes. Though chicken seems to have been the original meat used in paprikash, lamb, pork and especially veal are also used, and mushrooms make a good meat substitute for vegetarian versions. Traditionally, Chicken Paprikash is served with dumplings, but wide noodles have now become equally common.


The History of Chicken Paprikash

When 16th century explorers began sending new foods back from the Americas, it was as if a giant  cornucopia  had been emptied over Europe. Italy and  Spain made tomatoes a staple of their cuisine, potatoes found a home in northern Europe and Turkey began raising and exporting red peppers, which the Hungarians found a perfect match for their soil and, eventually, their cuisine. The peppers’ odyssey eventually lead to Hungarian paprika and Hungarian paprika lead to one of the world’s great peasant dishes –Chicken Paprikash.

Although it’s agreed that Chicken Praprikash is an authentic Hungarian dish that dates back several centuries, there are no precise details on when it entered the cuisine mainstream. , Chicken Paprikash originated among the farmers of southern Hungary. This rich, sunny agricultural district supplied the peppers from which paprika is made, and two towns in the region – Kalocsa and Szeged – are known for their excellent paprika. The fact that this originated as a chicken dish also argues for its farm origins . Paprikash, like coq au vin , is a dish designed to use up older, tougher birds past their prime – a protein source always available on farms.


. It starts by searing chicken thighs to extract flavor. Once removed from the pan, lots of onions and a little garlic are added to sweat and help release the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Chicken stock (or water) is added and the meat goes back in to simmer until tender. With the meat removed again, the onions get pureed and blended with a mixture of flour and sour cream that has been tempered with a bit of sauce. The result is a velvety rust-colored sauce, which is the key to creating this authentic homey dish.

Chicken paprikash wouldn’t be complete without nokedli, or spaetzle as it is known in German-speaking areas in Europe. The little pasta dumplings are made from a stiff dough of flour and eggs that is pressed through a grater or colander over a pot of boiling water to form little misshapen dumplings. You can also make them with a spaetzle maker. But another and more old-fashioned method would be to cut them by hand into thin stringy pieces, dropping them into boiling water as you go. If you’re making this dish, don’t leave out the nokedli, it just isn’t paprikash without it.



Paprikás Csirke



  • 2 Tbs olive  oil or lard
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 4 chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 1 can tomatoes,  – chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet  paprika (if that seems like too much, use four tablespoons instead)

  • Do not use the red powder that comes in the jar at the grocery store. Go  on , taste it ………tastes like… umm ?    …….um? …. red.
  • A refresher course on Paprika :
  • Product Details


    What’s the Difference? Paprika

    Hot, sweet, smoked, plain, Hungarian, Spanish – what are the differences between types of paprika? Paprika is a powder made from grinding the pods of various kinds of Capsicum annuum peppers. Used for flavor and color, it is the fourth most consumed spice in the world and often appears in spice mixes , rubs, marinades, stews, chilis, and as a garnish. Depending on the variety of pepper and how it is processed, the color can range from bright red to brown and the flavor from mild to spicy. Therefore, it is helpful to know the distinct qualities that each type of paprika can bring to a dish.• “Regular” or “plain” paprika

    Most of the paprika sold in grocery stores is simply labeled “paprika.” Its origins may be Hungarian, Californian, or South American, and it is sometimes mixed with other chiles like cayenne. This paprika tends to be neither sweet nor hot and is a suitable garnish for things like deviled eggs or wherever you want some color.

    Hungarian paprika

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    Paprika is considered the national spice of Hungary and it appears in the country’s most celebrated dish, goulash. Hungarian paprika is made from peppers that are harvested and then sorted, toasted, and blended to create different varieties. All Hungarian paprikas have some degree of rich, sweet red pepper flavor, but they range in pungency and heat. The eight grades of Hungarian paprika are különleges (“special quality”; mild and most vibrant red), csípősmentes csemege (delicate and mild), csemege paprika (similar to the previous but more pungent), csípős csemege (even more pungent), édesnemes (“noble sweet”; slightly pungent and bright red), félédes (semi-sweet with medium pungency), rózsa (mildly pungent and pale red), and erős (hottest and light brown to orange). In the US, what is marketed as Hungarian sweet paprika is usually the édesnemes variety.• Spanish paprika or pimentón


    Although generally less intense that Hungarian paprika, Spanish paprika can range from dulce (sweet and mild) to agridulce (bittersweet and medium hot) to picante (hot), depending on the type of peppers used (round or long), whether the seeds are removed, and how they are processed. In Spain’s La Vera region, farmers harvest and dry the chiles over wood fires, creating smoked paprika or pimentón de La Vera. Smoked paprika should be used in paella and dishes where you want a deep, woodsy flavor.If you have a recipe that calls for paprika without specifying which kind, you can usually get by with using Hungarian sweet paprika. But also consider what type of color, sweetness, pungency, or heat you’d like to add and experiment.

    So now you know  !!!

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic – smashed and minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbs flour
  • 2 Tbs heavy cream
  • Galuska, Hungarian egg dumplings, for serving (recipe follows).  Spaetzle, rice, egg noodles, or boiled potatoes would be decent alternatives.

Heat oil or lard in a Dutch oven over medium heat, then add onions.

Cook onions for about 20 minutes until just barely golden.

Turn OFF HEAT ( so paprika doesn’t burn and get bitter ) add Paprika ,  cayenne pepper , garlic ,  and 1/2 cup of water and tomatoes , salt ,  and stir well.

Stir in chicken pieces , making sure to cover them completely.

Cover and cook on simmer for 30 min.

Add sliced red pepper

Cook 10 more minutes.

Stir flour into sour cream – do a good job  – NO LUMPS

Remove chicken and stir sour cream into sauce.

Plate galuska or noodles , place chicken on top , pour sauce over chicken.


Eat and Enjoy !



Hungarian egg dumplings: Nokedli or Galuska


Same thing: yummy.



4 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1-1/4 cup water

Bring a large pot of liberally salted water to a boil.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, eggs, salt, oil, and water until a stiff, smooth batter forms.

Using a spatula, press the dough, a little at a time, through a grater or colander over the boiling water or

push the batter through a spaetzle plane propped on the pot, or use a spoon to tear off pieces of the batter and drop them into the water.

Keep stirring to make sure the dumplings don’t clump. Boil until they rise to the top, about 5 minutes. Drain and return to the pot. Toss with a drizzle of oil to prevent them sticking together.


you can use egg noodles    eggnood



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