Chicken Paprika (Paprikás Csirke)

"This is a simple old Hungarian dish. It's easy to make and requires no special cooking skills. I use smoked paprika, but ordinary paprika powder was what was used. For the sour cream, I also like using crème fraîche. But no matter: taste, and adjust things to your taste. The paprika is the mild, sweet type and the dish is inoffensive in all ways! A pleasant dish which suits all tastes! I DO recommend using bone-in, skin-on chicken, because the taste is simple better. Best made a day in advance because the flavour improves on standing, but also suitable for tonight's meal! 14.2.09: I've added in the metric measurement and simplified the steps. If you use the right size tablespoon and cup, the sauce should be a perfect consistency, thick and creamy."
photo by Zurie photo by Zurie
photo by Zurie
photo by Baby Kato photo by Baby Kato
photo by Baby Kato photo by Baby Kato
photo by Andi Longmeadow Farm photo by Andi Longmeadow Farm
photo by Zurie photo by Zurie
Ready In:


  • 3 lbs chicken, cut into pieces, with bone and skin (1.5kg)
  • oil (for frying)
  • 1 onion, medium, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons paprika, sweet not hot, fresh quality (45 ml)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (250 ml) or 1 cup stock (250 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons flour (30ml)
  • 1 cup sour cream (250 ml) or 1 cup creme fraiche (250 ml)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper


  • Trim the chicken pieces of excess fat and flaps of skin, cut it up, and offer it to your carnivorous garden birds.
  • Using a deep frying pan or suitable pot, heat a film of oil. Fry the chopped onion, garlic and chicken pieces until the chicken is half-cooked on all sides. No need to brown them.
  • A very large, deep pot will spare you the agony of those oil spatters and the extra effort of cooking in batches. Use a long-handled wooden spoon to turn the chicken a few time.
  • While chicken pieces fry, measure the broth or stock into a cup (a metric cup is slightly larger than a US cup). Stir the paprika into the stock.
  • Add the paprika stock to the chicken, turn heat low, put on lid, and cook for about 30 minutes, until chicken pieces are cooked through and tender.
  • During this time, scrape the sour cream into a mixing bowl. Add the flour. Whisk the flour into the cream with a wire whisk, until smooth. (Usually sour cream is quite thick).
  • Remove the chicken pieces to a deep serving dish, and pull the pot with paprika sauce off the heat.
  • Spoon the sour cream mixture into the paprika sauce in the pot, put back on the heat, and stir with wire whisk until it comes to the boil and thickens. It should be quite thick and smooth, as in the photographs.
  • Now you have to taste: unless your stock was very salty the sauce will need salt. Add to your taste. You could add pepper, but I skip that.
  • Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces.
  • Cover with foil and leave in a warming oven until dinner time (or serve -- whichever suits you). Or cool, cover and refrigerate until the next day.
  • Best served with rice.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This is absolutely wonderful - so delicious and very quick and easy to prepare. I have made this maybe a hundred times over the years, and my family never tires of it. If I could contribute just a few small tweaks: do use a large onion, and slice it so it remains in rings. If you sprinkle the chicken with some flour seasoned with black or white pepper before browning it will definitely enhance the flavour. So that the chicken doesn't stew and boil before it browns, you may want to use a large open frying pan, not crowding it too much. Add the garlic to the pan just before the chicken is finished so the garlic doesn't brown too much and get bitter. For convenience I like to throw in a whole can of purchased chicken broth and an equal quantity of sour cream because my family really loves the gravy. And you can very comfortably increase the amount of chicken to your own requirement without compromising the integrity of this fantastic dish. Whether you choose the regular paprika or the smoked Hungarian type, make sure it is fresh because it really does make a world of difference. If you plan to make this ahead of time, I have found that it's much better not to add the sour cream until the chicken is reheated first. This will maintain the smooth creaminess of the gravy, as will not boiling it after adding the sour cream. This is such a scrumptious dish, and the completed dish is a magnificent colour that is so appealing. I made this as a very novice cook for my first dinner party 30 years ago, serving it over noodles on my fanciest platter and what a winner it was then, and what a winner it remains today. Thank you very very much for sharing this wonderful recipe.
  2. My son and I made this dish this snowy evening. I used boneless, skinless chicken cause it's what I had. My son liked his with a lot of pepper. We had it with rice and it was a nice compliment to the chicken and the sauce. Thank you Zuri for sharing. Next time I will use chicken on the bone with the skin :)
  3. This dish is so hearty and will really warm you up in the winter. The recipe is simple and requires ingredients that you probably have laying around. In addition, it's easy to make it healthier by substituting skinless chicken and low fat sour cream- none of the taste is sacrificed! I've also found that using smoked paprika adds to the flavor. This is a comforting, flavorful, and easy recipe that you will revisit as the air cools and fall turns into winter.
  4. Wow! So easy, and very good! Since I was just making it for myself, I bought a Cornish hen and cut that up. Basically divided the recipe by 1/3. (the gram equivalents helped a lot!) Used shallots and didn't reduce the garlic :) Also used Mexican table cream. Oh! And smoked paprika. I have another hen just waiting.
  5. While I thought this was a tasty and easy-to-make dish, hubby did not like it at all. I used boneless skinless chicken breast, so I'm sure that made the dish more bland than it would have been with skin-on or bone-in chicken. The flavor is otherwise pretty bland. I used more garlic than the recipe called for (because I like it) but could have used even more. I also put in quite a lot of pepper. It could have taken even more easily. If I make this again, I might try smoked paprika, but it will have to be a time when hubby isn't around. (He requested that I don't make this again.)


  1. This was very good and very easy to make. I used 2 chicken thighs instead of breasts. It has a nice flavor. I only had 1 1/2 tbsp of paprika but it was still good. I had it with my Recipe #240456. It was a great combination. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks sister gypsy for sharing your recipe. Made for ZWT 4 Eastern Europe and the Cafe ZMAKK Gypsies.


I'm a widow, retired, and I love cooking. I live on the coast in South Africa and I love seafood. You're welcome to my recipes (all kinds, definitely not just seafood!) Just remember that no recipe is ever cast in stone -- adjust to your taste! The photo was taken at a rustic seaside restaurant on our West Coast, approx 1 year ago (2016).
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