Instant Pot Chicken Paprikash or Paprikas Csirke is an amazing flavorful Hungarian Chicken dish that yields tender juicy chicken smothered in a creamy, rich paprika infused sauce! This Hungarian Chicken Paprikash Instant Pot recipe get's done under 30 minutes, a great chicken dinner for busy weeknights.
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What is Chicken Paprikash?
Chicken Paprikash is a classic Hungarian Chicken dish that consists juicy chicken that's cooked in a flavorful creamy paprika based sauce. It's popularly enjoyed with Hungarian Dumplings known as Nokedli.
Today's Paprika Chicken is inspired by the traditional Hungarian Chicken Paprikash (Paprikas Csirke). The sauce is to die for, you'll love to drink it straight from the bowl. Yum!
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements at the bottom of the post. The list below is just a reference.
- Chicken: Bone in, skin on chicken tastes the best here, makes the dish so much more flavorful for sure. We chose chicken drumsticks, You can also use chicken thighs.
- Aromatics: Yellow onion and garlic.
- Pepper: It infuses the sauce with a subtle sweetness and a lovely fresh aroma. You'll totally love it. We used green bell pepper because that's what is readily available. However, you can use other varieties like Cubanelle or Banana Peppers.
- Paprika: Use good quality Hungarian sweet paprika if you can. We could not source it so we use the regular paprika from the American supper market. The result was just as good. The regular paprika is actually amazing full bodied with a fruity, subtly sweet flavor & a rich color which makes the dish look so appetizing. DO NOT use smoked Paprika!
- Cayenne Pepper: For a slight heat. If you do not prefer spicy food or making it for kids skip using the cayenne.
- Ground Black Pepper
- Sour Cream: Makes the sauce so creamy with a slight tang. Always add stabilized sour cream (Check the tips below). DO NOT add fridge cold sour cream! We love how a few dollops of sour cream totally elevates the richness of the Paprikash! If you are on looking to cut back of calorie you may sub the sour cream with equal amounts of greek yogurt. The taste will certainly not be the same however you'll not hate it either 🙂
- Chicken Stock: We just love using Better than Bouillon Paste mixed well in hot/warm water than using a regular store bought chicken stock.
- Thickener: All-purpose flour. If you are on a gluten free diet use cornstarch, it's naturally gluten free.
- Cooking Fat: Olive oil.
Tips & Tricks
- Sear Chicken: This is a must step. Sear the chicken until the skin becomes golden brown in color and crisps up slightly. This will add amazing flavors and also lock in the juices, the pressure cooked chicken will be so tender & moist.
- Stabilize Sour Cream: DO NOT add fridge cold sour cream directly into the hot sauce in the pot, the cream will curdle. Stabilize the sour cream first by adding some of the hot sauce from the pot into the cream and than stir to mix well. Add this stabilized cream into the hot sauce.
- How to thicken Chicken Paprikash: The flour will do the trick. It adds to the creaminess of the sauce and thickens it up beautifully. Whisk the flour into the stabilized sour cream and add it to the sauce. Simmer to thicken.
- Secret to flavorful Chicken Paprikash: Use a good quality paprika (not smoked paprika) and do not saute much, paprika burns quickly. Burnt paprika will completely alter the taste of the dish.
- Kids friendly Paprikash Chicken: Skip adding the cayenne and add 2-3 tablespoons honey after thickening the sauce. Kids love the mildly sweet flavor of this smoky rich dish.
Hungarian Chicken Paprikash cook time
You can cook today's recipe using any of the below mentioned chicken. These cook times are super helpful.
- Bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (Seared well): High Pressure 10 mins / Natural Pressure Release (NPR) 5 mins.
- Whole Boneless skinless chicken breast (Seared well) : High Pressure 5 mins / NPR 5 mins for thick ½ inch breasts. And High Pressure 3 mins / NPR 5 mins for thin ¼ inch breasts.
