I think a lot of us are facing the same dilemma each night, after months of cooking for ourselves during the pandemic. Oh, we defiantly have our preferred old standbys; the quick pasta recipes, the healthier proteins with green salads when we’re feeling like taking care of ourselves, and the down & dirty comfort food recipes, when feeding the soul is more important than the calorie count. But, it can get a bit monotonous cooking every night. Sometimes, you have to shake it up a bit with a rich & savory recipe made for this time crunched world. Introducing one of my favorite weeknight meals: Delicious and Quick Chicken Paprikash!
Traditional versus Modern Chicken Paprika Recipes
My Hungarian-inspired chicken paprikash (Paprika Chicken) shows off the full bodied flavors of paprika and garlic, combined with bell peppers, shallots, sour cream, and savory chicken thighs. This variation is easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner, without losing the deep flavors you would expect of a dish simmered for hours.
Traditional Hungarian Chicken Paprikash recipes vary widely from one household to another. Some use sweet Hungarian paprika, others plain. Sometimes tomatoes are added, sometimes not. Alongside the chicken, the starchy side dish that accompanies the main dish span an equally wide gamut. My version takes smoked paprika – which is Spanish in origin – but in a way that replicates the comforting flavors of a traditional Hungarian paprikash.
Traditional flavors, made with modern methods
Many paprikash recipes start with a whole bird, and stew it for hours. The bone collagen becomes part of the sauce, and the underskin fats are rendered into a rich and comforting meal that takes a day in the kitchen – and is totally worth it once in a while. But what if it’s a busy Tuesday night and you’re craving this classic comfort food? My version uses boneless, skinless chicken thighs, dredged in a bit of seasoned flour, and seared quickly. After searing the chicken, we use the same pan to create a rich sauce with plenty of colorful bell peppers, shallots, garlic, and loads of smoked paprika. This is a smoky one-pan chicken paprika that feeds the senses! Every bite of this full-bodied dish of delicately spiced chicken thighs warms you from the inside!
What is the difference between smoked paprika and regular paprika?
Flavor! Interestingly, there are three very different families of paprika – sweet (Hungarian) paprika, Smoked, and Hot. The flavors run from mild, to faintly sweet, and smoky to downright spicy! A traditional Hungarian paprikash would usually use sweet paprika, and one with the stem and seeds of the dried chili removed before grinding. Although more expensive, it’s depth of flavor is so much better than the cheaper versions that grind the entire chili for sale.
Okay, so then why do you use smoked paprika instead of the traditional sweet paprika?
I used a Spanish smoked paprika in my recipe because I enjoy that umami smoky note, and it adds a lot of depth to this chicken paprikash. Slightly more spicy, and deep red in color, it’s a gorgeous addition to this savory one-skillet chicken recipe!
No matter which type of paprika you use, make sure to use a quality spice. I make sure my stash of paprika is no older than six months, or the flavors will be significantly muddier (i.e. bland and dull). I like to buy smaller quantities, but in the mid-to-high price point for my ground paprika. There is truly a difference in color and taste.
What do I serve as a side dish for smoked paprika chicken paprikash?
Starchy carbs are the way to go! Nokedli (Hungarian Spaetzle), potato dumplings, or a creamy mashed potato is an amazing accompaniment to this easy weeknight chicken dish! Serving the creamy sauce over buttered egg noodles, with just a sprinkle of fresh parsley, is delicious too!
Chicken Paprikash (Chicken Paprika) Recipe
2 pounds (about 6 thighs) boneless skinless chicken thighs
3 tablespoons of flour
1 1/2 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
ground black pepper
1 tablespoon + 3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3 large shallots, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup sour cream
freshly chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
mashed potatoes or buttered noodles for serving
For the Chicken
Gently pat dry the chicken thighs. Add the flour & 1/2 teaspoon of paprika to a plate. Stir.
Season both sides of the chicken with salt and black pepper, then dredge in the seasoned flour.
Reserve both the chicken and the leftover flour mix. We’ll be using it to make a roux in a moment
Preheat a large dutch oven or skillet, over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot.
Once heated and slightly foamy, start to sear your chicken in batches. We want to brown and almost cook the chicken completely. About 4 minutes on each side (about 6 per side would be fully cooked). Make sure not to burn the oil.
After completely cooked, place the chicken on a plate and reserve. Keep the oils in the pan for the next stage.
For the Sauce
Using the same dutch oven as you used to cook the chicken, add your minced garlic. Let cook while stirring, until fragrant. About 1 minute.
Next, add in the diced peppers & shallots with a heft inch of kosher salt. Stir and cook until slightly softened. About 5 minutes
Now, to make the roux:
Push the cooked vegetables to one side of the pot and add the 3 tablespoons of reserved butter. Heat until foamy.
Add the 3 tablespoons of flour and stir the flour/butter continuously. (Try to keep the veggies on one side of the pot, but don’t worry if a few escape!)
Cook the roux until it becomes a nutty brown. About 3 minutes.
Once light brown in color, mix the cooked veggies into the roux, and add the remainder of the paprika, along with 1/2 teaspoon of cumin. Mix.
Slowly add the chicken stock to this mix, while stirring until thickened.
Add the chicken back to the pot, along with 1/2 cup of sour cream while mixing. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer on low for 5 minutes.
Serve over noodles, mashed potatoes, or rice.
Garnish with fresh Italian parsley.
Delicious and Quick Chicken Paprikash!
