International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Paprikás Csirke

Paprikas csirke Hungarian paprika chicken

(Hungarian chicken paprikash)

Average: 3.8 (55 votes)

Paprikás csirke, or "paprika chicken," is one Hungary's most famous dishes. Chicken is simmered in a paprika-flavored sauce until tender and sour cream is stirred into the sauce to enrich it.

Chicken paprikash, as it is often called, is served with buttered noodles, csipetke or zsemlegombóc. For best results, use genuine, high-quality Hungarian paprika, not the typical bland supermarket variety.

4 to 6 servings


  • Oil, butter or lard -- 2 tablespoons
  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces -- 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
  • Onions, thinly sliced -- 2
  • Hungarian sweet paprika -- 1/4 cup
  • Flour -- 2 tablespoons
  • Stock or water -- 1 1/2 cups
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Sour cream -- 1 cup
  • Lemon juice (optional) -- 1 tablespoon


  1. Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or skillet. Add the chicken pieces a few at a time and brown on all sides. Remove to a platter.
  2. Remove any excess oil leaving about 2 tablespoons and add the onions. Saute the onions until wilted and just beginning to brown. Stir in the paprika and flour and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the stock or water, breaking up any lumps. Add the browned chicken pieces and the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  4. Remove the chicken to a platter and skim any excess fat from the sauce. Stir in the sour cream and lemon juice if using. Adjust seasoning and reheat over low flame. Return the chicken to the sauce and serve hot.

Chicken Paprikash Variations

  • Some recipes call for green peppers to be added with the onions. Others call for tomatoes or mushrooms to be added with the stock.
  • Use a little hot paprika along with the sweet to add a little spice to the dish.
  • Use boneless, skinless chicken breast for a lower fat version.
  • Some recipes have the flour stirred into the sour cream and then whisked in and simmered at the end to thicken the sauce. Others add no flour at all. I think the version above works best.


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