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PAPRIKÁS CSIRKE (Paprika Chicken)

Recipe taken from The International Table: Recipes from the Seattle Sister Cities


One of the most famous and beloved of all Hungarian dishes, paprikás csirke features tender chicken in an unforgettably rich, flavorful, and creamy paprika-infused sauce. Paprika —a chili powder made from a sweeter variety of pepper —is the backbone of Hungarian cuisine.


With relatively few ingredients in this dish, it is important to use those of the highest quality. And don’t be afraid to try frying the chicken in lard; its taste is unparalleled. Don’t forget the nokedli (Hungarian dumplings), an essential accompaniment. Serves 6–8.

 

INGREDIENTS

PAPRIK ÁS CSIRKE

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 lbs bone-in and skin-on chicken pieces (chicken thighs are preferred)

1 large onion, peeled and minced

1 ½ tsp salt

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 Tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika

1 Tbsp flour

1 tomato, chopped

1 Hungarian wax pepper*, sliced into rings

1/2 cup water ground black pepper

¼ cup sour cream, plus more for garnish if desired

NOKEDLI

2 eggs

½ tsp salt

¾ cup water

2 cups all purpose flour


*HUNGARIAN WAX PEPPERS are long peppers that are hot and sweet. They are easily confused with banana peppers but are considerably hotter. They are harvested when they are yellow; they turn red—and hotter—when ripe. Substitute with jalapeño, guajillo, or Fresno peppers.

 

PAPRIKÁS CSIRKE DIRECTIONS

Heat butter and oil in a pot, and brown the chicken pieces. Remove chicken and add the onions, sprinkle with half of the salt, and cook, covered, over very low heat until the onions are glossy, but not browned. Stir in the garlic and cook for a few minutes more.

Turn off the heat and stir in the paprika and flour. Cook for 3–4 minutes, stirring. Add the tomato and pepper and ½ cup water and mix.


Return the chicken pieces to the pot, skin side up. Sprinkle the remaining salt and the ground black pepper, to taste, on the chicken, cover and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes. Add water as necessary to keep the chicken cooking in a sauce.


Remove the chicken pieces to a serving platter. Add the sour cream to the paprika sauce, stir until blended, and pour over the chicken. Garnish with a spoonful of sour cream, if desired, and sprinkle with paprika.

NOKEDLI DIRECTIONS

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Whisk eggs, salt, and water together. Whisk in enough flour, a little at a time, to make a soft, sticky dough. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes. Whisk mixture again.


Using the side of a small spoon, drop a small amount of dough into the boiling water. The noodles are done when they float to the top. Scoop into a colander with a slotted spoon. Rinse with cold water.


To serve, reheat the noodles in a pan with some melted butter.