Chicken Paprikash was a dish that my husband Charles learned at an early age from his parents. Sadly they are no longer with us, but Charles and I had the privilege of travelling to Hungary on our honeymoon to visit his relatives and had quite the foodie adventure! Nobody spoke English, and the food was incredibly authentic (sometimes a bit too authentic for my taste but I tried to be brave!
Let’s just say that they don’t waste a single part of the animal there which I totally respect). One thing was clear: they are very proud of their food and heritage, and rightfully so.
I am so happy that Charles adopted his parent’s love of cooking, good quality food. Ingredients really matter, and I highly recommend sourcing some good quality Hungarian paprika, there is no comparison in taste. You will also need a special noodle maker (link here) for the Nokedli along with a good quality pot with a lid such as the Staub one I used in this recipe. Charles has been a huge inspiration to me in the kitchen, and cooking has always been such a shared passion. So, I owe this recipe to his beautiful parents and to my sweetheart, Charles.
- 6 bone-in chicken thighs
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 c. sour cream (plus extra for garnish)
- Wash the chicken and pat it dry with a paper towel. Remove the skin from 4 of the 6 chicken thighs (leaving the skin on during the cooking process adds a lot of flavour, you can take the skin off before serving should you wish).
- Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat (I used a Staub Cocotte, truly the best). Add the onion and cook until the onion is golden and fragrant, about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
- Add the paprika, stir and cook for 1 minute, then add the chicken and salt. Brown the chicken, skin side down for the thighs that still have the skin on them, for 3-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Add water to the pot until the chicken is just covered and lower the temperature to medium-low heat. Cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes, until the meat is tender.
- Remove 1 cup of broth from the pot and place it in a glass measure. Add the sour cream, mix well, and add to the pot. Turn the heat to low and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Season with additional salt if needed, to taste. Serve with Nokedli below.
Nokedli (Hungarian Noodles)
- 2 c. flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3/4 c. water
- Place your flour in a medium bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Add the eggs and the salt and stir with a wooden spoon until it is mixed. It will still look lumpy and the flour won’t be fully incorporated.
- Start adding water, 1/4 cup at a time, mixing with the wooden spoon and repeating adding more water until you have added all of the water and get the consistency of a wet pourable dough. Don’t beat it until smooth, it will still have lumps in it.
- Let the dough rest and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the Nokedli noodle grater over the pot of boiling water and, pouring small amounts of the dough into the box of the grater, move it back and forth until the dough has passed through. Repeat until all of the dough has been passed through the grater. You may need to use a wooden spoon to press any remaining dough through the grater.
- Remove the noodles from the water with a sieve once they all float to the top and place in a bowl with a teaspoon of oil or butter and stir to help avoid them sticking together.
- Serve each bowl with the noodles topped with the chicken and sauce and a dollop of sour cream for garnish. You can add a bit of chopped parsley for colour if you like (even though I got in trouble from Charles for doing so!).