Paprika Chicken with Pasta in a Tomato Cream Sauce
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 5
  • 5 large chicken legs or chicken breasts (I used legs)
  • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt (divided) + more to taste
  • 2½ teaspoons black pepper (divided) + more to taste
  • 1¼ red pepper flakes, divided
  • 2½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2½ teaspoons dried basil
  • 5 tablespoons paprika (Hungarian, sweet, smoked, regular...whatever you have on hand)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced as thinly as possible
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 38 ounces crushed or diced tomatoes (I used 1 24 ounce can of crushed and 1 14 ounce can of diced)
  • 1 4 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 pound pasta, preferably some type of small pasta, such as shells or orecchiette
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  1. Season each piece of chicken with ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper, then rub each piece of chicken with ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon dried basil, and 1 tablespoon paprika.
  2. In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high and lay the chicken skin side down carefully in the pan, then sear until they turn a deep golden color, about 5 minutes at the most. Flip the chicken and sear for another 5 minutes on the other side. You can do this in two batches if you need to. When you're done, place the chicken on a separate plate and set aside.
  3. Add some more olive oil to the pan if needed (I didn't need to), turn the heat down to medium, and add in your onions and garlic. Scrape up all of the browned bits from the pan (flavor!) and saute the onions and garlic until softened and fragrant, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat down to low and add in the bay leaves, tomatoes, and tomato paste and stir to combine. Add in the chicken skin side up and cover. Simmer for 1 to 2 hours (I did mine for 1 hour and 20 minutes), making sure to stir the sauce and flip the chicken every 20 minutes or so to prevent burning. About 30 minutes before you're ready to eat, begin to cook your pasta according to package directions (this will give your water enough time to boil and the pasta enough time to cook).
  5. Take the chicken out, cover with foil (to keep warm), and set aside. Temper the sour cream by adding a spoonful or two of the hot tomato sauce to the sour cream and whisk until smooth. (this will allow you to have a smooth sauce rather than one with chunks of sour cream from the shock of the heat). Skim off as much fat as you can from the sauce, then add in the sour cream and stir until combined, then your cooked pasta. Serve the pasta with the chicken and a piece of crusty bread. Serves 5 with pasta leftovers for the next night!
Adapted From
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at