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Chicken Paprikash with Dumplings

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How to make Chicken Paprikash with Dumplings, one of the best traditional Hungarian or Romanian chicken dishes.

bowl and plate with chicken cooked in paprika and served with dumplings.

This chicken paprikash with dumplings or paprika chicken is one of the best traditional Hungarian meals. I mean, Hungarian cuisine is generally pretty awesome, but the chicken paprikash is even better than awesome.

This is also a typical Romanian recipe; I have been eating it all my life, and – at least in Transylvania – everybody cooks paprikash.

So, if you are in the mood for an authentic Eastern European treat, give this chicken paprikash with dumplings a try; you will love it!!!

Paprikash ingredients

listed ingredients for making chicken paprikash.

Chicken:

  • Bone-in chicken thighs and legs. I prefer them to be skinned, but that’s a personal choice.
  • If using quarters, divide the thighs and the drumsticks at the joint (See Expert Tips).
  • If using a whole chicken, cut it into pieces: thighs, drumsticks, breasts. I never use the wings for this dish; I save them together with the backbone and any other scraps for making chicken stock.

Chicken broth:

  • Homemade or your favorite brand, ensure it’s excellent quality; bad stock can ruin any dish.
  • We like this chicken broth (Amazon affiliate link).

Paprika powder:

  • Buy the best sweet Hungarian paprika powder you can get your hands on, it is really worth it, and it will really make a difference. The cheap paprika powder tastes only of dust (Amazon affiliate link).

Other ingredients: Sunflower, vegetable or olive oil, onion, and cornstarch.

Dumpling ingredients

flour, eggs, salt, yogurt on the table.
  • Eggs, sour cream or Greek yogurt, all-purpose flour, and fine sea salt (or Kosher).

How to make chicken paprikash?

  • The right pot: Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or another heavy-bottomed pot, large enough to hold all the chicken pieces in a single layer and to fit the dumplings at the end.
  • Cook onion: Chop it finely and cook it in the large skillet with a small pinch of salt for a few minutes or until golden (1). Add the sweet paprika powder and stir well to coat the onions (2).
collage of two pictures of frying onion and adding papika.
  • Place the meat in the pot and add the stock, only 300 ml/ 10 fl. oz/ 1 1/3 cups at the beginning (3).
  • Simmer: Cover the pot, lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  • Check and stir carefully from time to time and add the remaining stock if you think it is necessary. I usually add it; I love the sauce (4).
collage of two pictures of cooking skinless chicken legs and adding broth.

In the meantime, make the Hungarian Nokedli.

  • To thicken the sauce, stir the cornstarch with a bit of cold water to form a paste in a separate bowl. Make a little room in the middle of the pot and stir this paste into the cooking sauce while whisking all the time to avoid clumping.
  • Stir the sauce carefully and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes until it thickens slightly.

How to make the dumplings?

For detailed instructions on making this dumpling recipe, check out The Best Nokedli Recipe (Hungarian Dumplings). You can also serve nokedli with Hungarian Beef Goulash or with the Pörkölt Recipe (Pork Stew).

  • Whisk the eggs and sour cream (or yogurt/smetana) with a fork in a medium bowl.
  • Add salt and flour gradually while beating with the fork to mix the flour into the eggs. Depending on the size of your eggs, you might need one extra tablespoon of flour. Or 1/2 – 1 tablespoon less if your eggs are small. The batter should be pretty thick and slowly fall off the fork.
  • Cook dumplings: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add about ½ tablespoon salt to the boiling water. Turn the heat down. When the water only simmers, add the nokedli to the water using a teaspoon, which should only be half full with batter. Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes (5).
  • Drain well and add them to the chicken paprikash. Stir carefully to coat them with the sauce (6).
collage of two pictures of cooking flour dumplings in a pot and adding them to paprikash.

Expert Tips

If using chicken quarters, you will have to cut them at the joint. Here’s how to do it:

  • Take the thigh in one hand. Hold onto the drumstick with the other hand. Bend the leg against the joint so that it dislocates.
  • Use a good large knife and make sure to find the right spot where to cut. If you get the right spot, going through the joint will be very easy. If you encounter resistance, then you are not at the right place. Move the knife a few millimeters more to the right or the left, and try again.
  • Remove the skin.

Sour cream: Traditionally, you would add one tablespoon of sour cream (the Eastern European smetana, to be precise) to the finished dish. I never do because my grandma never did. You can if you like, the slightly sour note cuts a little through the richness of the dish. However, I stick to my original; I like it so much that nothing could improve it for me.

The skin: I recommend removing the skin from the chicken because I wouldn’t say I like eating the skin when it’s cooked in much sauce – it becomes floppy and unappetizing. However, that’s a personal choice; you can leave it on if you like.

hungarian paprikash with nokedli in a vintage bowl.

Recipe FAQ

What is paprikash?

One of the best-known, most delicious Hungarian dishes. A chicken stew made with the best Hungarian paprika and served with nokedli – Hungarian flour dumplings. Today’s recipe is the Romanian paprikash version cooked by the Hungarians living in Transylvania, Romania.

What paprika should I use?

I strongly recommend using imported Hungarian sweet paprika, the best you can afford. The quality of the paprika really makes a difference. And make sure it’s sweet paprika, not hot, and not smoked.

Can I use chicken breasts?

