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Chicken Paprikash and Nokedli

I actually can’t believe I haven’t posted this before.

This is one of my ultimate favorite foods.  That comfort food you have loved your whole life, but still only eat once a year if you are lucky.

It’s a Hungarian recipe, and has been passed down (and probably changed significantly) from my Dad’s side of the family.  I probably make it much differently than my mom does, who learned it from my Dad’s mom (hi Nana!), and I can tell you that although the taste is very similar, the presentation is very different from that which I ate in Hungary with Dad on our whirlwind and infamous tour of Hungarian cuisine.

Whew.  But it’s still freakin’ delicious, and you should probably make it.

Chicken Paprikash (serves 6-8 people) (I can’t make it in smaller amounts) (I like to have leftovers for days)

  • 2 lbs chicken (traditionally, you would use drumsticks and thighs. I used drumsticks and a big, fat, chicken breast to health it up a little)
  • 1 large or two small onions
  • 2-3 T paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 C water (this is a gross estimation–really, I just poured until I felt like I had enough)
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 1/2-3/4 C sour cream (or full-fat plain yogurt, which is what I used)
  • 8 eggs (what!)
  • 1 1/2 C flour (again, gross estimation)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t baking powder

Speaking of chicken, I used the Gold’n Plump chicken drumsticks I was sent (for free!) to review.  They were delicious–but honestly not discernible from other chicken drumsticks in this type of recipe. It may have been a more obvious difference if they were eaten more for their own merits.

This recipe is not as difficult as you would think, seeing as how I make it so rarely.  However, it does use up a lot of dishes, which gets old.

To make the chicken paprikash, season (generously) the chicken with salt, pepper, and the paprika.

Brown the chicken over medium heat on all sides, and cover with diced onions.

Allow the onions to soften.

Pour water (you could use half chicken broth if you wanted) over the top until the chicken and onions are covered.  Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low.  Allow the mixture to simmer for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is fall-off-the-bone delicious.  Remove the chicken and allow to cool.  Put the 1/4 C flour in a medium bowl and slowly add small amounts of the broth until you form a thick paste.  Keep mixing and adding more broth until the “roux” (not really a roux, but close) is thin enough to add directly back to the pot.  Gotta thicken it up a little bit, ya know?

Once the chicken has cooled a bit, remove the bones and other stuff you don’t want to eat, and return the chicken to the pot.

Cover the pot and set it aside (I took it off the burner to cool so I could later add yogurt) while you make the nokedli.

Bring a large stock pot of water to boil.  Meanwhile, mix the eggs, salt, and baking powder together.

Slowly start to add flour, mixing constantly, until you reach the consistency of thick pancake/brownie batter and few lumps remain.

To make the nokedli, drop spoonfuls of batter into the boiling water.  They’ll float almost immediately to the top, but give them a few minutes to cook, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain.  This amount of nokedli will take a few batches.

Once the paprikash is cooled enough, add the yogurt or sour cream.

I used yogurt this time (what I had in the fridge) and it tasted just slightly different from the traditional version–still amazing, but slightly different.

To serve, scoop some nokedli into a bowl.

Top with the chicken paprikash.  Sprinkle with paprika and enjoy!

I’m seriously so sad that I finished this batch at lunch today. As usual, we ran out of nokedli before we ran out of the chicken paprikash, so I just used some farfalle as a substitution–delish!

The creaminess of the paprikash with the eggy dumplings and sweet paprika is heaven to my mouth.

Makes me proud to be even a little bit Hungarian.

I’d love to hear any variations of how this has been/should be made!  Who knows what I’ve changed up over the years without realizing it.

I guess we can always ask the chef:


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  1. Bernadette

    My grandma was Hungarian and seeing this recipe brought back a lot of memories. If you’re not familiar with this website, check it out…so many recipes I remember. http://homepage.interaccess.com/~june4/recipes.html

  2. Szilvia

    Hi Lauren,
    I’m Hungarian and it’s very nice to see your recipe of Paprikas csirke,
    everyone has his own recipe, even the mine is differents from my mother’s :-)
    I will try yours, it looks delicious! Kisses

  3. Breanna

    Lauren! I have had this dish before, I absolutely love it! This looks INCREDIBLE, well done!

