Traditional recipes

Chicken Goulash with Biscuit Dumplings

Chicken Goulash with Biscuit Dumplings

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dust lightly with flour. In a deep skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the olive oil. Add the chicken and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned on both sides, 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the 1 ½ cups of flour with the baking powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Pulse in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk ½ cup of the stock with ½ cup of the sour cream and drizzle over the dry ingredients; pulse until a dough forms.

Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet. Stir in the paprika and caraway and cook for 30 seconds. Add the remaining 2 cups of chicken stock and ½ cup of sour cream and stir until smooth. Add the thyme and bring to a boil.

Scoop twelve 3-tablespoon-size mounds of biscuit dough over the chicken. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the biscuits are cooked. Turn on the broiler and broil for about 2 minutes, until the biscuits are golden. Serve the goulash in bowls, spooning the biscuits on top.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 ½ cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1 ½ cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and add it to the pan. Cook the chicken until browned, turning, about 8 minutes in all. Remove. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan.

Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pan. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to moderately low and add the paprika, flour, and cayenne to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, the thyme, and the bay leaf. Add the chicken and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is done, about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and add the parsley and black pepper.

Menu Suggestions: Serve the goulash with spaetzle, buttered noodles, or boiled or mashed potatoes.

Wine Recommendation: With this dish, it's natural to experiment with one of the increasing number of reds imported from Hungary. Try Egri Bikavér or a varietal such as a merlot or a cabernet sauvignon.

Chicken Goulash with Buttermilk Dumplings

A new twist on one of my childhood favorites……Goulash! Chicken Goulash with Buttermilk Dumplings.

Growing up we were pretty poor, so stretching a buck was an art form. We had a lot of hamburger, which when I was growing up, was really cheap. We also ate a lot of pasta…..ok elbow macaroni. Goulash was on of my favorite meals. My Mom wasn’t the greatest cook, a wonderful baker, not so much on day to day cooking, but she rocked goulash. Her secret ingredient was brown sugar. It was jus the right amount of sweet with the tomatoes.

To this day I still enjoy that sweetish goulash with, as Tim calls it butter bread. Butter bread is just bread with butter (a lot of butter), that sometimes is broiled (thats the best)!

But how to make goulash fresh and new again? Use chicken! I chose chicken thighs for the extra moisture dark meat has, and I like boneless skinless for a shorter cooking time.

Instead of the total tomato version I grew up with, I decided to try a paprika version. I did still use some tomatoes …….can’t change everything. The thighs were browned, then onion, red pepper, garlic, paprika, caraway seeds, and the tomatoes were brought to a boil with chicken stock, and a bit of sour cream to give it a creamy base.

How and what was I going to make for butter bread? Buttermilk biscuits dropped on top….dumplings, there was enough sauce to support them. Don’t tell Tim, but they were almost better than butter bread….shhhh!

I used a cast iron skillet, but any oven proof skillet will do. Dredge the chicken in seasoned flour, I had some left from another recipe, but you can easily make your own with salt, and pepper. Brown the chicken in butter and coconut oil. Remove the chicken, and in the same skillet, cook the remaining ingredients. A little bit of sour cream gives the dish an added creaminess. Return the chicken to the skillet, top with the buttermilk dumplings, and bake until the dumplings are golden brown. Garnish with parsley if desired. Comfort food at its best.

While this is a far cry from my poor girl goulash, Chicken Goulash with Buttermilk Dumplings is a tasty update to a childhood favorite.

Winter Cooking: Chicken Goulash with Sour Cream Dumplings

This is the blog post where I announce a triumphant return to blogging on the regular.

Really. This time I mean it. And what better way to start mid-January 2018, than with a recipe for a smoky and delicious chicken goulash? This dish originally comes from Food and Wine Magazine but I’ve played around with it a bit and finally landed on this version. It’s a meal I make at least three or four times throughout the fall and winter. I think it’s best if you can make the goulash earlier in the day, then store it in the fridge for a few hours to let all the flavors meld together and get awesome.

If you don’t have time to do that, no problem, just make the dumplings after you get the broth into your pot and it will still be mighty flavorful. The orange brightens up the earthiness a bit and plays very well with the smoked paprika.

Some of the ingredients are divided and used for different parts of the recipe (half the sour cream for the dumplings, the other half with the chicken some of the butter in the pan, most in the dumplings), but the diligence in reading through the directions carefully will be rewarded in the end. Promise.

Chicken Goulash with Sour Cream Dumplings
Adapted from Wood and Wine magazine, serves 3-4
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
5 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons (divided)
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp Hungarian paprika
1 tbsp + 2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp caraway seeds (divided)
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
juice of 1 orange
1 cup sour cream (divided)
2 tsp baking powder
Fresh dill, chopped (for garnish)

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dust lightly with flour. In a deep ovenproof skillet or pot, melt 1 tbsp of the butter with all of the olive oil. Add the chicken and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 7 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet. Stir in the paprikas and 3/4 tsp caraway and cook for 30 seconds. Add the orange juice and 2-1/2 cups of chicken stock. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes.

