Wiki Commons By János Korom Dr.- https://www.flickr.com/photos/korom/21517126688, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51343109
Chicken paprikash (paprikás csirke or csirkepaprikás in Hungarian) is one of the most popular Hungarian dishes, because it has everything that characterises our cuisine: paprika, pepper, onion, garlic, green pepper, tomato, meat and sour cream. It’s a must-try meal, which you can also make at home with the help of this article, for instance 🙂
According to Wikipedia, the story of chicken paprikash started in the 19th century, when stew became a wide-spread meal among the peasants of the Great Hungarian Plain. Besides the ones made from beef and mutton, the chicken version was also quite popular. The most common way of cooking meat in the 1840s was “stew meat” and “paprika meat”.
French traveller and sociologist Pierre Guillaume Frédéric Le Play wrote about the meat meals of a landlord from Hatvan in Les ouviers européens (1855): “They mainly consume meat in the form of a national meal called paprika meat, which is made from different types of meat or poultry that is mixed with the fat of smoked or non-smoked lard, onions, salt and red pepper (paprika) – after which the meal was named”.
During the age of reforms, the Hungarian nobility found unity in speaking the language, wearing traditional clothes and eating the simple meals of peasants. Palatine Joseph’s court chef, István Czifray was the first to write down the recipe of chicken paprikash in his “Hungarian national cookbook”, which was written for Hungarian housewives in 1830. It was the time when the meal flourished and became one of the most popular Hungarian dishes.
István Czifray’s cookbook – Photo: Wiki Commons
More and more foreign travellers started to recommend chicken paprikash besides the already popular goulash. Its development was incredible as people could also include garlic and even different types of mushroom. But the greatest flavour combination was achieved by adding sour cream, which opened up doors to new dimensions.
Some of the variations of the meal include, the Bakonyi-style paprikash made with mushroom, packed paprikash, paprikash with heavy cream, butter, dumplings etc. But for now, we bring you the recipe of the classic chicken paprikash with sour cream.
2 tablespoons of fat (goose or anything else)
100 grams of smoked lard, cut up to pieces
1,5 kilograms of chicken
300 grams of onions, chopped up
5 cloves of garlic, chopped up
1 medium-size tomato, chopped up
1 red pepper, chopped up
1,5 litres of broth or water
3 heaped teaspoons of sweet noble paprika
2 tablespoons of sour cream
1 tablespoon of flour
Photo: Wiki Commons by stu_spivack
According to receptneked.hu, you first need to roast the lard pieces on some fat until they become crispy, and take them out of the pan. Add the salted and peppered chicken pieces onto the leftover fat and fry them until they start to develop some colour. Take them out of the pan. Add some more fat if needed, and roast the chopped up onions and garlic. Add the tomatoes, red pepper and paprika.
Pour in 2 decilitres of broth, fry the mixture, then add another 2 decilitres of broth along with the prepared chicken. Then add 2 more decilitres of broth and simmer the whole mixture until the gravy and the meat fry, to then add the remaining broth. Cover the pan and cook the meal until the chicken softens.
Mix the sour cream and flour in a separate bowl, add some of the gravy, mix the whole thing and add it to the paprikash. Mix constantly until the gravy starts boiling. Serve the meal with dumplings or pasta.