This meal is a nod to the paprikash I had in Budapest. This chicken stew is loaded with tons of paprika and shredded chicken for a quick, easy weeknight dinner.
My husband rarely knows what he wants to eat for dinner and typically doesn’t have a strong opinion one way or the other. I often take control of meal planning, and he happily eats whatever he’s served. This works for us because I get to experiment as much as I like in the kitchen, and he’s always a willing taste tester.
The other week, he was struck with a craving: stewy chicken with some kind of thick sauce. At first, he thought chicken Marsala would be good, but I didn’t have Marsala wine. I suggested chicken paprikash, but I realized I didn’t have all the ingredients to make an authentic paprikash. That still sounded good to me, so I decided to use the basic elements and cook something in the same vein, but I wouldn’t call this a paprikash. It has chicken and paprika, but it’s missing the sour cream and loads up on other vegetables.
This chicken stew really hit the spot. It’s thick, stewy, and has lots of flavor. Don’t skip the lemon and dill at the end, particularly the lemon. The acid works really well with the thick sauce. If you don’t have dill, freshly minced parsley or scallions would work too.
How to make this chicken stew:
I love how easy it is to make this hearty chicken stew. You can also make many substitutions or additions depending on your preference.
What you need
- Chicken: I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs since they cook so quickly. Use bone-in, skin-on for even more flavor, but just be mindful that they’ll take longer to cook.
- Vegetables: You need onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and potatoes. Add sliced bell peppers or finish with chopped baby spinach if you want to add extra vegetables.
- Broth: Use flour and chicken stock to create the thick broth. If you want a thicker broth, you can make a slurry of the broth with more flour at the end of cooking.
- Garnishes: I finish with lemon wedges and fresh dill. You definitely want the brightness from the lemon. Finishing with fresh parsley or minced scallions would also be good if you don’t have dill.
How to make it
- Step 1: Brown the chicken to build up a little fond on the bottom of the pot.
- Step 2: Cook up the vegetables and aromatics. Add the spices and let them bloom in the pot briefly.
- Step 3: Add the flour and toast it briefly. From there, whisk in the broth and bring it to a boil.
- Step 4: Add in the chicken and simmer until cooked through.
- Step 5: Shred up the chicken and throw it back in the broth. You’re done!
- Large pot
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 3 ribs celery, trimmed and diced
- 4 carrots, trimmed, peeled, and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika, optional
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 pound baby Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh dill, optional, for garnish
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Brown the chicken:
- Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
- Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Add to the soup pot in an even layer and cook for 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Keep the heat on the soup pot at medium.
Cook the aromatics:
- Add another teaspoon of oil if needed. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook for 5–6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the garlic and the sweet, smoked, and Hungarian paprika. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the flour and toss to coat. Cook for 1–2 minutes to toast it in the pot.
Simmer the stew:
- Pour in the stock and whisk to incorporate into the flour. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and add the potatoes and the chicken thighs. Simmer for 20–30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the broth is thick.
- Transfer the chicken to a bowl and taste the broth and season. If you like a thicker broth, make a slurry with 1 tablespoon of flour and ⅓ cup of hot broth and whisk it back into the stew.
Shred the chicken:
- Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces using two forks. Return it to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and season once more. Turn off the heat.
- Ladle the chicken into bowls and garnish with dill and lemon. Enjoy!