Hungarian Chicken with Paprika sauce and Noodles (and Vegetarian variation)
This is the perfect winter warmer, even though winter is almost over in this hemisphere, I tell you once you try this recipe it will be on rotation as a family favourite. I strongly recommend taking notes as is super flavourful and so easy to pull off so you could have dinner in 40 min, if you have a pressure cooker, even faster, this recipe can be suitable for slow cooker with a few twists.
I love all things hearty, and if it involves paprika and Hungarian flavours better yet, this is odd given my latin roots but turns out that my favourite restaurant growing up was The Bavarian, a small pub like restaurant that specialised in German and Hungarian cuisine, and there I was as a 9 year old, smashing Goulash soup with freshly baked Rye bread, followed by Ox tongue with wine sauce or Trio of Sausages with Sauerkraut and Potato salad, followed but Apple Strudel and ice cream, I know I know I was a weird kid, I was keen to try anything that would look delicious or gross as well, but I believe that thanks to that I grew to be the curious cook and person I am today, but enough about me, let’s dig in.
Chicken Paprikash is a popular Hungarian dish with some similarities to Goulash but a lot milder in flavour, it’s creamy and rich but at the same time so simple, I find it very humble, this dish let’s the main ingredient Hungarian Sweet Paprika shine, it takes quite a good amount of Paprika to achieve the distinct flavour and colour of Chicken Paprikash therefore the name suggesting the use of the spice.
To serve Chicken Paprikash I decided to go with the traditional Hungarian noodles Nokedli, which is a rustic kind of noodle also found in Germany made with flour, eggs, water and salt, and then enriched with butter, it sounds very simple but what is super challenging is the technique, which took me a few tries to get the hang of it, unfortunately I didn’t take a video this day so I will try to explain it as best as possible. Alternatively to nokedli you can serve Chicken Paprikash, with rice, noodles, tagliatelle, or even with your prefer alternative grain like quinoa or steamed buckwheat.
Tips to make Chicken Paprikash and Nokedli
- Pork Lard: This tells you that this recipe has definitely been around for many years, this is a technique used to give depth of flavour in many dishes, and if following the traditional way of doing Paprikash you should use Pork Lard which can be found in supermarkets as Pork Fat, if you rather skip this step you can use butter instead but don’t skip the stock please as this recipe is so simple these are the ingredients that will add dimension to this dish.
- Chicken: This is the main protein and traditionally the whole chicken was broken into pieces and use with bones and skin also to develop flavour, I used chicken marylands (whole chicken legs cause I love them). If preferred you can use thigh filets or breasts which will cook a faster than boned chicken,
- Hungarian Sweet Paprika: This ingredient is irreplaceable you need to use sweet paprika, as the main ingredient, I like to add as well smoke paprika but in order not to over powder the whole dish I only add a tbsp.
- Nokedli: There’s some dispute in regards to whether you use or not sour cream in the dough, I’ll leave it to you, however I found the addition of a small amount of sour cream gives some richness and acidity which contrast really good with the Paprikash. There’s several ways you can make these noodles, you can push the dough through a medium sized grater making it drop directly into the boiling water, pass through a potato ricer or the one I found easier, spread a thin layer of dough (about 2mm thick) in a rectangle no more than 4cm wide, on a wooden board and cut thin slices which you push to drop in the boiling water, keep the knife clean and give it a rinse in cold water every now and then so the dough doesn’t stick to the knife, you could also grease the knife so the dough slides off easily. The last one produces larger than traditional nokedli but it works, you can go smaller in size as well with this method. Either way you would need to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot and avoid the water temp to go to low so it stops boiling, cook the batches for 2 min until it rises to the top and then spoon out with a slotted spoon and reserve, after you finish all your batches add 1-2 tbsp of butter and toss to get a glossy finish.
- Vegetarian version: go completely protein free and make this dish vegetarian, as I did with my Pumpkin Paprikash, which I made for my daughter cause she is vegetarian and almost always I need prepare 2 versions of my dishes, if doing so: replace lard for butter or margarine, use vegetarian stock, to go full vego use coconut yogurt instead of sour cream which I also do for the chicken version when I want a dairy free version, and cook the pumpkin for less time than what stated for the chicken.
Chicken Paprikash and NokedliCourse: MainsCuisine: HungarianDifficulty: Medium
- Chicken Paprikash
2 tbsp pork lard (or butter)
1.5 Kg Chicken legs bone in and skin on (alternatively 1 Kg Chicken breast or Thigh fillets)
2 onions finely diced
4 garlic cloves minces
1 large red capsicum desseded finely diced
1 can of diced tomatoes drained (or 3 tomatoes deseeded finely diced)
1 tbsp of tomato paste
3 tbsp Sweet Paprika
1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
500 ml Chicken stock (home made preferable made with bones, and vegetables)*
2 tbsp of plain flour
250 ml sour cream (see notes for dairy free)
1 tbsp of salt (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper
Parsley finely minced
- Nokedli noodles
1 c plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp milk
1-2 tbsp butter
- Chicken Paprikash
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and pat with the plain flour to cover the chicken.
- In a pot melt the lard and sear the chicken until golden brown but not fully cooked.
- Take the chicken out of the pot and reserve.
- Add the onions and garlic and sweat until translucid, add the capsicum and cook for further 3 min, add the tomato paste and the drained / diced tomatoes, cook for further 5 min.
- Add the sweet and the smoked paprika and let bloom briefly to avoid scorching, deglaze with the chicken stock, bring to boil and return the chicken pieces to the pot.
- Let simmer for 20-30 min until chicken is cooked through and sauce has reduced, remove from heat and let cool a bit before stirring the sour cream and quickly incorporate.
- Serve with sprinkled parsley and nokedli noodles.
- Nokedli noodles
- In a bowl mix all the ingredients except for the butter to obtain a sticky dough.
- Bring a pot with water to boil.
- Using one of the methods mentioned in the tips above, form the noodles dropping them directly into the boiling water and cook in batches for 1-2 min after they float. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, and reserve covered.
- Serve warm with butter.
- If making this recipe in pressure cooker you will need to add less stock, fill until you just cover the chicken, the sauce may not thicken after the cycle finishes so you can leave the pot in sauté and reduce a bit further, if your chicken is ready take it out and continue reducing until a bit thick and saucy.
- Thanks to No recipes blog, for the Nokedli recipe and explanation, you can watch a video in their blog