Cleveland – Chicken Paprikash





I admit I had to do some research to come up with a dish for Cleveland.  Truth of the matter is most of the recipes in this series I have made before when that city was either hosting a playoff game or a featured game of the week.  That leaves little chance for Cleveland of late.  This city has been the butt of jokes for a very long time.  But that has changed dramatically not just because of LeBron James but mostly because of culture.  Sure, the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame has a lot to do with that, but Cleveland has a renaissance in art and food the past generation.  I have been to Cleveland, but I’ve never really been to Downtown Cleveland to witness in person the rebirth of this great city.  Cleveland boasts one of America’s great chefs in Michael Symon as those of you who watch Iron Chef on TV know very well.  His restaurant is just one of many great eateries you can now find throughout the Cleveland area.

Unlike our famous chili recipe from last week Cleveland does not really have a signature dish like Cincinnati but it does have a signature ethnic food culture and that is Eastern European food.  This is one of the more popular recipes for denizens of the greater Cleveland area and one of my personal favorites.  It is called many different names depending on the region.  In Poland it’s known as Papprykarz z Kury for instance.  A lot of people have Anglicized it to Paprika Chicken and that’s how I usually refer to it.  Virtually all recipes are the same for this dish that you will see.  The way I have always made it includes green bell peppers and tomatoes which some versions exclude.  It’s a wonderful dish that can be enjoyed with other Eastern European favorites like pierogis or dumplings.  I prefer to serve the chicken and the sauce over egg noodles with a vegetable such as green peas or green beans on the side.  There are many ways to enjoy this great recipe especially with family on the weekend just they like they do in Cleveland.





1 3 lb. Fryer Chicken separated into 8 pieces; 2 legs, 2 wings, 2 breasts, and 2 thighs

Salt, to taste

Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

4 TBSP Unsalted Butter, divided

1 Medium Onion sliced

1 Medium Green Bell Pepper, seeded and sliced

1 Large or 2 medium Garlic cloves finely chopped

3 Plum Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped

2 TBSP Sweet Hungarian Paprika

½ cup Chicken Stock

1 cup Sour Cream

2 TBSP All-purpose Flour



  1. Pat dry Chicken pieces and then season well with Salt and Pepper
  2. In a large Dutch oven heat 2 TBSP of the Butter over medium high heat
  3. When the Butter has melted add the Chicken pieces and brown on all sides. At least 10 minutes.  You may do the Chicken in stages if not all the pieces fit at once.  Let the Chicken rest on a plate after browning.
  4. In the same pot heat the remaining Butter over medium heat
  5. When the Butter melts add the Onion and Green Pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes until soft. Scrape up any brown bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot and blend with Butter, Onions, and Green Peppers.
  6. Add the Garlic and cook 1 minute longer
  7. Add the Tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes more
  8. Add the Paprika, Salt, and Pepper and stir well for another minute
  9. Add the Chicken Stock and return the Chicken pieces back to the pot
  10. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for 20 minutes or longer until the Chicken is cooked through
  11. When the Chicken is done remove from the pot and let rest while you finish the sauce
  12. Add the Sour Cream and the Flour and stir.
  13. Raise the heat to boil gently and reduce the sauce to your preferred level of consistency
  14. Turn off the heat and taste and adjust the seasonings adding more Salt and Pepper if needed or Paprika if desired.
  15. Return the Chicken back to the pot to coat in the sauce.


WINE PAIRING:  This is one of the rare dishes we will do that would accommodate both a red or white wine.  There are many good red wines in Eastern Europe from Austria, Hungary, Romania and elsewhere that are great with food and not so much on their own.  I am not very familiar with the regional grapes from this area so I won’t go into detail but that would be a good choice if red is your preference.  If you prefer to drink white, I would go with a dry Riesling from Germany or Austria.  Stay away from anything fruity for this recipe.

Author: Steve Melchior

I am a lover of many eclectic things; food, wine, art, music, travel, sports, movies, literature and of course The Grateful Dead. I combine all these interests into great ideas for food preparation and entertaining with friends and family.

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