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Csirke Paprikás

Second on the list of most recognizable Hungarian dishes has to be Csirke Paprikás. It’s got all the key ingredients required to make a Hungarian dish. Hungarian wax peppers? Yes. Onions? Yes. Sour Cream? Yes. Paprika? YES! When hosting our wedding celebration in Hungary last fall, our meal of choice to provide our guests was csirke paprikás. We made it in a bogrács (or cauldron) over a fire for hours and served it hot over a bed of nokdeli (or dumplings). Well, last night for my birthday, we recreated this dish exactly like that. In our backyard, in a bogrács, over a fire. It was perfection. This is a dish everyone should add to their rotation. It’s easy and quantities can be played with and adjusted as you see fit. Another notch in the Hungarian recipe belt, Csirke Paprikás!


  • 6-8 Chicken Thighs (note, you can use any chicken for this, including bone-in)

  • 2 Onions

  • 2 Hungarian Wax Peppers (for authenticity, but cubanelle or green bell is fine)

  • 3 Cloves Garlic

  • Csemege (Can be bought at most European deli’s, but you can use tomato paste instead)

  • 2 tbsp. Paprika

  • Salt

  • 1 tbsp. Flour

  • Sour Cream (your preference on amount)

  • Oil

  • 1 Hot Pepper (optional, if you want to spice it up)


Coat the bottom of a pot with olive oil. Once hot, add your onions, salt well and cook until translucent. Add the peppers and cook until soft.

Add the paprika. You can use spicy or sweet, whichever you prefer. I will say though, if you have paprika that is labelled ‘spicy’ she’s going to be spicy, so taste it before you add!

Next, add the chicken. Naturally, the chicken will begin to release water. Keep an eye on it for about 10-15 minutes before determining if you need to add water. You most likely don’t.

Once the chicken has changed colour on the outside, add the garlic and csemege. Note: Csemege is essentially just tomato paste that also includes onions, peppers and paprika. So you could use regular tomato paste and get a similar result because you add all 3 other ingredients already. Since I always have csemege, I’m going to use that. You can usually buy it at most European Deli’s and all Hungarian Deli’s. (*can provide exact locations in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area).

Once your chicken is fully cooked, give your paprikás a taste and see if you need to adjust any seasoning. If not, mix a tablespoon of flour into your sour cream and add it to your paprikás. The flour helps to thicken the liquid and give you the ‘szaftos’ consistency you want. It also helps if you’ve added too much water.

Serve on your nokedli with a side of pickled something. DELISH!

Apologies for the photo, the next time I make this, it will be more beautiful. PROMISE!


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