fbpx

Pan-Seared and Smoked Chicken Paprikash

Seared chicken and paprika onions and red peppers for Pan-fried Smoked Chicken Paprikash

I’m a huge fan of ethnic food. I love Indian food, Mexican food, Asian food … you get the point. Hungarian dishes, however, aren’t something that has grabbed as much popularity here in the U.S., but they are known for their spices and being very meat centric. Perfect match for me! This simple recipe of pan-seared and smoked chicken paprikash is the perfect weekend special or weeknight home-cooked dinner.

Jump to Recipe | Print Recipe

This dish isn’t something that would traditionally be smoked, but I love what the light hint of smoke from a mild wood like pecan does for this dish. If you don’t have a grill or smoker, you can absolutely use an oven for this, or even just cover and simmer on a stove top. That said, the element of smoke is really nice here, so I encourage that if possible.

Pan-fried Smoked Chicken Paprikash in cast-iron skillet

Is Chicken Paprikash Easy to Make?

Yes! There are so many complex chicken recipes online, but this one is really very simple. There are several steps involved, but you certainly don’t have to be Julia Child to make this one. I would point out though, that when you’re making chicken paprikash, it’s very important to temper the sour cream as the directions state below. Otherwise, the sour cream will curdle, and your sauce will be a mess.

Can I Save and Reheat Chicken Paprikash?

Absolutely you can save and reheat chicken paprikash. I recommend storing it in a sealable glass container as the paprika-based sauce tends to stain plastic. After being stored the sauce may be almost a solid, so I recommend reheating over low heat on the stove top for about 30 minutes. If the sauce doesn’t loosen up, try adding just a touch of low sodium chicken broth as you warm it up to your desired temperature. I don’t recommend the microwave for this⁠ — the chicken will get rubbery.

Pan-Seared and Smoked Chicken Paprikash

Serves: 4⁠–6 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients
4 lb skin-on chicken quarters and drumsticks / chicken thighs
1 tbsp Kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ stick butter
1 large Spanish onion, diced
1 large red pepper, diced
4 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika
2 tsp Hungarian hot paprika
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup white wine, I prefer chardonnay
¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

How to Make Pan-Seared and Smoked Chicken Paprikash:

Step 1: Light grill or smoker and set for indirect heat at 225 degrees as indicated with a reliable leave-in thermometer.

TIP: If you don’t have a grill or smoker you can use an oven set at 225° as well, but the pecan wood gives this dish a very mild but beautiful kiss of smoke.

Step 2: Set chicken on counter and season with salt and pepper, set aside.

Chicken seasoned with salt and pepper prepared for Pan-fried Smoked Chicken Paprikash

Step 3: Heat large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil and butter. When butter has melted and is starting to foam, sear the chicken in small batches, skin-side down, until it is nicely charred and turns a nice golden brown color, about 5 minutes. Flip chicken and repeat. Once chicken has all been seared, remove from pan and set aside.

Seared chicken in cast-iron skillet for Pan-fried Smoked Chicken Paprikash

Step 4: Reduce heat to the pan with chicken drippings to medium high, add onion, red pepper, and garlic. While onions, pepper, and garlic are cooking, scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden utensil to ensure you get all those flavorful bits of chicken that are stuck to the pan. Sauté until onion is slightly translucent and red pepper begins to soften. About 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

TIP: It’s important to remove from heat BEFORE adding paprika as it burns easily and gets bitter.

Onions and red peppers in cast iron skillet for Pan-fried Smoked Chicken Paprikash

Step 5: Add in Hungarian paprika and flour and stir constantly until well incorporated and the flour has been cooked down. Return to medium-high heat and add in wine. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes to allow some of the alcohol to cook off before adding in the chicken stock, cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Hungarian Paprika, flour, and sauteed red peppers and onion for Pan-fried Smoked Chicken Paprikash

Step 6: Place chicken back into pan, skin-side up, and top with ½ of chopped parsley.

Seared chicken and paprika onions and red peppers for Pan-fried Smoked Chicken Paprikash

Step 7: Place a large chunk of pecan wood in the coals of your grill and place the entire cast iron pan in the grill away from the heat source. Put lid on the grill and allow to smoke for 35⁠–40 minutes. While chicken is on the grill, add sour cream to a small bowl and leave on countertop.

Step 8: Check temperature of chicken with a reliable instant-read thermometer. Chicken should be at about 175–180° at this point, well above the USDA guidelines for chicken temperature, and that’s fine. In this case, you want the chicken to be almost falling off the bone.

