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Asking friends and relatives which Paprikash recipe is most authentic is as contentious as getting into religious or political debates.  Some people’s eyes widen with horror at the mention of including sour cream while others insist that only dumplings, not noodles should be eaten with the sauce.  The thought of adding tomato sauce is enough to make quite a few grandmothers roll over in their graves.  The one thing everyone agrees upon is that Hungarian hot or smoked paprika results in a far superior dish.  Look for it at specialty butcher shops or Slavic grocery stores. 


Rather than try to be the most authentic, I’ve made this dish with my own twist.  Chopped up pieces of pepper never appealed to me in paprikash but the idea of adding some pepper flavor stuck with me.  I add several tablespoons of ajvar; an Eastern European condiment made primarily with roasted red peppers and eggplant.  It adds an extra dimension of flavor that harmonizes well with the rest of the ingredients.  I made this dish with egg noodles for speed and also used chicken thighs rather than a cut up whole chicken for the same reason.  On days when you have the time, making your own dumplings is a fun alternative.



Serves 4-6




2 tbs. canola oil

1 large onion

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 package of boneless and skinless chicken thighs (about 8 thighs), cut into bite sized pieces

flour for dredging, about ½ cup

1 tbs. smoked paprika

2 tbs. hot paprika

1 ½  cups chicken stock

1 bay leaf

¼ cup ajvar

¾ cup sour cream

2 tbs. fresh parsley, minced

Salt and pepper to taste




In a large saucepan, add the oil, onion and garlic and turn the heat on medium.  While that cooks, dredge the chicken pieces in flour and shake off the excess.  Add the chicken when the garlic and onion has softened, about 2-3 minutes later.  Cook the chicken until browned.  Stir in the paprika, bay leaf, chicken stock and ajvar.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has slightly reduced.  Stir in the parsley and sour cream and adjust the seasoning before serving over dumplings or egg noodles. 


Dumplings (adapted from recipe)

Like biscuit or muffin batter, making a good dumpling is based on thoroughly mixing the dry ingredients and then gently folding in the wet.  Don’t worry about a few lumps in the dough. 




2 cups flour

2 eggs

3/4 milk

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp. baking powder

2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped




Put a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil.  While it heats up, combine the dry ingredients.  Mix the egg with the milk and parsley and add to the dry ingredients until just combined.  It will be sticky!  Drop by tablespoons into the pot of water when it reaches a rolling boil.  Dumplings are finished cooking when they float to the top.  

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Comment by Sophia Tonner on October 20, 2011 at 11:22am

It reminded me of a dish my mum used to make when I was a kid. Very nice. I WILL remove the skin next time.

Comment by Naomi Eaton on October 20, 2011 at 10:59am
I do usually remove the skin.  You could crisp it up during the browning stage but it would still go a little limp as the sauce cooks.
Comment by Sophia Tonner on October 20, 2011 at 10:57am

Hi Naomi,

Great fall/winter recipe. Do you remove the chicken skin?

ps: I'm for the noodles

Comment by Naomi Eaton on October 20, 2011 at 10:51am
Glad you enjoyed it!  It's one of the few dishes my husband will actually remember and request so it must be good.
Comment by Naomi Eaton on October 3, 2011 at 2:46pm
I've just found out Price Chopper often carries ajvar and the one at Leslie/Lakeshore has it.

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