Hungarian Chicken Paprikash


The only time I ever heard of this dish prior to seeing the recipe in the most recent Penzey’s spices magazine, was in the movie When Harry Met Sally when Harry was leading up to asking Sally on a date (Harry: Repeat after me: Waiter, there is too much pepper in my paprikash. Sally: (laughing) Waiter, there is too much pepper in my paprikash). Apparently, I’m not alone. I googled “When+Harry+Met+Sally+Chicken+Paprikash” and found tons of blogs for the recipe citing that movie and line. (And I thought I was smart for connecting the two…)

Do you remember when TBS debuted Dinner and a Movie? This would be the perfect dish to accompany the movie When Harry Met Sally. (Along with some peeeeeecaaaaaaan pie, that is.)


  • 3 1/2 to 4 lbs chicken, cut up
  • 2 T. oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 15-oz cans stewed tomatoes
  • 6 to 12 oz sour cream
  • 2 tsp. Hungarian-style sweet paprika (or more to taste)


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet that has a lid. While the oil is heating, wash the chicken, pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in two batches (so not to crowd), about 10 minutes per batch. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan.
  2. Add the onions and mushrooms to the pan and cook until browned. Put the chicken back in the pan; add the tomatoes, cover and let stew for 1 hour.
  3. Turn heat to low. Add the sour cream and paprika, stirring until smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper as desired. Serve over egg noodles or rice.

I consulted my mom when making this recipe as it was a bit vague. Doesn’t say the temperature to brown the chicken or let ‘stew.’ (Brown at a medium high heat and stew at medium or medium low.) I opted not to use bone-in chicken as boneless is easier to work with, in my opinion. For that reason my mom suggests you can cut down on the cooking time (bone-in chicken takes longer to ‘stew.’)

A few weeks ago I grabbed a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream from my freezer. At the time there were 7 pints in the freezer from a day when my dad and I were a bit over-exuberant on the pint-buying thanks to two Groupons we needed to use on the day they expired. I started digging through the pint unsure if I liked the taste of it or not. Now most people would stop eating when they realize they don’t really like the flavor. I dug and dug until I got to the bottom hoping that the flavor would get better. It never did, sadly, which feels like a huge waste of calories.

I had that same feeling when I started in on the Chicken Paprikash. Felt a bit unsure of the taste and how I felt about it. As I kept spearing pieces of chicken and egg noodle and swirling it through the sauce, I decided I actually liked the flavor. In other words, by the time I had cleaned off my plate, the flavor had grown on me. Which is great. There are tons of leftovers!

Because of the Hungarian paprika used in the recipe, the dish is predominantly sweet. I’m not a fan of sweet entrees – especially meat dishes. I ended up adding a lot of salt to the dish in order to counteract the sweetness.

In a way, this dish reminded me a bit of pasta, which I suppose it could be if you served with pasta noodles. I would recommend trying this dish at least once. Maybe it will grow on you, too!

Recipe rating: 


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