Step 9: Remove chicken from pan and set aside. In the mixing bowl with the sour cream, whisk in 1 tablespoon at a time of the hot broth from the pan. Repeat this process until you’ve incorporated 5 tablespoons of the broth. This gently warms (tempers) the sour cream and keeps it from curdling when added to the pan of hot broth. Now whisk the sour cream mixture into the pan full of broth until well incorporated, forming a sauce. Taste and season with additional salt if needed.

Step 10: Place chicken back into pan, skin side up. Garnish with remaining parsley and serve over a bed of rice or cooked egg noodles.

Pan-Seared and Smoked Chicken Paprikash

If you tried this recipe and enjoyed it, please click the stars below to leave a rating | Print Recipe

Pan-Seared and Smoked Chicken Paprikash

5 from 13 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5

Ingredients

  • 4 lb skin-on chicken quarters and drumsticks / chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ stick butter
  • 1 large Spanish onion diced
  • 1 large red pepper diced
  • 4 clove garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp Hungarian hot paprika
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine I prefer chardonnay
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup Italian flat leaf parsley chopped

Instructions

  • Light grill or smoker and set for indirect heat at 225 degrees as indicated with a reliable leave-in thermometer. *TIP: If you don’t have a grill or smoker you can use an oven set at 225° as well, but the pecan wood gives this dish a very mild but beautiful kiss of smoke.
  • Set chicken on counter and season with salt and pepper, set aside.
  • Heat large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil and butter. When butter has melted and is starting to foam, sear the chicken in small batches, skin-side down, until it is nicely charred and turns a nice golden brown color, about 5 minutes. Flip chicken and repeat. Once chicken has all been seared, remove from pan and set aside.
  • Reduce heat to the pan with chicken drippings to medium high, add onion, red pepper, and garlic. While onions, pepper, and garlic are cooking, scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden utensil to ensure you get all those flavorful bits of chicken that are stuck to the pan. Sauté until onion is slightly translucent and red pepper begins to soften. About 5 minutes. Remove from heat. *TIP: It’s important to remove from heat BEFORE adding paprika as it burns easily and gets bitter.
  • Add in Hungarian paprika and flour and stir constantly until well incorporated and the flour has been cooked down. Return to medium-high heat and add in wine. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes to allow some of the alcohol to cook off before adding in the chicken stock, cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Place chicken back into pan, skin-side up, and top with ½ of chopped parsley.
  • Place a large chunk of pecan wood in the coals of your grill and place the entire cast iron pan in the grill away from the heat source. Put lid on the grill and allow to smoke for 35⁠–40 minutes. While chicken is on the grill, add sour cream to a small bowl and leave on countertop.
  • Check temperature of chicken with a reliable instant-read thermometer. Chicken should be at about 175–180° at this point, well above the USDA guidelines for chicken temperature, and that’s fine. In this case, you want the chicken to be almost falling off the bone.
  • Remove chicken from pan and set aside. In the mixing bowl with the sour cream, whisk in 1 tablespoon at a time of the hot broth from the pan. Repeat this process until you’ve incorporated 5 tablespoons of the broth. This gently warms (tempers) the sour cream and keeps it from curdling when added to the pan of hot broth. Now whisk the sour cream mixture into the pan full of broth until well incorporated, forming a sauce. Taste and season with additional salt if needed.
  • Place chicken back into pan, skin-side up. Garnish with remaining parsley and serve over a bed of rice or cooked egg noodles.

Notes

Chicken paprikash is easy to make! There are so many complex chicken recipes online, but this one is really very simple. There are several steps involved, but you certainly don’t have to be Julia Child to make this one. I would point out though, that when you’re making chicken paprikash, it’s very important to temper the sour cream as the directions state. Otherwise, the sour cream will curdle, and your sauce will be a mess.
 
You can save and reheat chicken paprikash. I recommend storing it in a sealable glass container as the paprika-based sauce tends to stain plastic. After being stored the sauce may be almost a solid, so I recommend reheating over low heat on the stove top for about 30 minutes. If the sauce doesn’t loosen up, try adding just a touch of low sodium chicken broth as you warm it up to your desired temperature. I don’t recommend the microwave for this⁠ — the chicken will get rubbery.

Tried This Recipe?

Share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #unitedbyflame and let us know how it was!

Scroll to Top