- Diced Boneless skinless chicken breasts (1-2 inch chunks) : High Pressure 2 mins / NPR 5 mins. Doesn't matter if they are seared or not.
- Whole skinless boneless chicken thighs (Seared well) : High Pressure 4 mins / NPR 5 mins. I tested the recipe with organic chicken thighs that were small.
- Diced boneless skinless chicken thighs (1-2 inch chunks) : High Pressure 2 mins / NPR 5 mins. Doesn't matter if they are seared or not.
How to make Chicken Paprikash in Instant Pot?
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
Step #1 Sear Chicken
Pat dry the chicken drumsticks and sear them well until golden spots develop on the chicken. Use SAUTE function and set it on high heat. This will help lock the moisture and will keep the chicken super moist and juicy.
Step #2 Saute Aromatics & bell pepper
Now, add more oil and saute the onion and the garlic until the onion begins to turn limp. Add the finely choppe bell pepper and saute until the pepper begins to wilt.
We'll be adding the spices now. Begin with ground black pepper.
Step #3 De-glaze pot well
TURN OFF the heat. Add all the dry seasonings - ground black pepper, cayenne, paprika and stir quickly for just 30 seconds. You should not leave the pot unattended and perform this step quickly because paprika burns quickly.
And if the paprika burns you have to start all over again, otherwise the sauce will become bitter.
Pour chicken stock and de-glaze the pot very well scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will help loosen any stuck food particles and will prevent the BURN error.
Step #4 Pressure cook chicken
Transfer back the seared chicken into the pot and coat them well with the sauce.
PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 5 mins followed by 5 mins natural pressure release (NPR). Fish out the cooked chicken, we will be thickening the sauce and than put them back again.
Step #5 Thicken Sauce & serve
Now scoop out a few ladle full of hot sauce and pour it on the sour cream, whisk to form a uniform mixture. This process will stabilize the sour cream and it won't curdle and separate when you add it to the hot sauce in the pot.
Also, whisk in the thickener (Flour or cornstarch) into the sour cream. Make sure that there are no flour lumps at all. Whisk well.
Pour this mixture into the hot sauce in the pot and give everything a good stir.
Hit back the SAUTE function and set it on LOW heat. Simmer the sauce stirring frequently until it thickens to your desired consistency. Transfer back the cooked chicken, simmer them in the sauce for 1 minute. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot. Enjoy!
How long does Chicken Paprikash last in the fridge?
Chicken Paprikash will last for 4 days in the fridge when stored in air tight containers.
Can Chicken Paprikash be frozen?
Yes, Chicken Paprikash be frozen for upto 3 months in air tight freezer friendly containers. It's a great Chicken Dinner recipe that you can make ahead and freeze all those left overs.
How to re-heat Chicken Paprikash?
Fridge: Add splashes of water and re-heat the dish in the microwave oven or on the stove top over medium heat.
Freezer: Thaw the chicken paprikash over night in the fridge and than re-heat following the above directions.
What is Chicken Paprikash served with?
Chicken Paprikash is served with the following:
- Hungarian Dumplings known as Nokedli. This is the most loved a classic Hugarian way of serving Chicken Paprikash. Nokedli is made with flour and eggs.
- Buttered Noodles/pasta (any kind). We often satisfy ourselves with easy Buttered noodles/pasta. Dinner's on the table in 30 mins.
- Roasted butter baby potatoes.
- Mashed Potatoes.
- Steamed Rice.
- Crusty Sour Dough: An ultimate way to enjoy those dripping delicious creamy sauce with slices of crusty sour dough. Totally yum!
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Watch Recipe Video
- 5 Chicken Drumsticks (**can use bone-in skin-on thighs or boneless breasts or thighs. Read the post to check out the perfect cook time.)
- 1 cup onion (**yellow onion finely chopped)
- 1 cup green bell pepper (**de-seeded & finely chopped. )
- 1 tbsp garlic (**minced)
- 4 tbsp sour cream
- 2 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil (**equally divided)
- salt (**according to taste preference)
- 4 tbsp Paprika (**not smoked.)
