Easy Chicken Paprikas (Paprikash)
Chicken Paprikás (Paprikás Csirke) is a hearty, comforting meal that's both economical and delicious. Roasting boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the oven while you make the gravy speeds the preparation, making this easy version of a classic a nice choice for a weeknight meal. We serve this dish with buttered egg noodles or Hungarian Noodle Dumplings, but mashed potatoes go nicely too.
Easy Chicken Paprikas (Paprikash)
- 1-1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 to 3 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika (see notes)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup sour cream
- 8 ounces egg noodles
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 425°F and put a pot of salted water on to boil for the noodles.
Trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs and season both sides with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a shallow baking pan, dust with a little paprika and roast, turning once, until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F, 16 to 20 minutes.
While the chicken cooks, heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 2 minutes. Add the garlic and celery and continue cooking just until the garlic is fragrant, 1 minute longer. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with 2 to 3 teaspoons of paprika (the quantity will depend on personal taste and the flavor and freshness of the paprika you're using).
Add the flour and continue cooking, stirring often, until the mixture is smooth and well blended, 4 to 5 minutes.
Note: Even though the flour may appear blended sooner, it's important to continue cooking it for those few minutes to avoid a "raw" flour flavor and grainy texture.
Increase the heat to medium high and stir in the chicken broth, a little at a time, cooking until the mixture begins to thicken slightly.
Place the sour cream in a small bowl and whisk in 2 or 3 tablespoons of the warm pan sauce. Add the mixture to the pan, stirring until smooth and creamy.
Once the chicken is done, add it to the sauce and, using tongs, turn several times to coat. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Cook the egg noodles according to package directions, drain and add the remaining tablespoon of butter along with the chopped parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, plate a portion of noodles, top with chicken and spoon additional gravy over top.
Makes 4 servings
You can certainly use any brand of sweet paprika in this recipe, but we recommend using a Hungarian brand if you can get it. Szeged Sweet Hungarian Paprika can be found on the spice aisle of many supermarkets and we think it has a sweet, robust flavor that's perfect for this dish.
If you have some extra time, try serving this with our version of Hungarian Noodle Dumplings (Nokedli - photo below), a side dish similar to German spaetzle.
Special Note: Recipes such as this vary from family to family and region to region, and they continue to evolve as they are passed down through the generations, often depending on changes in personal tastes, access to ingredients and sometimes even dietary restrictions. We welcome constructive feedback about recipe variations and family traditions, but insulting, purely contradictory comments will not be published.