At this point, you can turn the heat off and let the goulash sit for an hour off the heat, or longer in the fridge (overnight, even!) so that the flavors have some time to get to know each other and meld a bit. When you’re ready to keep going, just make the dumplings and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. If you do want to just continue on right away, add the sour cream when you add the broth and let the chicken simmer only briefly while you make the dumplings.

To make the dumplings:
In a food processor, pulse the 1 1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of pepper, and 1/4 tsp caraway. Pulse in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of the stock with half of the sour cream (1/2 cup) and drizzle over the dry ingredients pulse until a dough forms.

Stir the other 1/2 cup sour cream into the goulash and bring that back up to a gentle simmer (if the goulash was off heat or in the fridge).

Scoop ten to twelve 3-tablespoon-size mounds of biscuit dough over the chicken (a medium ice cream scoop works great for this). Transfer the pot to the oven and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the biscuits are cooked. Serve the goulash in bowls, spooning the biscuits on top, and garnish with the dill.

Authentic Hungarian Paprikash, aka Goulash

What most Americans call Hungarian Goulash is not goulash at all but a dish based on Hungarian Paprikash (Papriká). Goulash, or Gulyás is a soup or stew. In Hungarian, it means ‘stew of the cowboy.’ The story is that Hungarian cowboys would cook cubes of beef with spices into a soup. This would have included black pepper and, in reality, this cowboy soup was created before paprika was introduced to Hungary and became the staple spice of the cuisine, supplanting black pepper and other pungent spices. So, while goulash does have paprika, the paprika is simply a seasoning.

What we think of as goulash is different. Along with chicken, paprika is the entire point of the dish and there is much less liquid.

One other difference is the addition of starches. My research reveals different takes on whether traditional goulash had added starches like potatoes. It seems nobody knows or agrees on how it was made originally. However, modern recipes tend to include potatoes. Paprikash, on the other hand, does not include any starch, but it is often served over fried potato disks, noodles, or rice. I actually love it over rice but I’m a rice nut. German spaetzle, aka Nokedli egg dumplings, are often reported as a traditional starch accompaniment.

In Chicken Paprikash, which, in Hungarian, is called Paprikás Csirke, many of the ingredients recipe sites list as essential are optional. And, most of them include too much tomato. You can do without tomato entirely but when used, only a small amount is included, not an entire can of stewed tomatoes. One fresh tomato or even just a tablespoon or so of tomato paste should suffice. The only essential ingredients are onions, chicken, and paprika. Additional herbs like caraway seed or dried marjoram can be included (I always add caraway). And a clove of garlic can be added. Green or red sweet peppers can also be included, but are not strictly needed.

What About Sour Cream?

Sour cream is traditional to paprikash. You can add sour cream to the dish at the end of cooking. I love to dollop some sour cream over the dish, but I’m weird that way.

What About Liquid?

For chicken paprikash it is best to use chicken broth for the liquid. Do not add more than enough to cover the chicken well. Then, you’ll want to cook it slowly, allowing it to cook down. At the end, you should have a somewhat reduced sauce with lots of paprika flavor. Remember, the star of the show is paprika.

What Type of Paprika?

It is best to buy a Hungarian Sweet Paprika. You can also use Hot Hungarian Paprika if your prefer more heat, or you can use a combination of the two. I also sometimes add smoked paprika because I love the flavor it adds. You do not need to be concerned with how ‘traditional’ your paprikash is. You can be sure that Hungarian cooks have their own preferences and recipes. You can adapt yours to suit your tastes as long as you don’t skimp on the paprika.

Is Cornstarch or Other Thickener Needed?

If you play your cards right your sauce will cook down to a perfect consistency and you will not need any added thickener like cornstarch. If you add too much liquid, which will dilute the flavor anyway, you may need to add some thickener at the end. It is best to avoid this as it changes the texture of the sauce.

Another option is to start with a paprika roux. This will allow you to deepen the flavor while thickening the sauce after you add the liquid.

What About Beef or Pork?

Although beef is traditional to goulash, chicken seems to be traditional to paprikash. However, I make ‘beef paprikash’ all the time. Just brown pieces of stew meat like chuck before adding the other ingredients. You can also use a nice cut of beef if you want to splurge. If you can get them, try some beef tenderloin tips. These are affordable but are still tenderloin. Use beef broth instead of chicken broth.

Type of Chicken

This need not be an expensive meal. Traditionally, chicken would be cooked on the bone. You can use chicken thigh pieces. Avoid the temptation of using chicken breast or you’ll end up with dry and tough pieces of chicken like the kind you get in your Indian carryout.

How to make chicken paprikash?

  • Divide the legs as mentioned above or cut the whole chicken into several pieces: thighs, drumsticks, and breasts. Save the rest &ndash wings, neck, backbone &ndash to make stock.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot, large enough to hold all the parts.
  • Chop the onion finely and fry it for a few minutes or until golden. Add the sweet paprika powder and stir well to coat the onions.
  • Place the meat in the pot and start adding the stock, only 300 ml/ 10 fl.oz/ 1 1/3 cups at the beginning.
  • Cover the pot and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and soft.
  • Check and stir carefully from time to time and add the remaining stock if you think it is necessary. I normally do add it, I love the sauce.