  4. Pocak Panna

    Lauren! I am Hungarian and I can stay it is pretty close, except we do not put in water (make it like a stew) but we put in sour cream at the end, but just when it is actually on the plate.
    Very nice take on the Hungarian paprikás csirke. :)

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      When I had it in Hungary, it was more like you describe–much thicker, and just as delicious!

  5. Elizabeth

    This reminds me a lot of the goulash my grandma tight me to make (she is Austrian) except I cook the onions separately and add it when making the sauce and don’t include sour cream. Except I think I may have to give this a try….this variation looks delish!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      The sour cream totally makes it!

  6. Heidi Bundles Of Hugs

    I’ve never had this dish *gasp* but it looks so delicious I just may have to make it :)

  7. Tiffany

    Wow! My grandmom (who I called Nanny) made this and it was my absolute favorite. She died when I was 17 (I’ll be 39 in June) and I don’t think I’ve had it since. She was Irish but my Pop-Pop was Hungarian (first generation born in the US) and she had to cook what he liked. This brings back so many great memories. I remember helping her make the dumplings. Sometimes my aunt will make it with noodles but it’s not the same. Did you ever eat bacon bread- another family favorite! It’s special Hungarian bacon that you put on rye bread with raw tomatoes, onions, and green pepper along with the bacon grease. This is what we had at family picnics for breakfast! Another things she made was Hungarian bean soup which we called pasolevish (not sure of the spelling). Thanks for bringing up so many delicious memories!

  8. Stephanie

    Having Southern grandparents on both sides of my family, I looooove to make Chicken n’ Dumplings every now and again as a nostalgic treat for myself. This looks like a delicious variant of it and definitely plan to save the recipe, hopefully I remember to leave a note once I’ve tried it since I don’t normally leave comments, but this does look delish!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Definitely let me know how it works out!

  9. Deanna @ DB and Jelly

    I recently discovered chicken paprikash soup at a local soup place and I’ve been wanting to try it at home. Your version looks fantastic and I’ll definitely be making it soon!

  10. Sandra

    Variation I grew up with, add a can of crushed tomato with water when boiling chicken. So good. This is our family favorite recipe.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      The tomatoes sound great…definitely will have to try adding that in a future version!

  11. Sandra

    Hi Tiffany,
    Bacon Bread is called sutni szalonna.
    here is a link to a newspaper article and has a great picture of it!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I’m gonna have to try that, too! Thanks, Sandra!

  12. Prarthana Panchal

    I had this for dinner tonight! I put several dashes of red wine and topped it with parsley. I left out the yogurt and find this really a super lean dish to make. This is SUPER EASY and fantastic in taste. My kids just licked it up! I even went back and made another batch. We actually had the opposite problem and had to make more of the paprikash!

  13. Cindy

    I’m second generation Hungarian American, my Grandmother and Mother(and now I) would begin this dish by sauteing the chickens belly fat (which would dissolve), chopped bacon and onions until the onions were translucent and soft. Remove the onions and bacon and reserve on the side to be added back later. We always used a whole, cut up chicken–the dark meat having the best flavor. We dip the chicken into a mixture of flour and paprika, then brown it in the chicken and bacon fat, this way it will automatically thicken as it’s cooking…no need to make a roux.Then let it simmer with chicken broth (to make even more flavorful) or water until the chicken is falling off the bone.

    My grandmother never removed and picked out the yucky stuff (ie: bones, skin, cartilage, and whathaveyou) but I do…I enjoy it so much better if I don’t have to pick through it while I’m eating it.

    Taste it, you can add more paprika, salt if you like—–throw the bacon and onions in . Stir in the sour cream only after it is finished cooking. DO NOT BOIL the sauce after adding the sour cream, it will cause it to separate.

