Paprika Chicken

This recipe hails from Romania

Trying to avoid eating peppers on a ‘healthy eating plan’ is a bit like trying to avoid getting wet when you’re outside and it’s raining – it ain’t gonna happen. And it is for that reason that I bypassed making Paprika Chicken from the Hairy Dieters for so long. My teenage son hates peppers, even when I cut them into miniscule pieces, we still have ‘pepper gate’ when he huffs and puffs when shuffling them around his plate at the dinner table.

However, when all I had in my fridge was some peppers and chicken thighs, it was time to bite the bullet. And….. both my wife and my son really enjoyed this meal, despite ‘pepper gate’. So, the moral of the story is…… actually, I don’t know, but perhaps it’s something along the lines of don’t always assume that your kids are going to hate a meal and it’s good to try them with different recipes. I think I’ve just had my Jamie Oliver ‘turkey twizzler’ moment ;-).

: Paprika Chicken

Calories: 282 per portion (without rice or mash)

Serves: 6

Book: Hairy Dieters – How to Love Food and Lose Weight

Prep time: Approx 30 minutes

Cooking time: Approx 1 hour


  • 1 tbsp olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 2 medium onions (halved and sliced) 
  • 12 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp of smoked paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled and chopped) 
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes 
  • 400ml chicken stock 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs 
  • 3 large peppers (red, yellow and green)
  • 1 tbsp of cornflour
  • 1 tbsp of cold water
  • 6 tbsp half fat creme fraiche 
  • Ground black pepper 

Cost per portion: Approx £1.69


Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan or casserole dish and fry the onions over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes until softened and lightly coloured, stirring  regularly. Put the chicken on a board and cut away any visible fat. Cut each thigh in half, season with ground black pepper and add to the pan.

Cook the chicken with the onions for 4-5 minutes until lightly coloured on each side. Stir in the garlic and paprika and cook for 1 minute more. Tip the tomatoes into the pan, pour over the chicken stock and add the bay leaves and mixed herbs. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover the pan loosely with a lid and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the vegetables are cooking, cut the peppers in half and deseed.  Cut them into chunky pieces, each about 3cm. Add the peppers to the chicken and cook everything for another 25-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender.

Mix the cornflour and water together to make a smooth paste, and stir this into the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is thickened, stirring constantly.

Serve the paprika chicken topped with a little half-fat crème fraîche. Lovely with a 
small portion of rice or some mashed potatoes


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