Chicken Paprika – The dos and don’ts will bring a tear to your eye.

Paprika Chicken (18 of 19)I have seen lots of recipes for Chicken Paprika. Mine is unique (as you might expect). It’s uniqueness doesn’t come from any particular skill I have in the kitchen. It comes from having thoughtful friends and family. Thoughtful friend, Richard McGary sent us a box of chilis earlier in the year. While Richard was cogitating his selection, eldest daughter was busy in Budapest drinking low-priced beer and negotiating strings of paprika chilis for my delight. So in honour of both Richard and eldest daughter, I give you my take on Chicken Paprika.

The mix of Texas Hatch Chilis and Hungarian Paprika Chilis makes for a pretty fiery concoction. However, it is soothed by a combination of turnips and the accompanying mashed potatoes. Don’t be afraid of giving this a go. My darling mother, who might not mind me saying is in her 80s, enjoyed it and described it as a “real winter warmer”. Highest praise indeed.

A nice moody ingredients shot spoiled by the zany flour jar.

A nice moody ingredients shot spoiled by the zany flour jar.


  • A good-sized chicken
  • 500 ml of good chicken stock
  • 2 big onions
  • 1 turnip
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 10 paprika chilis
  • 1 hatch chili
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • Flour for dusting
  • A bunch of coriander
  • 1 small tin of tomato purée
  • Salt and pepper

First, some dos and don’ts

Do put the chilis on a baking tray and pop them in a 170º oven for 4 minutes. This dries them out enough to make them easy to pound to powder later on.

Pop 'em on the tray and pop 'em in the oven.

Pop ’em on the tray and pop ’em in the oven.

Don’t forget to set the timer. Don’t go out into the garden and start pulling weeds on the patio.

You could take it as revenge. Me burning the chilis not the reverse.

You could take it as revenge. Me burning the chilis not the reverse.

It’s a good thing Richard and eldest daughter got me plenty. I set the timer second time around. My second attempts were crisped without being ‘burned to a crisp’ as the old saying goes. When they had cooled, I put them into the mortar and crushed them into a nice coarse powder.

Dried chilis ready for the bashing. Note the presence of colour.

Dried chilis ready for the bashing. Note the presence of colour.

The colour released by the chili bashing is amazing.

Fantastic colour from the mix of chilis. Unfortunately, the dust gets in the air too.

Fantastic colour from the mix of chilis. Unfortunately, the dust gets in the air too.

A second set of dos and don’ts is called for now.

Do grind the peppers into a powder.

Don’t pummel and bash the chilis and get chili dust into the air. When that happens, it gets up your nose and you start to sneeze and it gets into your eyes. Then you rub your eyes….

Back to the recipe. Chop the onions roughly and sweat them off in a casserole dish. Remove them and set them aside. Take the whole chicken…

A whole chicken.

The whole chicken.

Take out your anger and frustration by chopping the chicken into nice bite-sized pieces. That is, if you can see through the paprika induced tears and pain.

The chicken, chopped.

The chicken, chopped.

Cover the chicken in dusted flour and fry it in a little olive oil.

This made me feel like I was in a KFC advertisement. Difference is I was using chicken.

This made me feel like I was in a KFC advertisement. Difference is I was using chicken.

The chicken needs to be fried until it is a nice golden brown on all sides.

A gratuitous chicken frying shot.

A gratuitous chicken frying shot.

One of these days, I must do a fried chicken dish. At this stage, it was pretty tempting.

A gratuitous fried chicken shot. Just before I add it back to the pot.

And a gratuitous fried chicken shot. Just before I add it back to the pot.

Next I returned the onions and the chicken to the casserole dish and added the stock. Cue a pouring shot.

The stock helps add more depth of chicken flavour to the dish.

The stock helps add more depth of chicken flavour to the dish.

Next I dry fried the cumin seeds and gave them the pestle and mortar treatment then I added it and the paprika, being careful to avoid getting it in my eyes again.

The paprika powder adds a delicious colour to the chicken.

The paprika and cumin add a delicious colour to the chicken. Note the different colours in the powder.

Next to go in was the tomato purée and put the casserole in the oven for half an hour at 200ºC. During the half an hour, I took the turnip…

The gratuitous turnip shot. I'll bet you didn't see that coming.

