Chicken Paprikás

"Traditional chicken paprikás usually has a bright red gravy with a floury texture," Nicolaus Balla says. For his refined version here, Balla omits the flour and instead thickens the sauce with potato and chicken skin, then purees it with sour cream. The result is a silky gravy rich with chicken flavor. Slideshow: Amazing Chicken RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine America's Greatest New Cooks 

Chicken Paprikás
Photo: © Christina Holmes
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 15 mins


  • 8 whole chicken legs

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced

  • 1 baking potato (1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika, plus more for garnish

  • 1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream, plus more for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • Chopped dill, for garnish

  • Buttered egg noodles, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Cut the excess skin from the chicken legs and reserve. Arrange the chicken legs on a rimmed baking sheet, skin side up, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes, until well browned.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the bacon, onion, garlic, serrano chile and the reserved chicken skin; season with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is just starting to brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

  3. Add the potato, tomato paste, brown sugar, bay leaf and oregano to the casserole. Stir in the 1 tablespoon of paprika and cook over moderate heat for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken legs and cook over moderately low heat until the chicken is white throughout, about 25 minutes.

  4. Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent with foil. Remove and discard the bay leaf, then ladle the stock and vegetables into a blender or food processor. Add the 2 tablespoons of sour cream and the vinegar and puree until smooth; season the sauce with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with paprika, sour cream and dill. Serve with buttered egg noodles.

Suggested Pairing

Berried Pinot Noir: 2009 Woodenhead Russian River Valley

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