Smoky Chicken Paprikash

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  8 servings
Prep Time:  10 minutes Cook Time:  2 hours 30 minutes

Smoky Chicken Paprikash

Depth of flavor is the hallmark of this smoky, hearty dish. Serve over your favorite grain, potatoes, roasted parsnips, or cauliflower mash. You and your family will be using a spoon to lap up every last bite of the delicious sauce.


1 cup (about 1.25 ounces) dried porcini mushrooms

½ cup boiling water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups thinly sliced sweet onions

2 cups thinly sliced celery

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1 tablespoon celery salt, or more to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika (pimenton)

1½ tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika

Pinch of ground white pepper

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste, or 4.4 ounce tube of double concentrate

1 (28 ounce) can San Marzano crushed tomatoes

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups low sodium chicken or veal stock

6 skinless chicken thighs

6 skinless chicken legs


  1. In small bowl, soak the dried porcini in the water for 45 minutes. Remove from water with a fork or slotted spoon and place on a cutting board, taking care not to disturb the soaking water since the dirt will have settled to the bottom of the bowl. Mince the mushrooms and set aside; reserve the water.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy cast iron pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and celery and cook until vegetables soften and release their juices, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add the salt, paprikas, and white pepper and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. (Be careful not to let it to burn).
  6. Add the canned tomatoes, broth, minced mushrooms, minced garlic, and 2 tablespoons reserved water (without disturbing any sediment). Reduce the heat to a simmer.
  7. Carefully slide the chicken into the pot. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake 2 to 2½ hours. Remove from oven and skim any accumulated fat from the top. Serve over egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or mashed cauliflower.

Kitchen Tips

  1. Smoked paprika or pimenton originates in Spain and is made from smoked Spanish pimento peppers. The pimenton de La Vera is considered the best. They come in different degrees of sweetness ranging from sweet to bittersweet to hot. The more traditional Hungarian paprika is a ground red pepper that is available in either sweet or hot. Traditional paprikash is made with copious amounts of sweet hungarian paprika and is often finished at the last minute with a few cups of sour cream. I enjoy the smoky, vivid flavors of this stew as is, as do my guests and family, but if you feel the urge to be mellow, please go ahead and add sour cream.

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