Chicken is probably my favorite protein because it’s so versatile. I recently stumbled on some recipes for paprikash, a Hungarian dish that I’d always assumed was pretty complicated and contained hard-to-find ingredients. Turned out I was wrong on both fronts so I decided I was definitely adding this one to the rotation. The day I decided to make it, I found that I already had everything I needed in the pantry, including two different kinds of paprika, smoked and “regular”. I’ve tried both, and I prefer using the smoked paprika for its distinctive flavor. Either will work for this dish. I’m told that genuine Hungarian paprika has quite a kick if you like a little heat, so if you can find it, try it and report back! I use cayenne pepper for spiciness here but omit it if you prefer. I like to serve paprikash with buttered noodles, but I think it would be great with white rice as well.
4 bone-in chicken thighs
1/3 cup flour
4 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small plum tomato, seeded and diced
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream
chopped fresh or dried parsley
dredging tray or shallow pan
1. Heat oil in skillet on medium high. Combine flour, 2 tablespoons paprika, salt, and pepper on dredging tray.
2. Dredge chicken thighs in seasoned flour, turn heat down to medium to avoid burning the spices, then brown on both sides in hot oil. Do not discard the seasoned flour at this point; you’ll use it later to thicken your sauce. Cook the chicken 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove from oil and set aside.
3. In the same pan, cook onions, tomatoes, cayenne pepper, and 2 tablespoons paprika on medium low heat until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
4. Add chicken thighs back to the pot, then add chicken stock, stir and cover. Simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through–approximately 30 minutes.
5. Remove chicken from skillet. Stir the reserved seasoned flour into the sour cream, add it to the sauce, then stir and simmer on low heat until thickened. Taste the sauce and add salt if necessary.
6. Return chicken to skillet, coat with sauce, and garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.
NOTES & TIPS
• You can use skinless thighs but don’t use boneless for this recipe. Chicken on the bone retains its juices better than boneless.