The gratuitous turnip shot. I’ll bet you didn’t see that coming.

…chopped it and added it to the dish. Then put it back in the oven for another half hour.

I think we will agree it looks pretty appetising at this stage.

I think we will agree it looks pretty appetising at this stage.

All that is left to do now is to give you the final dos and don’ts.

Do prepare this delicious dish and serve it to family and friends.

Don’t procrastinate about it. It is really worthwhile, even if you nearly blind yourself with paprika while sneezing your head off. Just be careful…

Despite the heat, it went well with this organic wine from the south of France.

Despite the heat, it went well with this organic wine from the south of France.

You can’t see the label of the wine because of the paprika in your eyes. Sorry about that.

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Latest comments
  • I do sympathise. We harvested the last of the chillies yesterday and we ended up so coated in capsaicin that even the twiglets began to taste hot. That chicken paprika looks really appetising and the turnips are an interesting addition.

    • Thanks Linda,
      I still sneeze at the thought of the kitchen that day. I must get a better approach.

  • You forgot to mention that adding the paprika and cumin was also a pouring shot. Totally gratuitous, as always, but strangely alluring just the same… I like my paprika smoked.

    • Thanks Kate, I love smoked paprika also. The gratuity is a bit of fun.

  • I have jotted down notes from your does and don’t and let me tell you I have more chili incidents then you could shake a stick at in Bam’s Kitchen. My boys like things spicy and that is all and well and good until you wipe your eye…. Yikes. I know they would love your dish and it looks so warm and comforting so need to put this on my to do list asap. Take care, BAM

    • Hi BAM,
      The weather in Ireland is turning pretty cool right now and it is just the time to think of these warming dishes. I love having all those chilis.

  • And when using chili, you ned to wash your hands well *before* using the washroom, not just after. Trust me on this 🙁

    • Sadly, I know exactly what you are talking about.

  • I seriously like this recipe.

    • Thanks Underground Gourmet. It was rather tasty, if hot!

  • two new things that I’ve learned can make powdered chili by baking and crushing them with a mortar and…and eating the soup with mashed potato..noted down Conor!

    • I am happy to be of whatever small service I may. Thanks Mama.

  • Lovely dish, Conor, and I’m sure full of bold flavors. It looks very inciting, indeed. Love the pouring shots and the plating shot looks divine. You, however, missed one very important don’t that I learned a long time ago and have never forgotten. It’s also one of the myriad of reasons I now use plastic gloves when handling chiles. DON’T touch any naughty bits for hours after handling hot chiles. It’s a sensation beyond description and not easily forgotten. 😮 Of course, this may be TMI. 😉

    • A distinctive pleasure, once experienced, never to be repeated. I have the tee shirt. Thanks Richard.

      • Now, as an aside, should you ever get hot chiles on your hands and your hands begin to burn, pour isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) on your hands. First, as it evaporates, it cools and soothes providing temporary relief. Second, it acts as a solvent and removes the oils from your skin thereby giving you permanent relief. As for your eyes and “sensitive” skin, there is nothing you can do except wait for the passage of time and take something for the pain.

        • Thanks Richard. Why did you have to say “passage of time”? for some reason, in this context, it made me snigger. I am a child.

  • What all the chili dishes that you have prepared this year, I think we might have to start calling you Tex. It does sound like a wonderful dish and the tips have been well noted. 🙂

  • Chilli dust in the eyes eh. Reminds me of my days in the POW camp… Very rough. Very rough indeed. Great looking food though!

    • Thanks. It worked well in the end, despite the searing pain.

  • That’s exactly what’s called for at this time of year 🙂

    • Thanks MD. It’s certainly cold enough for it.

  • I have done these things. I have burnt pine nuts. Not once. Not twice. But thrice. They go from raw to nuked in 1 second. Then i have thrown them into a bag of rubbish, picked up the bag and watched everything in the bag deposit all over the floor because they have melted anything plastic. I have experienced chili hell. But not just the eyes. The nose too. I scratched my nose (yes I admit it). And then sobbed as my nasal area screamed in pain. Nice chicken BTW. I also really like the first shot. The chilis looks like an invading alien army approaching the unwary bird (just saying)

    • A ‘chili attack’ visual. Excellent. I have done the bin bag thing with some oil that I was sure would be absorbed before it got to the bottom. When the Wife discovered the oil leaking out the bottom of the Brabantia, I knew I was in for an ear bashing.