  • In the meantime prepare the nokedli.
  • Stir the cornstarch with a little water to form a thick yet pourable paste.
  • Make a little room in the middle of the pot and stir this paste into the cooking sauce while whisking all the time to avoid getting clumps. Stir the sauce carefully and let cook for another 1 or 2 minutes until it thickens slightly.
  • Drain the dumplings well and add them to the chicken paprikash. Stir carefully to coat them with the sauce.
  • Sprinkle the dish with some chopped parsley and serve. My favorite side dish for paprikash are gherkins or Green (Unripe) Tomato Pickles.



  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed cream of celery or cream of chicken soup
  • 1 teaspoon Paula Deen's House Seasoning
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 3 ribs chopped celery
  • 1 2 1/2 lb chicken
  • 2 cups mixed with 1 teaspoon salt all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup ice water
  • 2 tablespoons (optional) corn starch

Cut up chicken, but do not remove skin. The skin and bones can be removed later. Place chicken, celery, onion, bay leaves, bouillon and House Seasoning in water and cook at a low boil for 30 to 45 minutes, until meat begins to fall off the bones. Remove skin and bones at this point, along with bay leaves. Return chicken to pan. Prepare dumplings and set them aside for a few minutes. Add cream soup to chicken and continue to boil. If desired, you can thicken the stock at little by mixing 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and adding it to the stock. Drop dumplings into boiling stock. Never stir dumplings. Shake the pot gently in a circular motion to submerge dumplings in stock. Cook until the dumplings float and are no longer doughy, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not overcook.

Put flour/salt mixture in a mixing bowl. Beginning in center of flour, dribble a small amount of ice water. Work mixture with fingers from center of bowl to sides of bowl, incorporating small amounts of water at a time. Continue until all flour is used up. Batter will feel as if it is going to be tough. Knead dough and form into ball. Dust a good amount of flour onto dough board and rolling pin. Roll out dough, working from center. Dough will be firm. Roll to 1/8 inch thinness. Let it air-dry for a minute or two while you return your attention to the boiling pot at the point at which you add the canned soup to the chicken mixture. Cut dumplings into 1-inch strips. Working with one strip at a time, hold strip over pot, pull it in half, and drop into the boiling stock. Remember, do not stir after dumplings have been added to pot.

Note: Frozen dumplings are available in most supermarkets if you don’t have time to make them.

What Makes this Soup So Creamy?

There are a few tricks to keeping Chicken and Dumplings creamy without adding any cans of condensed soups.

First is the use of evaporated milk as mentioned above.

Second, and just as important, is the gravy base of the soup made with all purpose flour and butter. You use the butter to sauté the vegetables in and then add in the flour and cook for a minute or two. The two combine to make a great soup gravy base – similar to making white country gravy.

The evaporated milk + gravy make an amazingly creamy soup when combined with the chicken stock!

Here's what makes this recipe delicious:

  • Flouring the meat first helps thicken the sauce.
  • Using chicken stock instead of broth provides more flavor.
  • Adding more paprika makes the dish sing.
  • Using low-fat sour cream lightens the gravy a bit, but using full-fat sour cream will give you a smoother sauce.
  • Substituting water for the milk in the dumplings gives a better texture.

I know I came up with a winner, since my son requests this meal every year for his birthday, Mom and Dad thoroughly enjoy it, and my husband and daughter are always excited to hear Hungarian chicken paprikash and trampolines are on the menu.

This dish is definitely a family favorite, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! I know Grandpa, Grandma and Nonna are happy when I get my Hungarian groove on in their memory.

(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C. Originally published on October 2, 2014 and updated now with new photos, nutrition info. and additional narrative. See one of the original photos below!)

Beef goulash with dumplings

1. Put the beef and flour in a bowl and toss to coat the beef in the flour. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

2. Heat the butter and oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Add the beef in batches and cook, turning often, for 5–6 minutes each batch, or until browned all over. Transfer each batch to a bowl while browning the remaining beef.

3. Add the onion, capsicum and garlic to the casserole dish and sauté over medium heat for 5–6 minutes, or until softened. Add the paprika,caraway seeds and thyme and stir for 1 minute,then return the beef to the pan. Add the stock and tomato paste, bring to the boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1–1½ hours, or until the beef is tender.

4. Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the melted butter, milk and parsley to the well and stir until a dough forms. Divide the dough into eight even portions and roll each into a ball.

5. Remove the lid from the goulash, place the dumplings on top of the beef in a single layer, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked through. (Avoid lifting the lid during this time as the dumplings need to steam to cook through properly.)

6. While the dumplings are cooking, bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the beans and cook for 6 minutes, or until just tender. Drain well and serve immediately, with the goulash and dumplings.