During my travels to Budapest, Hungary, I pretty much lived off chicken paprikash. In this dish the heavenly sauce is creamy and bursting with flavor. The chicken is juicy and tender. It is the perfect homey meal.
I instantly knew that I had to put a sous vide twist on this dish when I came home.
Without further ado, here it is. A perfect Chicken Paprikash that would make Hungary proud. Serve this dish up with traditional egg noodles or rice and enjoy the brilliant flavors.
Time and Temperature
Through some R&D, we’ve found that cooking chicken thighs at 74C/165F for 2 hours is the perfect combo. Leaving the chicken thighs in for 2 hours results in a tender, juicy bird that Thomas Keller would be proud of. Furthermore, cooking them at a temperature of 165F ensures that the chicken is fully cooked to the bone. Just make sure you have a reliable sous vide that accurately regulates the temperature of the bath or your results may vary (check out the Anova or Joule). For other time and temperature options, check out our cooking guide here.
Sous Vide Machine – This one is obvious. To cook sous vide, you’re going to need a device to precisely regulate the temperature of the bath water. The two best sous vide machines in the game right now are the Anova Precision Cooker and the Breville Joule. The main difference between the two is that with the Anova you can control the device both manually and with a mobile device, and with the Joule you can only control the device by using your mobile device. Either way, both sous vide machines are top class and you can’t go wrong with either choice.
12-quart Container – Although you can use a basic stockpot for your sous vide cooking needs, I highly recommend buying a large plastic container. They are inexpensive and spacious, so you won’t have to worry about cooking a big roast in a small pot. I recommend a 12 quart Rubbermaid container, as it is BPA free, sturdy, and large enough for just about anything you will be cooking.
Container Lid – If you are going to buy a plastic container, I highly suggest buying a compatible lid for it. When you sous vide for a long duration, the heat of the water causes evaporation. With a lid, it eliminates a majority of the evaporation so you can cook for 72 hours care-free.
Cast Iron Skillet – If you are looking to take your searing game to the next level, we recommend investing in a cast iron skillet. By using a cast iron in this recipe, you’ll achieve a deep sear on the protein. Cast irons are also extremely handy for searing just about any and all sous vide meat. Lodge offers the best quality and price, which is why it is our favorite cast iron brand.
Check out our full list of recommended gear here.
Sous Vide Chicken Paprikash
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 lb egg noodles or rice
- ½ cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- Salt to taste
- parsley, chopped for garnish (optional)
Sous Vide Chicken
Set sous vide machine to 74C/165F.
Place chicken in freezer bag, and remove the air through a vacuum sealer or the displacement method. Drop the bag in the bath for two hours.
Remove bag from bath. Take chicken out of the bag, pat dry and season with salt and paprika to taste.
Heat oil in a large pan on medium high. Add in chicken thighs skin-side down for 1 to 2 minutes, or until skin is browned and crispy. Flip and cook other side for 1 minute. Remove chicken thighs from pan, and place on plate to rest.
Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high. Once heated, add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter until melted. Add onion and cook until softened and translucent, approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and cook until it is fragrant, roughly 3 minutes.
Add the paprika, flour and 1 tablespoon of butter and stir until the onions are coated. Continue stirring until the taste of the flour has been cooked out, approximately 4 minutes.
Add tomatoes and broth to the mixture, mix until smooth, then salt the sauce to taste. Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes to thicken and let the flavors emulsify. Once the sauce has thickened, add sour cream and stir.
Place chicken thighs in the paprikash sauce and simmer for 3 minutes. Garnish with parsley, and serve with traditional egg noodles or brown rice. Enjoy!
For best results, start the paprikash sauce roughly 30 minutes before the chicken is finished cooking in the sous vide. Sear the chicken when the sauce has roughly 5 minutes left to cook.
Frank V says
I am from Hungary and this recipe is great! Really tastes traditional with great flavors.
Could you add the sauce to the bagged chicken and sous vide them together so that the flavors permeate the meat?
Jason Veselak says
I do that with other recipes like my chicken piccata or greek chicken, but since the paprikash sauce is creamy with a thick consistency I wouldn't recommend adding the sauce to the bag. The juices from the chicken will thin out the sauce and lead to inconsistent results.
I have made this twice for my family and both times they loved it! Also with some white rice, it makes great leftovers the next day.
I made it and liked it, but it lacked enough salt/flavor. Adding salt isn't the simple answer though. I would forget adding salt directly and make it up it by adding enough full flavor chicken broth until the seasoning is right. I think also an umami element needs to be present. I am a big fan of Del Monte stewed tomato's that seem to have it, but I would also goes as far as adding anchovie.