Hungarian Chicken Paprika (Paprikás Csirke)

I remember visiting Budapest in Hungary to see a friend of mine and her mother organised a special welcome meal for my arrival.  The main course was chicken paprika or as the Hungarians call it paprikás csirke.  Since then, this just conjurs up happy memories of Hungary.

Such a wonderful intensity of flavour and the sour cream at the end just finishes this dish off and transforms it.  It is spicy without being hot like a curry.  It is a great dish for entertaining because you can leave it in the oven until just before you are ready to serve.  I used bone in chicken but it is probably healthier with chicken breasts, although possibly has less flavour.  You could of course also substitute half fat sour cream if you wish.

(serves 4)

  • Approx 1.3 kg chicken quartered or 500 g of chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 dessert spoonful of plain flour
  • 2 good pinches of cayenne pepper
  • 1 heaped tbsp paprika (preferably Hungarian)
  • 400-450 g tin chopped, peeled tomatoes
  • 150 ml chicken stock
  • 1 pepper, de-seeded and cut in a small strips
  • 150 ml soured cream
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C, gas mark 3, 325 F
  2. Start by heating a little oil in a frying pan and gently frying the chicken joints (breasts) until a golden color.Then use a draining spoon to transfer them to a casserole. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In the oil left in a pan fry the onions for about 5 minutes then add the chopped garlic and fry for aboout another 5 minutes until both the onions and garlic are nicely softened. Now stir in the flour, cayenne pepper, and paprika, with wooden spoon, to soak up the juices. Add the tomatoes and stir them a little, then add the stock.
  4. Once the sauce is simmering, pour over the chicken in the casserole, put a lid on and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. After that stir in the chopped pepper, replace the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes.
  5. Just before serving spoon the soured cream all over, mixing it in just to give a marbled effect, then sprinkle with a little more paprika.

I served this with some:

Tumeric and Chilli Rice


  • 300g dried rice
  • 1 teaspoons of tumeric
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 teaspoon of dried chillis


  1. Cook rice in water which has tumeric, vegetable stock cube and chillis added to it.
  2. Cook to taste, drain and serve

Tip: if you have saffron, you can use this instead of tumeric.   Use just a few stands.

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