Friday, January 8, 2021

Chicken Paprikash from @MaddieDayAuthor #giveaway

MADDIE DAY here, with a warm and delicious winter recipe. And a bit of personal back story. 

The first big love of my life was Tibor Derencsenyi, a tall handsome senior in my high school when I was a junior. His intellectual parents had fled Hungary when he was a toddler. We went steady, and he took me to the prom. The relationship ended after he graduated, but thanks to Facebook, we have reconnected. 

Tibor, second from left. I was the "Mini Pep Commissioner" for tennis that spring - leading a cheering group who attended games and supported the team - thus the thanks from the team captain.

In Candy Slain Murder, my latest mystery, I included a Hungarian older gentleman. I borrowed Tibor's first name and Csik, the name of a Hungarian-American fellow I dated in graduate school, for the surname. The resemblance to either stops there! But I'll give away a copy of the book to one commenter here.

Tibor recently posted something about making Chicken Paprikash, so I asked him for the recipe. It also was a perfect way to use some of the delicious paprika my son brought us from his honeymoon in Hungary two years ago. 

Tibor included recipes for galuskas, Hungarian dumplings, and a Hungarian cucumber salad. I decided not to attempt the dumplings and didn't happen to have any pre-made spaetzle around. I served the chicken over pasta, instead.

Chicken Paprikash and Cucumber Salad

Note: I have adapted the recipes a bit. Apologies to Tibor!


Chicken dish:

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

Two boneless thighs and two breast tenders, cut in bite-sized pieces (he called for one chicken, cut up, but I used what I had, because COVID...)

2 tablespoons good paprika

1/2 bell pepper, diced

1 tomato, diced

3 tablespoons sour cream

Cucumber salad:

One English or two regular cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin


1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon sugar

Black pepper to taste

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons sour cream

2 teaspoons rice vinegar


Chicken directions:

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan, and saute onions.

Add chicken, stir, and add paprika. Caution: never add paprika to hot oil - it will turn bitter. 

Toss chicken and brown on all sides. 

Turn heat to minimum, and add pepper and tomato and a half teaspoon of salt. 

Cover and simmer for about an hour. If it seems too dry, add a little water. When the chicken is tender, use a slotted spoon to remove to dish, leaving the sauce. Turn off the burner

Stir the sour cream in its container to make it smooth. Mix three tablespoons into sauce and bring to a simmer to thicken. 

Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add more sour cream if desired. Recombine with chicken and serve hot over dumplings, rice, or pasta.

Salad directions:

Toss the cucumbers with a teaspoon of salt and mix in a bowl with your hand (Tibor says cucumber juice is good for your skin). Let sit 15 minutes in a colander, then briefly rinse.

Squeeze handfuls of cucumber to release their water and transfer all to a bowl.

Mix sugar into 1/2 cup water until it dissolves. Whisk in garlic powder, vinegar, and sour cream. Combine with cucumbers and sprinkle with paprika.

Serve in small bowls next to chicken paprikash. Enjoy with a glass of wine!

Readers: what's your favorite international meal? I'll send one commenter a copy of Candy Slain Murder.

My most recent book is Candy Slain Murder, the eighth Country Store mystery. As with all my books written as Maddie Day, you'll find easy recipes in the back.

The next book out will be the wide release at the end of March of Murder at the Taffy Shop, the second Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery - up for preorder now!

I hope you'll visit Edith Maxwell and me on our web site, sign up for our monthly newsletter, visit us on social media, and check our all our books and short stories.

Maddie Day (aka Edith Maxwell) is a talented amateur chef and holds a PhD in Linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-winning and bestselling author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and also writes award-winning short crime fiction. She lives with her beau north of Boston, where she’s currently working on her next mystery when she isn’t cooking up something delectable in the kitchen.


  1. Edith,
    Chicken paprikash was one of favourite dishes. I spent 6 weeks touring Hungary during my third year of university as part of a regional geography course on the Austria-Hungary empire.

    I used the same chicken paprikash recipe from my Hungarian friend for over 25 years until I was diagnosed with a nightshade food allergy 2 years ago. I was sad that I had to throw out my large jars of sweet Hungarian and smoked paprika.

    So, I will have to say my fave international meal is a Lebanese meal of chicken shawarma, salad and a side order of hummus and beet dips eaten with pita bread.

  2. Thank you for the delicious sounding recipes that I will be trying. Love the versatility of chicken and this recipe would be easy to make. Especially during growing season, we are always looking for ways to serve us the abundance of cucumbers.

    My favorite dish would have to be my Mom's recipe for lasagna. When Dad was stationed in CA, one of our neighbors on base was a little Italian lady. She taught Mom how to make it. Unlike a lot of lasagna dishes, this one isn't dry. It is the dish that converted hubby into loving lasagna which he often requests for supper.

