Chicken Paprikash


She says:  A while back, I posted a recipe for Chicken Adobo.  We’re going to use a similar technique here.

Simply brown the chicken, skin side down, rendering as much of the fat as possible.  Add some aromatics.  Braise it all in a liquid (water or chicken broth — your choice).  Then, finish the sauce.  If you can make Chicken Adobo, you can make this — and vice versa!

For this recipe, I have a problem with the sauce breaking.  To keep things together and help the sauce to cling to the chicken, I use a tiny amount of xanthan gum.  I prefer xanthan in this particular recipe because it adds no taste, can be used at any temperature, and doesn’t dull the flavors or cloud the sauce.  It acts as a binding agent and emulsifier.  A little goes a long way.  1/4 teaspoon is all you need — any more than that and the dish will start to take on a weird mouthfeel.  If you can’t find xanthan or don’t want to use it, that’s fine too!  A quick cornstarch slurry should do the trick.

He says: Hung[a]ry? Rock the Paprikash-bah!

Nothing says that you HAVE to serve this entrée on an ornate platter emblazoned with arcane medieval Eastern European runes etched to ward off evil bland-food spirits (as pictured here)*, but on the other hand, do you really want to risk NOT serving it that way?

* OK, I’ve been informed by Ms. Legume that this platter has no actual magical powers, but is instead a popular Wendell August pattern. I countered that Wendell August might actually be a benevolent centuries-old wizard like Gandalf, but I was further informed by Ms. Legume that I should dial back the crazy talk before she’s forced to throw the net over me again.


Chicken Paprikash

Chicken Paprikash


  • 8 Bone-in chicken thighs, about 3 pounds
  • 2 large onions, sliced into half-moons (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup Hungarian paprika
  • 1 1/2 cup water or chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch or 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. Place chicken skin side down into a 12-inch non-stick skillet. Cook over medium low heat until skin is golden brown and fat has rendered, about 15 minutes.
  2. Move chicken to plate. Drain off all but 1 1/2 tablespoons of fat.
  3. Increase the heat to medium. Toss the onions into the skillet and cook until they begin to soften and brown on the edges, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add paprika to the onions and cook just until it starts to become fragrant.
  5. Stir in the chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  6. Nestle the chicken pieces into the skillet, skin side up. Tuck in the bay leaves. Cover with a lid. Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  7. Move chicken to serving platter, leaving onions and liquid in the skillet. Cover the chicken with foil to keep warm.
  8. If you're using cornstarch, make a slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Mix well, then add to the sauce remaining in the skillet, stir until thickened. If you're using xanthan gum instead of cornstarch, simply sprinkle it lightly over top of the sauce, stir until thickened.
  9. Take the skillet off the heat. Whisk in sour cream until combined.
  10. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle some parsley over top, and serve.


Feel free to use water instead of chicken broth in this recipe. We're using bone-in chicken, so it makes a sort of chicken stock as it's braising.

Quick fix: If you have leftover chicken sitting around in the fridge, chop it into chunks -- or even shred it. Instead of chicken fat (unless you have some in the freezer, too!), use butter or cooking oil to cook the onions and simply follow the rest of the recipe as-is. Serve over noodles!

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