The cuisine of Hungary differs from the rest of its Eastern European neighbors in its early and complete embrace of paprika. Hungary adopted the red peppers to its cuisine and made the dried and powdered capsicum a uniquely Hungarian spice. The Spaniards brought it back from Mexico in the 16th century. Where the Spanish smoked the dried peppers, the Hungarians dried them in the sun to create their famous sweet paprika.
Paprikash is considered a dish unique to Hungary, showcasing their loving embrace of sour cream and, of course, sweet paprika.
Paprikas Csirke – Hungarian Chicken Paprikash
- Large skillet with lid
- 4 lb Chicken, preferably Kosher (cut-up, whole legs, drumsticks and thighs, or just thighs with bones)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 1 large Yellow onion, diced
- 1 large Sweet red bell pepper, cleaned and diced
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp Hungarian paprika, sweet or hot
- 3 tbsp All-purpose flour
- 15 oz Can of diced tomatoes, drained
- 1½ cups Chicken broth
- ¾ cup Sour cream
- 1 lb Wide egg noodles, cooked to package instructions
- 2 tbsp Unsalted butter (for noodles)
- Prepare Chicken – Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil and 1 tbsp in a large pot or skillet over high heat. When butter begins to bubble, sear chicken in batches, skin-side down, until golden brown and crisp, 5-7 minutes. Repeat on other side. Remove to a plate skin-side up.
- Prepare Sauce Base – Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Pour out all but 2 tbsp chicken fat from the skillet. Turn heat to medium and cook the onion and bell pepper until translucent, about 5 minutes. Scape browned bits on the bottom while cooking. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add paprika and flour, and stir until mixture become fragrant and the flour taste has been cooked out, 4-5 minutes.
- Cook Dish – Add tomatoes and broth, whisk until smooth. Pour any collected juices from the cooked chicken, mix, and then add chicken pieces skin-side up. Place skillet in oven and cook until chicken has cooked through and sauce has thickened a little, approximately 25-30 minutes.
- Serve – Boil 1 lb egg noodles. When done and drained, mix in 2 tbsp butter. Place chicken pieces over noodles. Pour sour cream into the pan and whisk. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.