There's something special about creating traditions in the family. It can be something as simple as Taco Tuesday or Pizza Night. I love knowing that something I do or create might become a tradition when my children have their own families. This recipe for The Ultimate Chicken Paprikash is one of my favorite family traditions.
In my family we have a few recipes that are on repeat because we love them so much. This hearty and comforting dish is one of those recipes that regularly gets requested. Hearty and comforting, it's a dish that feels like a hug.
Starting a New Tradition
Chicken Paprikash is rooted in Hungarian culture and cuisine. It gets its name and gorgeous color from the use of paprika. Every family has their own variation. This is our version of The Ultimate Chicken Paprikash.
Many chicken paprikash recipes call for whole chickens broken down, or chicken quarters. These larger pieces require more time cooking. This recipe utilizes chicken thighs which not only cook up faster but also give richness to the sauce while remaining tender or moist. You can use either skinless or skin on thighs. It's completely up to you.
In addition to using chicken thighs in this recipe I also add tomatoes. While some recipes will have a little tomato paste, I am adding the sweet, fresh flavor of Tuttorosso San Marzano Style Chopped Tomatoes in Puree.
Keeping cans of Tuttorosso tomatoes on hand makes pulling family favorites like this together easy. The quality of their tomatoes makes me feel good about serving this dish to my family. Tuttorosso use's steam to preserve their tomatoes keeping them free of any artificial ingredients or preservatives while maintaining that just picked flavor.
I love that their products are non-GMO verified and that their cans are non-BPA lined. When you start with the best you know that flavor is going to shine through in your creations.
In addition to using the best tomatoes in this recipe, it's also important to check your spices. This holds true with all spices and recipes, but because paprika is such a component of your dish, the freshness matters. If you don't remember the last time you used it, it's time to replace it. If your paprika only comes out to add a little finishing flourish of color, it won't have the maximum flavor, and it won't be fresh. Always check the dates of your spices!
The Ultimate Chicken Paprikash, An Easy Comfort Classic
If you love dishes that simmer away, you will love how easy this paprika chicken is. It only takes a little chopping and a few steps before this hearty family favorite is served.
First, you want to make sure your chicken is dry before seasoning it, and the dutch oven is fully heated. We're searing the chicken first in this recipe and you achieve that with high heat. Especially if you're using skin on chicken thighs, you're looking for that beautiful golden color and crispy skin. If the pot isn't hot enough and if the chicken is still wet, you will steam the chicken as opposed to searing it.
Once you've seared your chicken breasts and set them aside, it's time to cook the onions and garlic. This won't take much time. You're simply cooking them until they're fragrant and translucent. Add your spices to the onion mixture. Letting the spices warm through and cook will deepen the color, wake up the flavor, and help them permeate every layer of the sauce.
To get up the fond, or all of the little brown bits left behind by searing the chicken and cooking your spices, you're going to deglaze with red wine. This will allow you to scrape up all of that flavor and help work it into the sauce.
After that, everything goes into the pot, including the seared chicken. Make sure to pour in any juice that have accumulated on the plate!
It's All About the Sauce
Now you simply cover the pot and put it in the oven. You want to make sure your chicken cooks to 165 degrees. An instant read thermometer is great for this. This is also a perfect time to get your water boiling for egg noodles. When you serve The Ultimate Chicken Paprikash, you want those comforting twists of egg noodles to capture every bite of sauce!
The finishing kiss of flavor in this dish comes from sour cream. To fully incorporate the sour cream into the sauce and make it luxurious, remove the chicken first. Add a little of the tomato based sauce to the sour cream and stir to combine. Pour the mixture back into the pot and mix. Add your chicken back to this glorious mixture. It's that easy. Dinner is served!
Are you looking for more dinner ideas? Make sure you check out my recipe for Maille Croque Monsieur.
The Ultimate Chicken Paprikash
- dutch oven
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 lbs chicken thighs, with or without the skin
- 1 onion, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup red wine
- 1 cup Tuttorosso San Marzano Style Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp sour cream or yogurt
- 12 oz egg noodles
- fresh parsley for serving
- Season chicken thighs with salt and black pepper.
- Heat a dutch oven or large skillet on medium heat. Add half of the olive oil into the pan.
- Add the chicken to the pan, skin side down, careful not to over crowd. Brown 6-8 minutes per side until the chicken is golden brown. Remove and set aside.
- Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic fragrant.
- Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Add the paprika, continuing to stir until the onions are coated in the paprika.
- Deglaze the pan with the red wine, making sure to scrape up all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the chopped tomatoes. Rinse the can with a little water and add to pan. Bring to a simmer.
- Add chicken back into the pan along with any juices, and the bay leaf.
- Finish cooking in a preheated oven at 350. The internal temperature of the chicken should read 165.
- While the chicken is cooking bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook egg noodles according to package directions and drain.
- Toss egg noodles with the remaining olive oil.
- Remove the chicken paprikash from the oven.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Take a ladle of sauce from the pan and combine with the sour cream or yogurt. Stir until it is smooth.
- Add back into the pan and stir to combine. Add the chicken back into the pan and top with parsley.
- Serve immediately over the egg noodles.