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Chicken Paprikás
  -   Paprikás Csirke
5 main  
1-1/3 hrs  

A classic Hungarian paprikás stew, for which every cook and chef in Hungary has his or her own way of making it. This one is compiled from several authoritative sources, but with boneless chunks rather than whole joints (see Note-1)   Note:   The two listed accompaniments are considered essential with this dish.

Chicken meat (1)
Hungarian Pepper (3)  
Lard (2)
Paprika, Sweet (4)
Stock, Chicken
Flour (5)
Sour Cream
-- Serve With
Galuska (6)
Cucumber Salad (7)
Prep   -   (25 min)
  1. Cut CHICKEN into the size chunks appropriate for how you will be serving it (see Note-1). 1-1/2 inch or so is usually good for boneless meat.
  2. Chop ONION fine.
  3. Scald TOMATOES 1 minute in boiling water, then quench in cold water, peel and core. Cut in quarters lengthwise and slice crosswise about 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Use your propane torch to char the skin of the PEPPER and wipe it off under running water. This is to prevent annoying curls of skin in the sauce.
  5. Cap and core Pepper. Cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide and 1 inch long. Mix with Tomatoes.
  6. Let Sour Cream come to room temperature in a wide bowl.
Run   -   (1 hr)
  1. Heat Lard in a spacious sauté pan and fry Onion stirring until translucent.
  2. Stir in Chicken, tumbling frequently until all raw color is gone, any exuded liquid has evaporated and the chicken starts to fry. If using whole or half bone-in joints you will probably have to do this in batches - then transfer everything to a deep pot.
  3. Stir in Paprika, Salt, Tomato mix and Stock (stock should about half cover chicken). Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until chicken is tender, tumbling every now and then.
  4. Stir Flour (if used) thoroughly into the Sour Cream. Stir a couple tablespoons of the sauce from the chicken, then stir the Sour Cream mix into the chicken.
  5. Adjust liquid as needed to get a fairly loose sauce, but one that will coat the chicken. Check salt. If Flour was used it must simmer slowly another 5 minutes or so to remove the raw taste of the flour, otherwise, about 2 minutes.
  6. Serve hot. This is usually served with some chicken on a plate, some sauce poured over, Galuska on the side and Cucumber Salad in a separate bowl.
  1. Chicken:   Weight is skinless, boneless, preferably thigh/leg meat. Most recipes call for a whole chicken, which would be about 4 pounds, cut up into serving pieces. I find skinless, boneless easier to cook and much better for buffet service. It can also be more equitably divided at the family table. Skin-on may provide flavor from the skin, but I get my skin flavor from the stock, which is always made including the skins stripped off the thighs I use. Thigh and leg meat will give you better flavor and texture than breast meat.
  2. Lard:   Lard is the traditional frying medium in Hungary. The American Heart Association so villainized it Americans are afraid to use it, but it's not nearly as dangerous as the trans fats they told us to use instead. It has a better health profile than butter, and is now increasingly used by top chefs. For details see our Lard page. Some recipes call for Chicken Fat, which may also be traditional, but many recipes published in English call for butter, which is not traditional. Some recent recipes call for a mix of butter and oil, or just oil - not traditional but some may prefer this. Use Pure Olive Oil (not virgin), or, better, Avocado oil for richer flavor.
  3. Hungarian Pepper:   These are yellow-green peppers with no or nearly no heat. For details see our Hungarian Pepper page.
  4. Paprika:   Please, real Hungarian paprika, not that red sawdust flavored stuff they sell in the supermarkets. Real paprika has real flavor and a more intense red color.
  5. Flour:   The flour makes for more and thicker sauce, but less intense in flavor. Some recipes do not use flour.
  6. Galuska:   These are egg noodle dumplings which are very easy to make, and considered as an essential side dish for this recipe. These can be made ahead. See our recipe Hungarian Fresh Dumplings.
  7. Cucumber Salad:   A simple salad of thin sliced cucumbers with a very simple dressing, considered an essential side dish for this recipe. These can be made ahead. See our recipe Hungarian Cucumber Salad.
  8. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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