    This is one of those dishes that taste even better the second day. The sauce is to die for. If you don’t feel like making dumplings…the potato gnocchi in the freezer section work pretty good with it.

    Also, in the winter I will sometimes put more liquid than usual and make it into more of a soup –FINOM!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      sounds so good…if it wasn’t super hot here I’d want a batch for dinner tonight!

  14. Jacque

    This is making me hungary

    1. Lauren Zietsman


  15. ana

    i use pork tenderloin instead of chicken. i usually put carrots and onion in, some green peppers and a hot pepper, too… it’s a Hungarian food:) at the end, when the meat is cooked, i add potatoes. amazing!

  16. Adriana

    I found this recipe after nostalgia struck me from a visit to Prague when I ate a similar dish in a restaurant that was in the basement of an old church. The first time I made your recipe I was terrified it wouldn’t work out but even with the guesswork it was delicious! Since then my housemate keeps asking me to make it. We’ve had it twice so far since I found it in October and we’ll have it again before the end of the year. For us it’ll be more than just a ‘once a year’ thing. ;)

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      So happy to hear it! I think I may have to make it again soon too…

  17. Carole

    Hi there. The current Food on Friday on Carole’s Chatter is all about favourite foods from childhood. I do hope you link this lovely one in. This is the link . Please do pop back to check out some of the other links. Have a great week.

  18. Susan

    My family’s ‘paprikash’ (my Hungarian great aunt and grandmother just called it stew) was not as thick. We cook the onions in a bit of oil then add the chicken, with salt and paprika on top. Add water just to cover the chicken, cook for an hour, then 15-30 mins with lid off to condense fluid. We would have it with nokedli, and rice! We almost always had both-but you eat them separately. We add the sour cream to the plate. This is more soupy, but we ate it on plates. My family also ate nokedli with scrambled eggs, mixed together! This dish has so many variations, and I’m sure varies from family to family. I so love a second day helping of the rice with juice an sour cream. Delicious!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Rice is a great idea for when I don’t feel like making nokedli!

  19. Jessica

    This recipe has been passed down in my family for generations (my great grandparents were the first of my family born in the United States). Anyway, I vary the recipe from time to time. My family prefers large nokedli noodles so I use a butter knife and cut them off a cutting board. I also like the stewed flavor and smells in my house so I let mine cook all day. I can’t wait until I can teach my daughter how to make this; however, I can’t really give anyone a recipe as it couldn’t tell you the exact measurements just how it’s supposed to look and taste. It was a comfort meal all my life and I love making it for my husband.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I haven’t made this in a while (not really a summer meal, I guess) but now that it’s getting cold…I’m gonna be making it soon!

  20. Cas Futo

    Your recipe looks so yummy! My husband is Hungarian, so I have made his fathers recipe and don’t recall using sour cream. But am definitely going to try this ! Hmm do you think he will know the difference—– LOL

  21. Levente

    Amazing! I’m from Hungary & we
    Make it only slightly different the nokedli back home is smaller because it is scraps through a nokedli maker which makes then smaller & we don’t add the your team into the paprikash, we add it ontop of the dish when it is served, it tastes better that way

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I should definitely try the sour cream on top, that sounds delicious!

  22. Lauren Zehe

    This is one of my family’s favorite recipes! Our Grandma has been making it for years and last time she made it, we made it together! This is a staple for us and it truly brings me joy to see that there are other people out there keeping this recipe alive! Thank you!!!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Glad to hear that you are making it too! It is truly one of my favorite meals :)

  23. Andrea Vickers

    My daughter and I were looking for Hungarian Christmas cookie recipes and found your recipe. We can’t wait to try it today. My grandmother made this all the time, but your recipe sounds wonerpful!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      hope you like it and it lives up to your memories! I actually need to get the Christmas cookie recipe from my Nana…the basic cream cheese/jam ones are delicious

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