Chicken paprika or paprika chicken (also known as paprikás csirke) is a popular Hungarian dish, and one that my family often made when I was growing up. I am not Hungarian, but having grown up in Europe, this creamy chicken stew has certainly made a regular appearance on our table. My Instant Pot recipe is a quick and easy way to prepare this dish, which normally requires extended simmering time.
This dish has two key ingredient: chicken and paprika. The rest is is really up to you! I love making mine with lots of onion, some butter, sour cream and garden peas. Other recipes call for green peppers or carrots; and, you will find different parts of chicken used depending on who’s cooking.
Before you get cooking
In this recipe, I am using diced chicken breast and thigh meat. I like to buy a whole chicken and separate the meat that I need and use the rest of the chook to make a lovely soup or bone broth. You can buy some chicken thighs or/and breast meat and dice it up; or, you can use chicken drumsticks or whole thighs. If using large chicken pieces, you may need to set the timer to Manual and increase it 20 minutes.
Traditionally, paprika chicken is served with small dumpling or gnocchi-like noodles called nokedli. For me, that’s too much extra work, so I usually make a side of boiled or mashed potatoes or steamed rice. One thing I do always serve on the side is a simple cucumber and dill salad. It compliments this dish really well. I’ve included it in the recipe below.
Notes: For a dairy-free version, use ghee or coconut oil instead of butter and coconut cream instead of sour cream. I would also add a tablespoon of lemon juice in this case. And you can dress the cucumber and dill salad with lemon juice and olive oil.
- 1 medium brown onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt (use a little less if the stock is salty)
- 1.3 lb / 600 g diced chicken (mix of breast and thigh meat is perfect but you can use either)
- 3 tablespoons paprika powder (mild or sweet)
- 2 large cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 1½ cups chicken stock (stock cube and water is also fine)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 heaped tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
- ½ cup frozen garden peas (thawed out in warm water)
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot flour/starch (or corn starch)
- More sour cream, to serve with if you wish
- 2 medium cucumbers, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
- Generous pinch of salt
- Turn the pressure cooker on. It should display OFF. Press Sauté function key (it will show Normal, 30 minutes). The Instant Pot will beep 3 times to let you know it’s ready to cook.
- Add onion, butter, olive oil and salt and cook for 5 minutes with the lid off. Stir a few times.
- Add the diced chicken and cook for another minute or two together, stirring a few times. Add paprika and garlic and stir through, then add the chicken stock, tomato paste and crème fraîche or sour cream. Stir through.
- Then press the Keep Warm/Cancel function key. Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Check that the the lid knob is turned to Sealing. Change the setting to Manual (High Pressure) and set the timer for 12 minutes. Wait for 3 beeps and walk away.
- Once the time is up, let the pressure release naturally or use a quick release method, and open the lid. Add the peas and press Sauté. Cook for 5 minutes with the lid off, stirring a few times. This will allow us to evaporate some of the liquid and to thicken the sauce.
- After 5 minutes, scoop ¼ cup of the sauce liquid into a small bowl and add the arrowroot flour (corn flour is also ok, if that’s all you have). Whisk to dissolve. Turn the Instant Pot to OFF and then stir in the arrowroot liquid and another tablespoon of crème fraîche/sour cream. This will further thicken the sauce.
- To prepare the salad, combine all ingredients in a bowl and serve alongside chicken paprika.
If you enjoy this recipe, share it with your Instant Pot loving friends and family. Questions and comments are welcome! Don’t forget to share this recipe on Pinterest, here is a pic for you.