Chicken With Sour Cream and Paprika 4.000

Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post

Apr 30, 2014

This is the dish that launched chef and "The Chew" co-host Carla Hall’s cookbook of global comfort foods. The secret to creating a smooth sauce, she says, is to whisk in the sour cream over very low heat.

Serve with roasted fingerling potatoes.

Make Ahead: The dish can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying (may substitute regular olive oil)
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total), excess fat and skin removed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 serrano chili peppers, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (regular or low-fat; do not use nonfat)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish


Pour just enough oil to coat the bottom of a large skillet; heat over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering.

Meanwhile, season the chicken generously with salt -- about 2 teaspoons. Carefully place the chicken in the oil, skin side down. Reduce the heat to medium; cook for 20 minutes, until dark golden brown, then turn the chicken over and cook until dark golden brown, about 15 minutes. Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add the onion, serranos, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 7 minutes; the onion should be soft.

Stir in the paprika and cayenne pepper; cook for 1 minute, then stir in the broth to form a sauce. Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low.

Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet, skin side up, nestling the pieces into the sauce and turning them over and back for even coating. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Place 2 chicken thighs on each plate.

Reduce the heat to low; once the sauce is no longer bubbling, whisk in the sour cream to form a velvety sauce until just heated through.

Spoon some of the sauce on top of each serving of chicken. Garnish with the parsley. Serve right away.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Carla's Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes from Around the World," by Carla Hall with Genevieve Ko (Atria Books, 2014).

Tested by Tim Carman.

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