Monday, November 05, 2012

Rippin' Another Blog: Paprikás Csirke (Chicken Paprikash)

The Lowdown:

Paprikás Csirke is a delicious (traditional?) Hungarian dish. It's silky smooth, creamy texture and mildly sweet, aromatic flavour is quite a formidable foe against blandness. It is simple to make, yet has a complex, heart warming flavour, that defeats even the most severe cases of the winter blues.

I'm not sure what Hungary's climate is like, but I can discern from their cooking style that it must be cold a lot. Seriously, all of my favourite cold weather comfort foods seem to be from that general region. This dish, which I've cooked periodically throughout my life, is no exception. Every winter I find myself craving the satisfaction that it provides -- savoury, aromatic, and comforting. Throw in a side of brussel sprouts, winter squash, or sauteed cabbage and you're in for a night of comfort. Seriously, bust out those paint covered sweat pants (that you always promise your significant other you'll throw out one day) because you'll need them to reach the maximum comfort level. While you're at it, light a fire and dust off that old copy of Home Alone. Despite my best efforts, I can't stress enough how comforting this dish is.

I'm not sure if I should be proud or ashamed. I went into my spice cupboard and noticed that I have four types of paprika. It is just one of those spices that I always find myself using. The "fake" stuff for adding colour to dishes or garnishing. The hot, smoked variety for adding a bit of zip and aroma to dishes. The rest, for various uses as I see fit. With the mercury dropping at a steady rate, I'm sure I'll have no problem making dishes that require paprika; after all, I always find myself craving these sorts of dishes around this time of year.

I've never used a recipe to make this dish; however, it is hard to write a post when there is no recipe to follow. So today, for the first time, I am following a recipe (sorta, kinda). The Domestic Man has provided me with said recipe. This also fits perfectly into our latest scheme. No, not taking over the world... the other one: rippin' another blog.

The Playlist:

3 Chicken breasts, bone in
1 Onion, finely chopped
4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp Goose fat*
2 tbsp Hungarian paprika (sweet)
1 tsp Marjoram, dried
2 cups Chicken broth
1/2 cup White wine (optional)
1 cup Sour cream
Water, to cover chicken
Pepper, to coat chicken

* Any form of lard can be substituted for this (after reading other sites and blogs, butter is not an acceptable replacement).

The Skinny:

  1. Debone the chicken breasts, then generously cover chicken with fresh, fine cracked pepper.
  2. In large skillet: heat goose fat on medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and brown the side with the skin (the skin should be crisped up). Brown the other side of the chicken, as well as, the onions and garlic.
  3. Move the chicken and onions to the side and put the paprika into the spare portion of the skillet. Cook the paprika for 30 seconds then add the chicken broth, water, white wine, and marjoram. Cover tightly and simmer for an hour. If your lid does not perfectly fit the skillet, place a sheet of wax paper between the lid and the skillet to ensure that steam doesn't escape.
  4. Remove chicken and cut into the desired size. While chicken is out of the skillet you can simmer, on high, the liquid until it reaches the desired consistency (I prefer mine to be quite brothy, as opposed to stew-like).
  5. Reduce the heat and mix a few tbsp of the liquid into the sour cream until there are no clumps, then put the sour cream mixture and the chicken into the skillet.
  6. Serve on spetzle, egg noodles, or rice.


Featured on: 33 Shades of Green, Premeditated Leftovers, Chef in Training, Food Renegade

Stay Rad -h


  1. this looks fabulous haydn! why didn't you ever make this for me??

    p.s. i also have many varieties of paprika. i like the smokey kind the best.

    1. I gave you the opportunity to make it in Toronto... a great gift if you ask me.


  2. This looks amazingly delicious!
    I would love to have you share this or any other recipe of yours at Wednesday Extravaganza - my Foodie Link Party with the chance to get a lifetime feature on my Wall of Fame! Here is the link:

    Can't wait to see you there!

  3. Your Chicken Paprikash looks and sounds really wonderful. I like the idea of using the goose fat. I've used it for roast potatoes before but never for meat. I really like the spices in this classic dish as well.

    1. I may start buying geese just for the fat. It seems to make everything a touch better. Hope you get to try this recipe out during the cold months.