Chicken Paprikash may not be the first thing you think of when you think about camping food, but if you want a hearty dinner after a busy day hiking, it’s really easy and only takes about 40 minutes to whip up.
We’ve rated this recipe as MODERATE difficulty due to the number of steps involved and the amount of ingredients that need to be organized (mise en place) before you begin cooking.
Chicken Paprikash is a very popular dish from Hungary that uses quite a bit of their world famous paprika. Don’t try to use American or Spanish Paprika for this one. It won’t taste right.
In our version of this recipe, we used Hungarian Sweet Paprika and opted to use a little cayenne pepper instead of Hungarian hot paprika. Cayenne is cheap and it’s easier to get the heat exactly how you want it.
We used our Lodge 5 quart cast iron dutch oven to cook it. It was the perfect size and cast iron’s heat retention makes for a better camping cookpot when it’s windy outside than a thin one.
Related: How to season your cast iron.
Cast iron also does a much better job at searing than a non-stick pot. Searing the skin properly helps keep it from getting as rubbery when you pour the sauce over it.
Traditionally, wide egg noodles are served with Chicken Paprikash, but we don’t particularly like dealing with noodles at the campsite. They require too much water along with a large pot and colander. We don’t really want to haul that stuff out to the country with us.
Rice goes very well with it though, so we chose to make a quick batch of parboiled rice as an accompaniment.
Camp Stove Chicken Paprikash
- 4 Bone-in chicken thighs – skin-on
- 2 tsp. Morton's kosher salt
- 1 tsp. Black pepper
- 1 tbs. Vegetable Oil
- 1 large Yellow onion – chopped
- 1 medium Red bell pepper – finely chopped
- 3 tbs. Hungarian sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp. Cayenne
- 4 cloves Garlic – minced
- 2 cups Chicken stock
- 1 15 oz. can Fire roasted diced tomatoes – regular will work
- 1/2 cup Sour cream – 8 oz. container is perfect for travel
Before You Leave Home
- Place paprika and cayenne in zip-top bag or small resealable container.
At the Campsite
- Trim chicken thighs and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat vegetable oil until just smoking. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook undisturbed for 5 minutes.
- Flip chicken, being careful that skin doesn't get pulled off from sticking. Cook for another 5 minutes undisturbed.
- Remove chicken to a clean plate.
- Add onions and cook for five minutes, stirring often.
- Add bell pepper and cook an additional five minutes, stirring often.
- Add paprika and cayenne mix and stir for one minute (this is called blooming the spices and will help bring out their flavor and aroma).
- Add garlic and stir for one minute.
- Add chicken broth, stirring briskly to remove any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Add diced tomatoes, stir well. Turn heat up and bring to a boil.
- Once it has reached a boil, add the chicken back in, skin side up, along with any juices on the plate, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- At the 20 minute mark, check the temperature of the chicken with your instant-read thermometer. If the chicken is registering at least 165 degrees, remove it to your plate and move on to the next step. If not, cook until it has reached 165 degrees.
- Turn off heat and add the 1/2 cup of sour cream, stirring well to combine. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.
- Add chicken back in and spoon sauce over it. Serve with rice.