Chicken paprikash is a popular dish of Hungarian origin and one of the most famous dishes common to Hungarian tables. This recipe has me super nostalgic sitting in my best (friend) Babi Lichtenstein’s kitchen. Us Lichtenstein kids sat there many weeknights amid the truly indescribable wafting smells of this homely dish.
It is the scent of happiness, the ultimate soul food.
Both my grandparents were Hungarian, hence the love for heimish Hungarian food. My grandmothers were from Munkatch and Ungvar, while my grandfathers were from Erlo and Eupest. Talk about the best generation of people!! Every time I make it I channel my inner Hungarian.
The Spanish Rice does have a little kick to it. If hot and spicy isn’t for you, definitely use the Original Rice Pilaf or the Toasted Almond, which are my favorites. Or, you know, switch it up for any of the Near East rice flavors you like best.
Generally, one pan chicken and rice recipes start on the stove top. You first sear the chicken and render out the fat to get it ultra crispy, but nobody has time for another dirty pan. I always use bone in chicken thighs and keep the skin on for a juicier chicken. The best part of this recipe is that the chicken takes the same length of time to cook in the oven as the rice. Yep. That’s a winner winner chicken dinner to me
Chicken Paprikash and Nokedli aka “Paprikás Csirke”
- for the Chicken Paprikash
8 tablespoons olive oil
5 large onions, diced
7 cloves garlic, peeled
2 heaping tablespoons paprika, plus more for a richer color
½ tsp White pepper, optional, to taste
6-8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
¾ – 1 cup chicken broth or cold water
Splash dry red wine
- for the Nokedli
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
- To make the chicken paprikash, in a large heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until almost translucent. Add the paprika and stir to combine, 2 – 3 minutes. Cook until the onions are cooked through, stirring almost continuously. Mix in the white pepper, if using.
- Nestle the chicken skin-side down and sprinkle with additional paprika. Let it brown for about three minutes, add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, the chicken broth or water, and wine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 2 – 2 1/2 hours until the chicken is falling off the bone. Add more water and salt if needed.
- To make the nokedli, bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine the eggs, salt, and ¾ cup water, beating well with a fork. Add flour a little at a time. Use only enough flour to make a soft, sticky dough. Let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes. Cut the dough using a Spaetzle maker or a spoon. Drop in the boiling water. The nokedli are ready when they float to the top.
- Adding the paprika early in the cooking process intensifies the smoky-sweet, robust flavor.
- I recommend bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs because it adds more flavor to the sauce and keeps the chicken moist and juicy.
- Traditionally, Nokedli are shaped similarly to German Spaetzle. You put the dough on a wet wooden board and then use the back of a knife or a spoon to cut the dough into tiny dumplings. To make it easier, I opt for this Spaetzle maker.