Chicken Paprikash + Contagion

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So, my boyfriend and I thought it would be really fun to do a theme date night. Like, we would go see Scorched at A.C.T. and go out for Middle Eastern food, or we could make some curry and watch Slumdog Millionaire, for example. Something like that.

But instead of either of those ideas, which are excellent, we thought it would be a great idea – nay, a hilarious idea! – to watch Contagion, and make chicken. Yes, chicken. Ye old salmonella carrying, easily disase transmitting, bacteria-ridden, chicken.

These descriptions are so fabulous – it’s like I should write a cooking blog or something.

In retrospect, not a great idea. Especially since I boarded a plane the next day and proceeded to wash my hands 47 times and look extremely askance at strangers. But, the upside of scaring ourselves silly and being ridiculous, is that we discovered an amazing recipe I’m so excited to share: chicken paprikash. It’s warm, spicy, but not in a tongue burning Mexican food way, and almost bricky. Which seems like an odd thing to say. “Hey ya’ll, you’ll love this dinner, it takes like the side of a house! You’ll love it!” But really, it has a delicious dry heat, almost like tandoori, and you can taste old world spice, dry clay, and home. Delicious.

Now, if only we could stop our Purell addiction.



. 4 chicken leg quarters, cut in half at the joint (about 3 pounds total)

. Coarse salt and ground pepper

. 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

. 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise

. 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

. 2 tablespoons sweet paprika

. 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

. 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

. 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes

. 1/2 pound wide egg noodles

. 1/2 cup sour cream or thick plain yogurt


1. Season the chicken with a heavy dose of salt and pepper. Then, in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the oil on high. Cook your chicken, skin side down, until golden and crisp, for about six minutes. Flip chicken and cook until browned, six more minutes, and transfer to a plate.

2. Discard all but one tablespoon fat from pot and reduce heat to medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, until beginning to soften, about two minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for three minutes. Add paprika and flour, season with salt and pepper, and stir constantly until paprika is fragrant and mixture begins to stick, for one minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil over high. Return the chicken to the pot in a single layer, skin side up, and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, for about 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain noodles and divide among four bowls. Top with chicken. Stir yogurt into the sauce, then ladle the whole mess over the chicken and noodles.

6 thoughts on “Chicken Paprikash + Contagion

  1. Hanna says:

    How fun! I very pretentiously feel the need to exclaim that Chicken Paprikash (csirke paprikas, to be even more pretentious) is actually a Hungarian dish (THE staple dish of the country). So it’s more Eastern European than Middle Eastern. It’s usually made with teeny little dumplings (which I have the special kitchenware for — I think a party is necessary next time you come over!), rather than noodles. I agree that it is to die for…and leaves a Paprika-y smell on your breath which may as well be the National Smell of Hungary, as it was a daily experience when in close proximity to a Hungarian. Hungarian Paprika is absolutely the best…I’ve been savoring mine since we left!


  2. Hilary says:

    I was actually thinking about Hungary and all the paprika everywhere as we were making this dish!

    Yes please, party! I miss you!!


    • Hilary says:

      Aw shucks thanks 🙂 Yeah, it was a good movie, and yet, I don’t altogether recommend it!

      Excited for tonight!

      XO –


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