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper Powder (**optional)
- 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1.5 cups chicken stock (**we used 1 tbsp Better than Bouillon paste in 1 cup hot water.)
- Sear Chicken: Set the Instant Pot on SAUTE function & set it on HIGH heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, when the oil is hot gently release the chicken drumsticks and sear both sides until golden. Set them aside.
- Saute aromatics & Pepper: Use the same settings and the same pot. Add the rest of the 2 tbsp oil. Saute the onion and garlic until the onion becomes limp. Add salt to quicken the process. Than, add the green bell pepper & saute until the pepper begins to turn soft.
- Saute Seasonings: CANCEL the SAUTE function. Than, add all the seasonings - ground black pepper, cayenne pepper & paprika. Stir immediately and saute for just 30 seconds. The residual heat should be enough to slightly saute the seasonings. NOTE: Paprika burn quickly, so DO NOT saute more than 30 secs. It'll make the sauce bitter!
- De-glaze pot: Now, pour chicken stock and de-glaze the pot very well scraping the bottom & the sides of the pot with the help of a spatula. There should not be any food particles stuck at the bottom of the pot. This will prevent the BURN error. DO NOT rush this step!
- Pressure Cook: Transfer back the seared chicken into the pot. Coat the chicken with the sauce. Close the lid of the pot, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 5 mins. Once, the pressure cooking cycle is over the Instant Pot will begin to beep, perform a natural pressure release (NPR) for 5 mins and than release the rest of the pressure manually by moving the valve from the sealing to the venting position. When the floating pin drops open the lid carefully.
- Stabilize cold sour cream: Now, fish out the cooked chicken, set them aside. Stabilize the sour cream by adding 2-3 ladles of the hot sauce from the pot into the cream. Also, add the thickener (flour or cornstarch) and whisk them well until a smooth mixture forms. There should not be any flour lumps.
- Thicken Sauce: Now, add this stabilize sour cream into the hot sauce in the pot and stir well to mix. Hit back the SAUTE function and set the heat to LOW. Simmer the sauce stirring frequently until it thickens and reaches your preferred consistency.
- Serve: Transfer back the cooked chicken into the pot. Coat them well with sauce and simmer for just 1 minute. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot over. Enjoy!
- Heat Intolerant: Skip adding the cayenne pepper.
- Sour Cream Curdled why? Do not add fridge cold sour cream into the hot sauce ever. The cream will curdle. Stabilize the sour cream first by mixing in some of the hot sauce and than add it to the sauce.
- Can I make Paprika Chicken with boneless chicken? Yes, you can. Do check out the detailed cook times mentioned in the post for boneless and bone-in chicken pieces.
- Can I add tomato? If you prefer tomato than do add 2 tbsp tomato paste just after adding the chicken broth. We love the recipe without tomatoes and that's how we made it today.
- Gluten free thickener: Use cornstarch (same amount) instead of flour. Cornstarch is naturally gluten free.
FAQs - Paprika Chicken Instant Pot
The origin of Chicken Paprikash or Paprika Chicken is Hungary. It's known as Paprika Csirke in Hungarian.
Yes you can use regular paprika instead of Hungarian paprika. But, DO NOT use smoked paprika.
Yes, Chicken Parikash might have tomatoes, not all recipes though. Today's recipe is made without using any tomatoes.
No, Chicken Paprikash is not spicy.
Chicken Paprika is filled with robust flavors and tastes amazingly creamy with a subtle sweetness from the peppers and smokiness from the use of a generous amount of paprika.
100%, perfect recipe. Finally, someone is not rewriting authentic Hungarian food. Thank you.
Foodies Terminal says
So glad you love this recipe Eva 🙂 Totally appreciate your wonderful feedback, thanks a million 🙂 - Meghna xoxo.