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Chicken Paprikash - [click for larger image]

Creating Savory Chicken Paprikash

by: Annette M. Hall

A Hall family favorite dish your family will love.

There is something about a chilly winter day that makes me crave a large bowl of luscious, creamy, Chicken Paprikash, well today was the day. I have been talking about making a batch for two-weeks now. I had picked up all the ingredients days ago.

It was only after I was finished when I realized that those wonderful Hungarian church women would be proud of me. I had posted the actual recipe that I have on-hand, and use as a "guide" but to be honest, I have never actually followed it to the letter. My omissions* were not intentional, I'm just terrible at following recipes.

I have adjusted the recipe and included additional notes to more accurately recount my cooking adventure.

This is a traditional Hungarian dish, which has a delightful color and warm texture, sure to become a favorite with your family. You will undoubtedly find many Chicken Paprikash recipes online, but this is my favorite recipe.

Before we begin, I should tell you that this is not one of those 30-minute recipes you can whip up quickly. The actual combined pre-time and cook-time is around 2-1/2 hours. While this recipe takes time to prepare, the results are succulent and well-worth the time and effort involved.

Reader Response

I just found your chicken paprikash recipe. I've misplaced mine and needed to check a few amounts. Yours was a help.

I have a spaetzle maker but I often use my grandmother's method. She just put the dough on a cutting board and "cut it off" from there into boiling water. The spaetzle noodles are bigger and not so uniform in size, but delicious.

When in a hurry I have used the German imported Spaetzle in a box. They are not bad at all!


Ingredients for Sauce:


  1. In a 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil and brown chicken on all sides. Season chicken with seasalt and pepper. Remove chicken and set aside.
  2. Add onion to skillet. Cook just until tender, but not brown. (Note: If you have children who hate onions, be sure to chop the onions extra fine, then cook until tender and brown, this will cause the onions to disappear as they cook and your children will never know you added them. Unless of course they see you.)
  3. Stir in paprika. Return chicken to skillet, turning to coat with paprika/onion mixture.
  4. Add wine and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and tender.
  5. Remove chicken and keep warm (if you use whole chicken sections, leave in dish if using cubed chicken).
  6. Boil skillet drippings until reduced by half (about 3 minutes).
  7. Stir in ½ cup sour cream. Heat through. Serve chicken over spaetzle noodles and pour sauce over all.

*Additional notes: This time around I used three chicken breasts, with the bone and skin attached. I removed most of the breast meat, cubed it and put it back in the fridge. Then I boiled the remaining parts in a 3-quart pan of water with three boullion cubes, to enhance the flavor. After about an hour or so, I had a nice chicken broth, which I used instead of using pre-packaged chicken stock.

Making Spaetzle-Dumplings

Spaetzle Lid with Scraper
by Kuchenprofi

Chicken Paprikash

10.5" Spaetzle Lid with Scraper

The Kuchenprofi 10.5" stainless steel spaetzle lid with scraper, is a terrific idea. I sent one to my son, Chris for his birthday. He's been making noodles by hand with a spoon for years.

Chris wears braces on both wrists, making the basket type awkward for him to manage by himself. This lid fits directly over the pan, works for 3-different size pans..

When I checked back with him on how his new spaetzle maker is working out, he said, he loves his new spaetzle maker and that this style works really well for him. Bonus, it doubles as a strainer for spaghetti noodles, a vegetable steamer and much more. The scraper measures 4.5" x 2.5".

Editor's Note: The Kuchenprofi Spaetzle Lid & Scraper is finally available again from Amazon for $24.03.

Spaetzle Preparation Demo with a Spaetzle Board

Spaetzle-Dumpling Recipe

Ingredients for Spaetzle Dough:

Spaetzle Maker by VillaWare - Cleveland, OH - [click for larger image]

Get your own Spaetzle Maker


Beat eggs lightly, add milk and water. Place flour and salt in a bowl and gradually add the egg mixture. The consistency of the dough depends on the type of spaetzle maker used.

Consistency can be changed by varying the amount of water used. The dough should be a very heavy batter like substance that should not flow through the hopper but should drop easily. (I recommend erring on the side of being too stiff, you can always add more water, to make it the proper consistency.

