Bookish Recipes

Here’s a 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.

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


  • 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


  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.