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Cooking with Paprika: Paprikás Csirke (Paprika Chicken)

By Judy Monroe
August/September 1995
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Serves 4 to 6

This mildly pungent dish ranks as one of Hungary’s classics, although variations abound. For a traditional meal, serve with wide egg noodles, steamed new potatoes, and crisp-tender green beans.

• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegetable oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 3- to 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into serving pieces
• 1 green pepper, seeded and sliced in long strips
• 1 medium tomato, chopped
• 2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 3/4 cup water
• 1 cup sour cream

1. In a large skillet, melt the butter or oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden. Add the chicken and cook, turning, until lightly browned on all sides. Add the pepper strips and tomato. Sprinkle with the paprika, salt, and pepper. Add 1/2 cup water, cover, and simmer over low heat 40 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken is tender, adding more water if needed to keep the food from sticking. Remove the chicken to a serving plate and keep warm. Skim the fat from the pan juices. Add the sour cream and combine quickly but gently over low heat. Do not boil.

2. To serve, place the chicken on a plate alongside hot noodles, and spoon the sauce over both.


Judy Monroe is a St. Paul, Minnesota-based freelance writer on a variety of health- and food-­related topics. She has written fourteen books for children, teens, and adults, including three cookbooks.

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