    Seeing that the recipe was shown to my Mom, she never had a written recipe. At a point in my life where I was desperately needing a distraction, I decided to make a tried and true family recipe cookbook. For the lasagna, it took some doing. I would stand behind my Mom and as she poured spices in her hand, I would then take them and measure. Once I had somewhat a written recipe, I would make the dish under Mom's supervision and her tasting it. She would add to or tell me to take out next time. We eventually had a recipe that both she and I was happy with and it went into my cookbook. Doing this and spending time with Mom in the kitchen became even more special when a few years later she was diagnosed with Alzheimer.

    Thank you for the wonderful chance to win a copy of "Candy Slain Murder"! Most definitely on my TBR list and I can't wait for the opportunity to read it. Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. My favorite international dish is tapas.
    Kitten143 (at) Verizon (dot) net

  4. Thanks for the interesting recipes. Yummy! My favorite international meal is the Shepherd's Pie I had in Australia. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. An international dish which is special for us is stuffed cabbage with kasha and bow ties. So tasty and delectable. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. Thanks for this! I will try pretty much any recipe that includes sour cream! And I actually have some real Hungarian paprika, so this was meant to be.

    Favorite international recipe would have to be Marcella Hazan's pasta roses with ham and fontina cheese in a tomato cream sauce from Marcella's Italian Kitchen. And then pretty much every other recipe in pretty much any of her cookbooks ;)

    Really looking forward to Murder at the Taffy Shop!

  7. That looks yummy! I think my favorite international dishes are Mexican. Not Tex-Mex like most Americans think, but homemade tamales and enchiladas.

  8. Wow this recipe sounds out of this world. Thank you. Will have to try this. Growing up on a farm in CA, we all fell in love with the real Mexican food. A neighbor taught my mom so many dishes. We were a family of seven and mom made many dishes that are with us all today. I look forward to reading your book. Thanks for sharing. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  9. I like you "invisible" plate! It looks like the food is sitting on the placemat.
    What a great backstory for the recipe.
    And a yummy recipe.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  10. My favorite international meal is gazpacho with ratatouille. Such a yummy and lovely meal for summer or winter. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. You are the lucky winner! Please send your snail mail address to me at, and congratulations!

  11. What a great story behind this recipe. Looking forward to trying it. I love Hungarian food. Hugs. MJ

  12. I've never tried Hungarian food yet. I enjoy Thai food as I have spent many week in Thailand. Thank you for this chance at your giveaway. pgenest57 at aol dot com

  13. I had forgotten how much I like chicken paprikash. Thanks for the reminder and the recipe. No particular international food comes to mind, although we are adventurous. And we have Mexican meals so often it doesn't seem international. The book sounds wonderful. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. Sometimes, the best part of a recipe are the memories that it invokes. My favorite Intermational food is Italian, and I have the sweetest memory of learning to make braciole with my best friend. Her Aunt Ginny taught us to make “gravy” and roll the braciole. Delicious! And, now, my mouth is watering.

  15. Hi Maddy! My best friend growing up was Hungarian and her parents and grandfather were all born and raised in Hungary, then came to the U.S. They lived down the street, and I spent a lot of time at their house. I loved when the mother cooked and she always offered me food. The stuffed cabbage was my favorite!

  16. My favorite international meal is Mongolian Beef with rice. Your recipe looks delicious. The cucumber salad looks really refreshing.

  17. This looks delicious! Can smoked paprika be used?As for my favorite international dish I have found something yummy everywhere we’ve traveled. I loved a soup in Scotland called cullen skink.

  18. Love Chicken Paprikash and your story about Tibor. I'm always trying different ethnic cuisines, so it's impossible to choose just one, but I'd say Italian and different Asian dishes are high on my list, especially Thai Green Curry Chicken. We're adventurous eaters! lola777_22 at hotmail dot com

  19. I love a good Shepherds pie!

  20. I like Danish Eableskivers--round pancake balls!

  21. Shepherds pie or lasagna thank you for the chance your recipe sounds delicious.

  22. My husband is from Macedonia and I make moussaka which is meat and potato casserole.

  23. I love your recipe! I have a friend who is part Hungarian and she taught me to make real Hungarian goulash (not what I grew up on as “goulash.”) It’s so good!

  24. This sounds really good, will have to try. I would have to say one of our favorite dinners is Cornish Pasties. Meat, potatoes, and onions rolled in a flaky pie crust like a turnover with salt, pepper and a pat of butter on top before crimping the edge and and baking. My Mother's family has been making for generations. It was a standard for miners to take for their lunch baked and rolled in news paper, hand held and delicious.

  25. Thanks for the recipe and congratulations on the new release! I don’t think I have a favorite international meal or recipe! My husband makes a great chili, does that count? 😆
    dm_richards (at) yahoo (dot) com