Bring 3 to 4 quarts of salted water to a rapid boil and you are ready to make spaetzle. Follow directions according to the type you are using.

After spaetzle noodles have cooked, strain and rinse with cold water.

For VillaWare Spaetzle-Dumpling Maker:

  1. Fill hopper with dough and hold over boiling water. The hook on the bottom side of the hopper will properly position the spaetzle maker over the pan.
  2. Push hopper back and forth and dumplings will drop into boiling water. (To vary the size of the noodles, make the dough stiffer or thinner.)
  3. Cook for about one minute, stirring to keep spaetzle from sticking together. Strain to remove excess water.

    Note: Some chef's recommend a cold water bath. I prefer my noodles cooked a bit more, so don't be afraid to allow them to boil for a longer period. Also, note that I live in the mountains at 3,800 feet and everything takes longer to cook at this elevation.

Chicken Paprikash Serving Suggetions and Tips

Spaetzle Maker Lid Has Many Uses

My husband received a spaetzle maker from his mom as a gift. The intention for this spaetzle maker was so my husband could make the famous family recipe, Chicken Paprikash. The dumplings can be a pain to make with a butter knife and a plate.

Chicken Paprikash is not a dish that is eaten on a regular basis at our house. We knew there had to be other uses for the spaetzle maker other than making noodles, so my husband began to experiment and has found many uses for this wonderful device. It's a handy tool to have since it sits on a regular skillet or large pan like a lid does.

We use the spaetzle maker to steam vegetables and heat left over sausages, ham, and veggies for omelets. It is so simple to do. We put water in the bottom of the skillet. If we use hot water to start with it takes less time. Turn the burner on low heat and set the spaetzle maker on the pan. We put whatever we want to heat up or steam on the spaetzle maker, put a lid on it and let it go.

We have cooked, bratwurst, sausage links, and hot dogs on the spaetzle maker. We have steamed onions, chopped ham, green peppers, green beans, and broccoli with the spaetzle maker. I am sure there are a hundred more items that you could steam with it.

The flavor that we get out of the food we steam is unbelievable. The flavors are very distinct and rich. My children eat up the food that comes out of it. The spaetzle maker has become a very inexpensive way for our family to eat a little healthier without frying foods. We recommended for anybody to try it.

Kelli Simkus
Jackson, MI

The Kuchenprofi Spaetzle Lid & Scraper is available from Amazon for $24.03.

Pour sauce mixture over noodles. Chicken may be served on top or on the side. Serves 6 easiliy. This is one dish that is even better the second day.


Traditionally Chicken Paprikash is made with a whole cut-up chicken or legs and thighs, which makes this dish more economical for large families, in which case the chicken should be served on the side. We prefer chicken breast, so this recipe has been adapted to use cubed chicken breast, served within the dish itself.


*Extra Broth

Since I like my noodles with lots of broth I also found that I add more chicken broth to the dish after it's finished to end up with a very saucey result. So, if you find that your paprikash is a little dry, let the juices flow, don't be afraid to add more chicken broth to suit your families taste. I use bullion cubes (1-cube to 1-cup of boiling water), chicken paste can be used or canned chicken broth. I normally add more chicken broth to the mixture when I reheat the left-overs as well.

**Mexican Paprika Substitute

Mexican paprika tends to be more bitter than the Hungarian sweet paprika variety and will give your Chicken Paprikash a harsher flavor, which is why I strongly recommend not making this substitution.

***White Wine Substitute

If you prefer you may double the amount of chicken broth as a substitute for using white wine in the sauce. The wine does give you a little different flavor but both variations are quite palatable.

Recipe Suggestions & Notes:

Serve with warm bread if you don't mind eating lots of starches. A side dish of broccoli or carrots are nice accompaniments, they could even be added to the Chicken Paprikash for a tempting taste variation.

Today (1-08-2008) I made my Chicken Paprikash using California Orange Muscat sweet dessert wine (vintage 2005) instead of using white wine. The dish was a good as ever, with no noticeable difference in taste. Which just goes to show, you can use any kind of wine you wish. I even ended up making my spaetzle dough too thin initially. I continued to cook the raw dough noodles, while adding a little more flour to the bowl of dough. Even though the dumplings were smaller, it didn't affect the taste. No need to throw it out and start over.

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Updated December 22, 2012

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