After many, many requests, I'm excited to be sharing what is my second favorite Hungarian dish of all time. I really love making anything Hungarian, since the recipes tend to be simple and easy to make, as well as comforting and delicious, and the names are never not fun to say. Top with extra sour cream and freshly sliced chives on top.

Recipe Summary

10 mins
1 hr 25 mins
1 hr 35 mins
8 servings


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Season chicken generously on both sides with salt. Heat olive oil in a heavy, deep-sided pan (that comes with a lid) over high heat and brown the chicken well, skin-side down, about 5 minutes; flip and continue to sear until other side is browned, 3 to 4 minutes more. Turn off heat. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate and reserve until needed; spoon out excess chicken fat if desired.

  • Add onions and a pinch of salt to the same pan and saute over medium until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, and flour and cook, stirring, another 3 to 4 minutes to form a tomato roux. Stir in 1 teaspoon kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, smoked paprika, and sweet paprika and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer over high heat.

  • Reduce heat to medium-low and transfer chicken and accumulated juices back into the pan. Baste the tops with the sauce, cover the pan with the lid, and simmer, basting occasionally with the sauce, until the chicken is no longer pink in the centers and is fork-tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove the chicken and transfer to a plate.

  • Skim some fat off the top of the sauce if desired. Whisk heavy cream and sour cream into the sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Transfer the chicken and any juices back into the sauce. Simmer, uncovered, basting often, until chicken is heated through and very tender, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Chef's Notes:

Use full-fat sour cream for this. Regular vegetable oil will work instead of olive to brown the chicken--traditionally lard is used, so if you have some, use it.

Any chicken parts will work for this dish. If you're using a whole chicken, use bones to make broth.

Nutrition Facts

353 calories; protein 24.4g; carbohydrates 8.2g; fat 24.8g; cholesterol 99.8mg; sodium 406mg. Full Nutrition


Rating: 5 stars
I made this last night, exactly as written, and it was awesome! Everyone loved it! I had never had a paprikash before, so I didn't have anything to compare it to, but since it was Chef John's, I can be certain it was one of the best examples :]! I am currently on the keto diet, so I had to have it without the pasta/dumplings. I tried to do cauliflower rice, but I don't think it was the right match LOL...ended up just eating the chicken and sauce by itself. I regret having it this way. After trying the sauce, I realized this one would have totally been worth cheating on my diet for lol! I can't wait to do it right next time :D. Thanks, Chef John! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I made this last weekend and used 10 thighs instead of 8. Had to thin the sauce a little bit but it was every bit as good as he said it would be. Even the young kids loved it. It is on the rotation in our house now. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This recipe looked so interesting. I am on a Chef John Facebook fan page and many had made this. I followed the recipe exactly and it did not disappoint. At first I wondered if the sauce would be too paprika-y, but the longer it simmered, the more delicious it was. I served the chicken over buttered noodles and both my husband and I loved it. Another Chef John keeper. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Another hit from Chef John! I made it exactly as he did... but I didn't remove the chicken fat... and I was glad I didn't. It was delicious! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I’d like to begin with a guest review from my fiancé, who couldn’t stop talking about this dish: “the chicken was amazing. It fell off the bone and had a ton of flavor, and the sauce was also incredible. Overall, a very satisfying and interesting dish. This recipe has to be given the highest possible marks.” My thoughts and notes: Made this with the cast iron. I only had 6 chicken thighs but did not otherwise scale the recipe, so there was plenty of sauce for the accompanying pasta that I made with the dish. The sauce had a medium spice with the Hungarian paprika and was nice and creamy, kind of like a curry. I did not skim any fat off of the top of the dish, which is obviously unhealthy, but I’m cool with that. Finally, I didn’t have chives on hand but would include them next time as a nice garnish. Otherwise, I don’t think I would change anything. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was fantastic!! I’ve never had this dish before and I really loved it, super comforting without being too heavy. I burnt the onions but I’m pretty sure that was my fault ?? still very tasty! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Pretty great classic dish. Can’t go wrong with chef John. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I opted to finish it in the oven in a lidded Dutch oven. Amazing! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was fantastic. I followed the recipe. I don’t normally skim the oil but there is a ton of fat by the end. I skimmed some, and wished I would have skimmed more. It was still delicious. Served with egg noodles and I felt like it was perfectly paired. It reminded me of a chicken stroganoff with a ton of paprika. That’s why I think mushrooms could be a substitute for the onions or an addition. Read More