This chicken paprikash is a delicious and easy dinner. The Hungarian paprika sauce is so rich and smooth, it complements the tender chicken so well.
Today, I'll be showing you how to make a tasty Hungarian chicken paprikash recipe on the stove or instant pot. It is one of my favorite braised chicken recipes to make for any weeknight dinner.
What is Chicken Paprikash?
Chicken paprikash is also known as Paprikás Csirke in Hungarian. It's one of the most popular Hungarian dishes that is simple yet flavorful.
Hungarian Chicken Paprika is made of browned chicken that is slowly simmered in rich onion and paprika sauce, then finished up with creamy sour cream.
Paprikás Csirke is usually served with Nokedli (Hungarian dumplings), which is very similar to the German Spatzle.
Ingredients for Paprikash
In this recipe, I used basic ingredients for traditional paprikash. This chicken paprikash recipe is made without tomato, tomato products, or flour.
So here are the ingredients you'll need to make chicken paprikash:
Lard or Butter. I personally chose to use pork lard that I purchased from my local Ralphs/Kroger for $1.99 per pound. If you can't find the pork lard in your area, feel free to substitute it with butter.
Primary use: You are going to brown the chicken for about 3-4 minutes on each side in lard/butter.
Chicken. I use a combination of chicken thighs and drumsticks, skin-on and bone-in to add more flavor to the dish.
You can use 6-8 pieces depending on the size of your dutch oven.
Broth. I used a low sodium broth to add more depth of flavor to the dish. Water can be used as a substitution.
Paprika. Here's the star of the dish. To keep this chicken paprikash as authentic as possible, it's recommended to use Hungarian paprika, imported from Hungary.
Onion. You'll be using a lot of yellow onion. Onion adds layers of umami flavors and sweetness to the dish. It contains proteolytic enzymes that help tenderize meat.
How to Make Chicken Paprikash Recept
As I mentioned earlier, this chicken paprikash is not complicated. It takes a bit of patience due to a long-simmering time.
However, as soon as you put all of the ingredients in (except for the sour cream), you can just leave and come back later when the chicken is fully cooked.
Here are the important steps to follow.
1. Brown the Chicken
Browning the chicken not only improves the visual look of the final dish but will also help lock in the moisture and reduce the cooking time.
- Heat the lard or butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Season the chicken with salt and black pepper then cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Set the browned chicken aside.
Browning chicken needs to be done in batches. Do not overcrowd the pan to help prevent steaming. For 6-8 pieces of chicken, you may need to do it in a couple of batches.
2. Saute the Onion
Sauteeing the onions is an important step as it ensures the onions cook through. In addition, sauteeing the onions will help build layers of flavor and add color to the dish.
- In the same Dutch oven and using the same lard, cook the onions for 5-7 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the paprika and stir for a few seconds to prevent burning and a bitter flavor.
3. Braise the Chicken
Braising doesn't require a lot of liquid, but make sure that you have a fitted lid for your pot or Dutch oven to lock in the moisture.
- Put the browned chicken back into the pot.
- Add the chicken broth and cover the pot with a lid, then cook for 45 minutes on low heat or until the chicken is fully cooked.
4. Thicken the Sauce
Once the chicken is fully cooked, it's time to finish the sauce with sour cream.
- Remove the cooked chicken from the pot and transfer it to a plate.
- Add sour cream and stir until combined and hot throughout.
- Add the chicken back into the pot, and simmer until hot.
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Paprikash Step-by-Step
You can use 6-8 small chicken thighs or a combination of thighs and drumsticks.
Step 1. Season the chicken thighs and drumsticks with salt and black pepper.
Step 2. Heat the lard and brown the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each aside. Set them aside.
Step 3. Add the onion slices and cook until lightly browned for about 5-7 minutes. Add the paprika and stir for a few seconds.
Step 4. Deglaze the pan with a small amount of broth. Gently scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Step 5. Add the brown chicken back into the pot then add the remaining broth.
Step 6. Cook on the manual setting, high pressure for 12 minutes. Once the timer is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for five minutes. Turn the valve to release the remaining pressure.
Step 7. Open the lid then transfer the cooked chicken to a plate.
Step 8. Press the "Saute" button then add the sour cream into the pot. Stir until combined. Turn off the instant pot.
Step 9. Serve the sauce with cooked chicken, and dumplings.
FAQ and Cooking Tips for Paprika Chicken Recipe
Yes, you can use chicken thighs for paprikash and cook them for about 45 minutes.
If the sauce is too thin for your liking, you can bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the sauce is reduced before adding sour cream.
You can add a small amount of cayenne pepper at the end of the cooking to make your Hungarian paprikash spicier.
First, let the chicken paprikash cool down to room temperature, no longer than 2 hours or 1 hour If the temperature is above 90 °F. Transfer the leftover chicken paprikash to an airtight container. Properly stored, it can last 3-4 days in the fridge.
Since paprikash contains sour cream, I do not recommend freezing it because the sour cream separates during the freezing and thawing process. If you can't finish the dish within 3-4 days, you may want to divide the dish ahead of time and only add sour cream to the portion you'll eat. You can then freeze the remaining and add sour cream during reheating.
Check Out More Delicious Chicken Recipes
- Hainanese Chicken Rice
- Chicken Piccata
- Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Stir Fry
- Baked Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs
- Harissa Chicken
- Chicken Chasseur
- Chicken Shawarma
- French Tarragon Chicken
I hope you'll enjoy this recipe and share it with friends! If you try it and don’t mind, please leave me a comment and give this recipe a rating.
Easy Chicken Paprikash Recipe (Stove-top & Instant-Pot Instructions)
- a 3.5 qt - 4 qt braiser or dutch oven
- 6-8 pieces chicken legs and thighs, bone-in and skin-on, (2½-3 pounds), pat them dry with paper towels
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons pork lard or butter
- 1½ pounds sliced yellow onion, (about 2 large onions)
- 3 tablespoons Authentic Hungarian sweet paprika
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup sour cream
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and black pepper.
- Heat the lard in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Set them aside.
- Add onion slices and cook for 5-7 minutes on medium heat until lightly browned. Add the paprika and stir for a few seconds.
- Put the browned chicken back into the pot. Add the broth and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked on low heat.
- Transfer the cooked chicken from the pot to a plate. Add sour cream and stir until combined. Add the chicken back into the pot, and simmer just until hot. Adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper if needed. Serve with dumplings.
When does the paprika come into play? There's no mention of it at all in the recipe instructions
Thanks for pointing that out. I truly appreciate it. I just added the missing info in the recipe instructions.