Paprika Chicken with Egg Dumplings

John Kernick

A light-bodied red. A Beaujolais cru such as Brouilly or Moulin-a-Vent will not over power the flavors of this dish.

This is a home-style version of an iconic, paprika-flavored Hungarian dish as we sampled it at a restaurant in Budapest. NOTE: To make this recipe, you will need a spatzle (dumpling) maker.

Paprika Chicken with Egg Dumplings
This is a home-style version of an iconic, paprika-flavored Hungarian dish as we sampled it at a restaurant in Budapest.
Yield: serves 4-6

For the Chicken

  • 14 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 medium yellow onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 2 tsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 12 tsp. hot Hungarian paprika
  • 3 fresh or canned plum tomatoes
  • 2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 (3 1⁄2-lb.) chickens, rinsed, each cut into 4 pieces
  • 12 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. milk

For the Dumplings

  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter

Instructions

  1. For the chicken: Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add garlic, sweet and hot paprikas, tomatoes, green peppers, salt, and 1 cup water and stir well. Add chicken, cover, and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes, turning chicken once about halfway through. Remove chicken from pot and set aside.
  2. Strain sauce in a fine strainer, pressing down on vegetables to release all liquid. Discard solids. Return sauce to pot, increase heat to medium and simmer until sauce has thickened, 20–30 minutes. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin and bones, keeping breasts and thighs intact. Return chicken to pot, reduce heat to low, and keep warm. Mix sour cream and milk in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. For the dumplings: Combine flour and 1 tsp. salt in a large bowl. Beat together egg, oil, and 12 cup water in a separate bowl, then whisk egg mixture into flour mixture. Set aside and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes. Place spätzle maker over a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat. Fill hopper with batter, then move hopper back and forth over grate, allowing dumplings to fall into the boiling water. Cook until dumplings float, 1–2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon, refresh under cold water, and transfer to a cookie sheet to cool. Repeat process, forming, cooking, and cooling dumplings until all the batter has been used. Preheat oven to 350°. Gently toss dumplings with melted butter in a baking dish. Season to taste with salt and keep warm in oven.
  4. To serve, arrange chicken on a large platter and spoon sauce over and around it. Serve with dumplings and sour cream on the side.