- 2 pounds about 6 thighs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 3 tablespoons of flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika divided
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon + 3 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 3 large shallots minced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- freshly chopped Italian parsley for garnish
- mashed potatoes or buttered noodles for serving
FOR THE CHICKEN
- Gently pat dry the chicken thighs. Add the flour & 1/2 teaspoon of paprika to a plate. Stir.
- Season both sides of the chicken with salt and black pepper, then dredge in the seasoned flour.
- Reserve both the chicken and the leftover flour mix. We’ll be using it to make a roux in a moment
- Preheat a large dutch oven or skillet, over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot.
- Once heated and slightly foamy, start to sear your chicken in batches. We want to brown and almost cook the chicken completely. About four minutes on each side (about 6 per side would be fully cooked). Make sure not to burn the oil.
- After completely cooked, place the chicken on a plate and reserve. Keep the oils in the pan for the next stage.
FOR THE SAUCE
- Using the same dutch oven as you used to cook the chicken, add your minced garlic. Let cook while stirring, until fragrant. About a minute.
- Next, add in the diced peppers & shallots with a heft inch of kosher salt. Stir and cook until slightly softened. About five minutes
- Now, to make the roux:
- Push the cooked vegetables to one side of the pot and add the 3 tablespoons of reserved butter. Heat until foamy.
- Add the 3 tablespoons of flour and stir the flour/butter continuously. (Try to keep the veggies on one side of the pot, but don’t worry if a few escape!)
- Cook the roux until it becomes a nutty brown. About 3 minutes.
- Once light brown in color, mix the cooked veggies into the roux, and add the remainder of the paprika, along with 1/2 teaspoon of cumin. Mix.
- Gently add the chicken stock to this mix, while stirring until thickened.
- Add the chicken back to the pot, along with 1/2 cup of sour cream while mixing. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer on low for 5 minutes.
- Serve over noodles, mashed potatoes, or rice.
- Garnish with fresh Italian parsley.
Chicken Paprikash With Smoked Paprika by straighttothehipsbaby on Jumprope.
This dish brings me back at my Grandmother's kitchen. It is so full of flavour and aroma – I should definitely try it. Amazing presentation!
What a beautiful food memory! Thank you for sharing!
This looks………incredible. It's now on my list of things to make!
Also, may I make a suggestion? It would be super awesome if you had a 'print' button on your recipes so that users can have a recipe card type thing. Just a thought! Apologies if you have one and I'm just having a brain lapse.
Thank you! I hope you get a chance to make the Paprikash! Hmmm…. I will look into the print button option. Great idea!
Michele Peterson says
Spanish paprika is my latest obsession so thanks so much for this delish recipe!
It’s one of my favorite spices too!
Michal con delight says
Wow! what a beautiful dish! Thanks for sharing
Thank you! This is one of our favorites here and I’ve been tweaking this recipe for years!
This is my kind of dish and I can’t wait to make it!
Wonderful! Please let me know how it goes. Cheers!
Amanda Marie says
This really was fast and delicious! and my husband loved it!
Amazing! This makes me so happy to hear!
Really yummy and easy too. A weeknight winner!
Awesome! I am so glad you liked it!
Absolutely delicious dish and full of flavour! We served over noodles and what a fantastic dinner it made!
Egg noodles are the perfect side dish for the smoky paprika sauce! I’m so happy you liked the recipe!
I don’t think I’ve ever tried a Hungarian dish and I’m intrigued! This looks incredible and I can see this will be on my dinner rotation menu.
I think you’ll love it! It’s a variation on a classic Hungarian paprikash, but revamped for a quick meal.
Beautiful photography! The chicken looks delicious!
Thank you! My husband is the food photographer in our dynamic duo!
I love chicken and paprika is one of my favorite spices. Coming soon to my kitchen
I think you’re going to love this recipe then! Thank you for commenting!
I love recipes like this with tons of flavor and easy ingredients! This one is a winner in my family.
Thank you so much! This is such a great recipe for those crazy weeknight dinners, that brings all the flavor!
Looks delicious, I can’t wait to make this!
Emily Flint says
This sounds so amazing and I needed a good chicken dish for this weekend…and now I have found it! Thank you.
Thats so wonderful to hear! I hope you love it as much as we do!
Loved the rich sauce and smoked paprika flavour!
Yes! The smoky paprika creates such a rich sauce!
This was so delicious! My family really enjoyed it. Thanks!
Amazing! Thank you so much!
Diane Donovan Krawczynski says
Jessie, it takes a lot to impress my husband after 30 years of marriage! So, after watching you make your Chicken Paprikash on Mass Appeal I thought I’d make it for dinner one night… I even went out and bought some smoky paprika like you suggested! Well, tonight was the night and after just one bite, my husband smiled and his eyes lit up! Then, he chuckled between bites and said, “Wow! Now this is a keeper!” 😃 So, thank you, Jessie! 👏🤩😋
Diane, thank you so much for your amazing comment! You made my night! I am thrilled that you and your husband enjoyed my recipe. These flavors are so close to my heart and culture. I really appreciate it that you not only watched my segment and made the recipe, but also took the time to make this beautiful comment. Please let me know if I can help recommend any other dishes, and I know Mass Appeal would love to hear your thoughts as well! Cheers!
Made this for dinner, adapted gluten-free. It was so flavorful and delicious!! Thanks for the great recipe!
That’s so wonderful to hear! I would love to know what type of flour you used instead! Cheers