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. It is 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 of the traditional paprikash recipes call for 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 spice, and found that the definition was very nuanced.
Because of this nebulous definition I decided to test a few “paprika” pepper varieties on our farm where we grow a wide range of peppers. The Alma variety won in the taste category, and so that is what we now grow and dry for our ground paprika spice.
In Hungary, where paprika is the national spice, it is divided into eight grades. Each grade has its own unique characteristics. The one that’s most commonly found in the US is a full-bodied, fruity paprika. I opted for the sweet, fruity, non-smoked paprika in this recipe in an attempt to stay as loyal to the traditional dish as possible.
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 and grind fresh peppers that you get at the farmers market or grocery store, get the freshest sweet Hungarian paprika spice you can find. We only sell the Fall harvest and do not use chemicals to keep it shelf stable. If you want to try our smoked and/or sweet paprika spices you will not be disappointed.
Keto Chicken Paprikash
- 8 chicken thighs or legs bone-in, skin-on
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp Hungarian paprika or paprika of your choice, I used this sweet paprika
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes drained and julienned, optional
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 cup sour cream can alternatively use heavy cream
- fresh strips of basil optional, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400o 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 175o F, about 25-30 min.
- Garnish with strips of fresh basil if you have it.
Cooking Notes for Chicken Paprikash
You can be quite generous with the sweet paprika. To get the most flavor, saute it first 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.
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!