  • I love this dish and often ate it as a child. Yes, your version is not only aesthetically pleasing but also sounds so tasty! I just sent some chiles to a friend across the ocean – funny that you are also receiving some. I am very much enjoying your blog! Best – Shanna

    • Hi Shanna,
      Great that you have experience of something like this. I pretty well made it up as I went along. It’s true that there is nothing original under the sun. Not even sending chilis across the ocean! Thanks for the kind comments and thanks for visiting the blog.

      • Of course, Conor. Thank you for sharing with us – and have a lovely evening. Warm regards – Shanna

  • Great post. Have you gotten fresh jalapeno juice in your eye and your nose yet? You haven’t lived if you haven’t. A wonderful experience!

    • I look forward to that particular pleasure…

  • Warming winter dish indeed. We could use this dish round here. Lovely.

  • Laughing with delight! Well, I was the mistress/partner/then wife of a rather wellknown Hungarian foodie Down Under – dinner guests about 3-4 times a week and, yes, His Lordship cooked. chicken paprikash ~ often!! A lady was only fit to do the flowers, candles and set the table in his opinion 😉 !] And yet it was always with various paprikas in 1 kg containers [about 6-7 on the top shelf] and he could not produce enough. Well, no Hungarian husband after a while, no paprikash, no desire for one ~ but really have to do it YOUR way with real chillies, tho’ I have some fab real Huingarian recipes in my numerous folders! Delightful 🙂 !

    • Eha,
      I love the picture you paint. The proud Hungarian man, master of his paprika strewn kitchen.

      • Actually Conor, tho’ it ended in disaster, it was glorious fun whilst it lasted 😀 !!

  • Well, I must say that’s the first Texas-Hungary fusion I’ve ever seen. And it clearly works! Looks delicious, Conor.

    • Hi Michelle,
      Just doing my best to make the world a smaller (and hotter) place.

  • haha Connor, lethal looking chillies – are they “Connor’s Specials?” Greetings from Bangkok now! Hotel has new Exec. Chef from the South of Ireland! we are being spoilt 🙂 Carina 🙂

    • They are a mix form Hungary and Texas. Hopefully the Irish chef will deliver some delicious dishes. You deserve a break (no pun intended).

  • I think the zany flour jar made your moody ingredient photo.
    Also, if you’re looking to do a fried chicken recipe, let me know if you want Elvis Presley’s. It just has to be good, right?

    • I would absolutely love to get my hands on that. I have a thought for the post already. Please, please get it to me!

  • A very lovely chicken recipe! Love the spiciness and it is quite good looking too.

  • Texas and Hungarian chilis, what a great combination, and your mom is definitely right. Sounds like a REAL winter warmer. So here’s what I’m going to *do* – make this recipe.

    • Brilliant Tommy, pet me know how it turns out for you. It’s pretty hot and tasty.

  • Everything looks gorgeous as ever Conor. And I will take you up on it, I will make this yummy dish after the craziness of the holidays is over and will probably be craving warm and delicious comfort foods. Happy Holidays to you and yours Conor! 🙂

    • Thank you Lidia. I hope it is as nice for you as it was for me.
      Enjoy the holidays,

  • Conor – I have noticed you commenting on Cooking in Sens in past. please read latest post there.

    • Hi Trish,
      I read it the other morning. I have passed the information on to people I know who are in a position to do meaningful things here. Thanks for your thoughtfulness.

  • I remember your original post about the box of chillies in all of their glory! I love fiery dishes, so this looks absolutely perfect. it’s hot here at the moment so I have no requirement for a warming dish but I’d happily devour this (whilst sweating) nonetheless!

    • If you want to sweat, this is a good way to do it. Even if you don’t, it’s pretty good too.

  • Hi, I love your images of the Hungarian paprika making, I still remember my Hungarian Grandma making the same way…J.

    • Thanks Judit,
      And thanks for visiting with me here on the blog. I love when something I do here makes as special connection.

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