Hungarian Paprika Chicken

Back in 2008, I was still an unmarried woman. Engaged, yes. But not yet married. I had been cooking for a while but not consistently because Mom was the main cook at home. I had been tinkering around and was just discovering the massive world of foodblogs.

As I was browsing around, not really knowing what I was looking for, I spied on a recipe that said Hungarian Paprika Chicken. It immediately transported me back to this fancy restaurant I’d been to barely 3 times in my life but made an enormous impression in my young teenage mind. You see, my family is not big on dining in nice swanky restaurants. We were always very simple in terms of food and would generally go to stirfry places if we were to ever eat out, which was not very often.

When I first came across Strawberry Fields (now defunct), I was but a very young teen. Mom and I decided to walk in to try. I can’t express to you how grown up I felt. A small cozy Western restaurant with dim lights, proper wooden chairs, flower in the centre of the table with waiters that wore bowties! Western food was only eaten on very special occasions. I spied something called…. yes you guessed it… “Hungarian Paprika Chicken with Butter Rice” on the menu. I don’t know why I didn’t order chicken chop, or fish and chips. Maybe I was already an adventurous eater back then.

I didn’t know what paprika was. Nor did I know where Hungary is located (I was *ehem* ignorant). But I wanted Hungarian Paprika Chicken. And I was changed that day. That was positively the mostest deliciousest chicken and rice I’d ever had. And the next 2 times I was there, I ordered that very same thing. No, I didn’t want anything else. I only wanted THAT. When I went back some time after, the restaurant closed down and moved elsewhere. I was so disappointed.

And that was that. Until…. I saw that recipe. I think I remember my head spinning with excitement. I had to make it. I just had to! And I did. Many times. 🙂 Many yummy times. So I’m here sharing with you this very special memory of a very special dish that filled my young heart with such joy once upon a time.

Surprisingly easy, I used: a Whole Chicken, Onions, Fresh Tomato, Hungarian Paprika, Water, Yogurt, Salt & Pepper!Hungarian Paprika Chicken 1

There are several different kinds of paprika out there. This recipe is called Hungarian Paprika Chicken hence use Hungarian Paprika.Hungarian Paprika Chicken 2

I feel that the onions are a very crucial flavour component in this dish. They become very sweet after stewing, complementing the sweetness of the Hungarian Paprika. So don’t skimp on the onions, k?Hungarian Paprika Chicken 3

The original recipe called for rendered chicken fat. Since I was cooking a whole chicken with skin on, there was plenty of fat around already. But if you are a little more health conscious than I am, feel free to use chicken breast of skinless thighs with a bit of olive oil. I also feel searing the chicken pieces gives it a better flavour.
Hungarian Paprika Chicken 4

Look at all that fond! That’s flavour there. In the rendered chicken fat, I sautéed the chopped onions until soft and translucent. Brings out the sweetness.
Hungarian Paprika Chicken 5

Lovely lovely paprika. Check out the colour!
Hungarian Paprika Chicken 6

Once it’s all nice and mixed up, the tomatoes are added in. 
Hungarian Paprika Chicken 7

The reserved chicken went in after with a splash of water. And the stewing begins.
Hungarian Paprika Chicken 8

This cooked up pretty fast. If you want it redder, use some tomato paste or more paprika. This is fine for me.
Hungarian Paprika Chicken 9

Traditionally, this is eaten with a dollop of sour cream. I chose to drizzle some yogurt over because that was what I had.
Hungarian Paprika Chicken 10

It was just great over rice. I froze half of this for a future day. It was just as good as when we had it fresh. I’m never going to stop making this. Ever.

xoxoxo, Jayne

“I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” (2 Samuel 22:4)

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Hungarian Paprika Chicken
adapted from Joy the Baker
(serves 6)

1 whole free-range Chicken, chopped into 16 pieces (or bite size pieces)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 yellow Onions, chopped
2 Tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp Hungarian Paprika (more if preferred)
1/2 cup water (or broth)
1/2 tbsp flour stirred with 1 tbsp water
Salt & Pepper
Natural Yogurt or Sour Cream, for topping

  1. On a hot pan with olive oil, sear chicken pieces until fat is rendered and chicken is browned, about 2 minutes per side. Remove and reserve.
  2. Sauté onions in the rendered fat until translucent.
  3. Add paprika powder and stir in. Add tomatoes and stir well.
  4. Toss in reserved chicken pieces, 1 tsp salt and some pepper with water. Bring to boil then cover and leave it simmering until chicken is tender and sauce has reduced, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Once chicken is fully cooked through, crank up heat and stir in the flour-water slurry and let the sauce thicken, stirring constantly.
  6. Check for seasoning and dish it up.
  7. Serve with a drizzle of yogurt or dollop of sour cream. Best with rice or egg noodles.


  1. That is amazing. I spent the whole night looking at Hungarian recipes for next weeks menu at my pop up restaurant! Now you come up with this famous recipe! I like the step by step pics. Would recommend broad egg noodles tossed with sour cream (or yoghurt and a bit of melted butter) & poppy seeds.

    • Love that suggestion! I’ll definitely try this with some buttered, yogurt covered noodles when I make this again. Love the tang that yogurt gives to this dish.

  2. Oooow, looks so good. I’ve never had this, must try it. Thanks.

  3. I love your story here, and it sounds like your childhood was similar to mine because we generally ate at home, and we didn’t eat at fancy restaurants hardly ever. When we did, we went to the same places that were pretty generic… so I wasn’t exposed to different types of foods until I was older.

    This dish looks delightful, and I will certainly have to try it soon! I’ve never had Hungarian Paprika Chicken, but I know I will love it, especially since I’ve got a major love of all things onion-centric these days, and then adding chicken, paprika and tomatoes? I’m a happy girl. 🙂

    • Seems like we had quite similar childhoods. My mom prefers to cook, even now, rather than eating out. It’s good to have home cooked food. Only thing is we tend to have the same things so now that I’m all grown up, I get to select what to have in my own kitchen. It’s an adventure! 🙂


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