Theoretically, yes, but I don’t recommend it. The dish is traditionally made with chicken thighs and legs; they will remain juicy and have more flavor. Chicken breast tends to be dry in this kind of dish.
If you use chicken breast, reduce the cooking time.

How to store and reheat?

Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Reheat on the stovetop.

How to serve?

I always serve chicken paprikash with dumplings and pickled vegetables on the side; I grew up eating it this way, childhood, comfort food at its best. I can’t even bear thinking about any other side dishes.

BUT! That doesn’t mean that other side dishes won’t be excellent. Enjoy the Hungarian paprikash with spätzle or other egg noodles, with other homemade dumplings, pasta, mashed potatoes, or noodles.

Make a side dish of roasted vegetables or a salad. Our favorite pickles to serve with the chicken paprikash and dumplings are Pickled Green Tomatoes or sour cucumbers.

vintage bowl with romanian paprikash with dumplings and chicken legs.

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large pot with chicken paprikash with dumplings

pot of hungarian chicken with dumplings.

Chicken Paprikash with Dumplings

How to make Chicken Paprikash with Dumplings, one of the best traditional Hungarian or Romanian chicken dishes.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Poultry
Cuisine: Hungarian, Romanian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Calories: 752kcal
Author: Adina

Equipment

  • Large Dutch oven or another heavy-bottomed pot
  • Large pot for cooking the dumplings

Ingredients 

Chicken Paprikash:

  • 4 chicken thighs Note 1
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon oil Note 2
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika powder Note 3
  • 1 ⅓– 1 ½ cups chicken stock 300 – 350 ml/ 10-12 fl.oz Note 4
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • a small bunch of parsley

Dumplings:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream Note 5
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 180 g all-purpose flour + or - 1 tablespoon 6.5 oz/ 1 ½ cups Note 6
  • ½ tablespoon fine sea salt for the boiling water

Instructions

Chicken paprikash:

  • Remove the skin from the chicken thighs and legs (Note 6). Chop the onion finely.
  • Cook onions: Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot, large enough to hold all the chicken parts. Cook the chopped onion for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Add the sweet paprika powder and stir well to coat the onions.
  • Simmer: Place the chicken parts in the pot and add the chicken stock, only 1 1/3 cup/ 300 ml at the beginning. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  • Check and stir carefully from time to time. Add the remaining stock if you think it is necessary. I usually do add it; I love the sauce.
  • In the meantime, prepare the dumplings (See below).
  • Thicken paprikash: Stir the cornstarch with a bit of water to form a smooth paste. Make a little room in the middle of the pot and stir the paste into the sauce while whisking all the time to avoid clumping. Stir carefully and cook for 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
  • Drain the nokedli well and add them to the chicken paprikash. Stir carefully to coat them with the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Dumplings (Nokedli):

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add ½ tablespoon salt to the boiling water. Turn the heat down and let it come to a simmer.
    In the meantime, make the nokedli.
  • Beat the eggs and the sour cream with a fork in a medium bowl.
  • Add the salt and slowly start adding the flour while beating with the fork until the mixture is smooth.
    Depending on the size of your eggs, you might need one extra tablespoon of flour. Or 1/2 - 1 tablespoon less if your eggs are small. The batter should be pretty thick and slowly fall off the fork.
  • Simmer: Add the dumplings to the water using a teaspoon, which should only be half full of batter. Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Drain well before adding them to the chicken paprikash.

Notes

  1. You can use chicken quarters which you will have to cut in two parts at the joint (See Expert Tips). Or you can make the paprikash with a whole medium chicken divided into 8 parts (save the wings and the backbone for making chicken stock).
  2. Traditionally, sunflower oil, but the choice of oil is not crucial. Use whatever you have.
  3. Use the best quality authentic Hungarian sweet paprika.
  4. Homemade or a good quality brand.
  5. Traditionally, you would use smetana, but sour cream or Greek yogurt is fine.
    I recommend weighing the flour with a digital kitchen scale; it’s about balancing the dry and wet ingredients.
  6. Removing the skin is optional, but I prefer it.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the dish | Calories: 752kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 75g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 285mg | Sodium: 872mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @adinabeck or tag #WhereIsMySpoon!
 

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Recipe Rating




Judith Horvath

Tuesday 5th of February 2019

I am Hungarian on both sides, and Paprikas Csirke is a much beloved standard in any Hungarian kitchen. It was my late father's favorite! However, we always had finely chopped tomatoes and green peppers in the sauce. Horvath Judit

Adina

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

It is a great dish, Judith. Adding tomatoes and green peppers sounds delicious!

Elizabeth V Killinger

Monday 17th of September 2018

Have you ever added bell peppers (green plus any other colors you want) and tomatoes? So good!

Claudine

Sunday 1st of April 2018

Very similar to the Goulash and dumplings my Mother and Grandmother taught me to cook, the only difference is that we add tomato and capsicum to the sauce for extra flavour.

allie

Thursday 16th of November 2017

Hi Adina - I have all the ingredients for this flavorful dish on hand. Looks SO good. Comfort food at its' finest. I am so glad you are preserving this recipe from your grandma and the dumplings from Georgiana. I bet your kids love it when you make this dish. Mmmm. I hope all is well with you and your family, the weather is just turning colder here, later than usual. I can't believe it is almost Thanksgiving here! XO

Monica

Wednesday 15th of November 2017

This looks so good and seems pretty easy to put together. I am totally craving hearty dishes, stews, roasted meats and things right now. This would make a wonderful dinner with the family.