Diversions

Dracula – Paprika Hendl Recipe

Here is another recipe pulled from the pages of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I did some internet research, and it turns out that “paprika hendl” as it is called in the text, is likely “chicken paprikash”, or  “paprikáscsirke” in Hungarian. It’s typically served with egg noodles or dumplings. It’s hearty, creamy, and very good. I’ve made it twice now, and plan to cook it again.

Chiken Paprika

Paprika Hendl Recipe
Serves 5

We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh. Here I stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner, or rather supper, a chicken done up some way with red pepper, which was very good but thirsty. (Mem. get recipe for Mina.) I asked the waiter, and he said it was called “paprika hendl,” and that, as it was a national dish, I should be able to get it anywhere along the Carpathians. ~ Dracula by Bram Stoker, Chapter 1

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lb chicken breasts cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 3 heaping tbsp of Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a pot and brown the chicken. Remove the chicken to another plate.
  2. In the same pot, add the onions, paprika, flour, butter, salt and pepper. Stir it all together until the onions are softened, and you no longer have too many lumps in the mix.
  3. Add water and chicken stock, then the chicken. Bring to a boil then let simmer for 20 – 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the sour cream.

Cook’s Notes: Using Hungarian paprika (not your typical North American supermarket brand) makes a big impact on the flavor of dish. You can also throw in some hot paprika  if you like spice.  Chicken thighs, or legs work just as well. Some recipes add tomatoes, tomato paste, or lemon for a bit of tang.  This photo is from my first attempt at the dish, but the recipe comes from a modified (tastier) second try at the recipe that didn’t call for tomatoes .

Here’s the first recipe from Dracula: Robber Steak. Stoker knew his food.

14 Comments

  1. Harry Markov

    I’d try this, but the issue is that I’d find paprika, which is not Hungarian, but in order to sell it, the seller will lie about it. ALSO, I’m not a cooked paprika fan to be honest. It gets so mushy and gooey.

  2. But to really make this work, we need the good stuff (i.e. Hungarian paprika), huh? I wonder if the local Farmer’s Market (which carries all kinds of interesting international flavors) has any…

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      Actually, I got my Hungarian style paprika from Safeway, so it was still supermarket brand, but a richer flavor to it than normal paprika. It tastes pretty good with normal paprika, just a little less roast peppery.

  3. Brad

    Did you cook that? It looks fantastic. We need smell-ernet. Well, come to think of it, maybe not. That would give a whole new meaning to annoying popups.

  4. Hannah

    Looks good…this is a dish thats often cooked in Austria as it was something everyone cooked in the austro-hungarian monarchy 🙂 “Hendl” is just the austrian word for chicken and Paprika is just our word for normal bell peppers or for the spice. We serve it with “Nockerl” which are very small dumplings.

    The recipe is the same my mum taught me :-)))))

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