Chicken Paprikash is one of those comfort foods that is uncomplicated and unpretentious, yet is full of the legendary flavor that has made it a classic. In other words, it’s easy to make, outstanding in taste, and low-carb and keto friendly
What is Paprika spice anyway?
The distinguishing ingredient of Chicken Paprikash is, of course, paprika, most typically sweet Hungarian Paprika. I did an extensive search trying to figure out if there was a particular pepper variety that was the essence of paprika and found that the definition was very nuanced and a “true” paprika was not going to be readily defined. Partly because of this wide-ranging definition I decided to test out a few different blends with our own homegrown peppers.
Paprika, even more so than other spices, loses its flavor quickly over time and deteriorates into a bitter ground spice. If you don’t want to dry, smoke or grind fresh peppers that you get at the farmers market or grocery store, get the freshest sweet Hungarian paprika you can find. We grow, smoke, dry and grind our specialty paprika peppers on our organic farm and only sell the freshest harvest. If you want to try our smoked and/or sweet paprika spices click here to learn about our blends.
Blending Peppers for a Homegrown Paprika
We have experimented quite a while now with mixing different pepper cultivars into some unique and remarkable paprikas.
We first tried sweet paprika made with sweet banana peppers that have ripened to red blended with the ruby red Lipstick sweet pepper variety. Next we tried a semi-hot paprika made with sweet bell peppers and medium hot Anaheim-type of peppers. The third test was a very hot paprika made with a Thai type of chile pepper called Gong Bao. The final paprika we tried was from some specialty paprika cultivars that we ordered from Canada.
In Hungary, where paprika is the national spice, it is divided into eight grades, each one with its own unique characteristics. The one that’s most commonly found in the US is a full-bodied, fruity paprika, and I therefore opted for the sweeter, non-smoked blend in this recipe, trying to stay as loyal to the classic dish as possible.
Cooking Notes for Chicken Paprikash
You can be quite generous with the sweet paprika, but make sure and saute it to release its full bouquet of aromas.
Also, be a little careful if you add cold sour cream to a hot liquid or it will curdle. Either bring the sour cream to room temperature or add it to the hot liquid slowly.
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (can use legs also)
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons Hungarian paprika (or paprika of your choice)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/3 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes, drained (optional)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 cup sour cream (can use heavy cream as alternative)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Melt 2 Tbsp butter in large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 min per side; remove from pan and set aside.
- Melt remaining 1 Tbsp butter in the skillet. Add garlic and paprika and cook quickly until fragrant, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken broth, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Turn heat to medium low and stir in sun dried tomatoes, Parmesan, thyme, oregano and sour cream or heavy cream. (add sour cream slowly)
- Bring everything to a simmer for 1-2 minutes, stirring to combine. Return chicken to the skillet and nestle into the sauce.
- Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through reaching an internal temperature of 175 degrees F, about 25-30 min.
Garnish with strips of fresh basil if you have it.
This dish is traditionally served with dumplings, egg noodles or potatoes, but if you are on a low carb diet, it is a great dish just served up in a bowl sans carbs!