Paprika chicken is an delicious and easy chicken thighs recipe that’s perfect for a Sunday dinner, but impressive enough to serve for a holiday meal. This healthy chicken dinner is packed with healthy smoked paprika, roasted vegetables and kale.
For people who love to cook, sharing recipes between friends is really something special. One of my very dearest friends (you can visit her blog here) shared this paprika chicken recipe with me a few months ago when our families got together for dinner.
She made this dish for us, and it was the best thing I’d eaten in a long time! I just had to add it to our regular meal plan because it’s so tasty and healthy. In fact, I went out a few days later to buy the ingredients to attempt it myself.
I’ve put my own spin on the paprika chicken recipe and it has quickly become a family favourite at our house. I have a hunch you’ll love it that much too!
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What is paprika good for?
Paprika has a lot of health benefits, but the biggest benefit is that it is great for healthy eyesight. This is because paprika has a number of antioxidants that help to prevent eye diseases, such as:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin A
Because of its anti inflammatory properties, paprika also helps with indigestion, cardiovascular health, and circulation.
My friend originally followed a recipe from her sister-in-law’s blog (found here), and another blogger I follow created a similar recipe that I also used for inspiration (although the methods are very different). You can find it here.
Ingredients in the Paprika Chicken recipe
Olive oil (a tablespoon or so)
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, all visible fat trimmed
2-3 sweet potatoes
1 large onion (optional)
1/2 bunch of kale
A splash or two of white wine (use chicken broth instead, if you wish)
2 tbsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper
You will also need:
a heavy-bottomed, oven-safe pan (cast iron is ideal)
a saute pan and an oven-safe casserole dish
How to Make Paprika Chicken with Roasted Root Vegetables
Start by prepping your vegetables. Feel free to use root vegetables that your family prefers.
I listed the ingredients above that I used this time, but I’ve made this dish with a different combination of root vegetables every time and it always turns out well. Some popular root vegetables include:
- sweet potatoes
- onions (paprika chicken is delicious with sweet yellow or red onions)
Wash, peel, and chop your root vegetables into pieces as uniform in size as possible. Peel and chop the beets last (if you’re using them), since their juices dye just about anything they come into contact with once they are peeled.
I loathe peeling vegetables, so I only peel the sweet potatoes and the beets and leave the skin on the carrots and the potatoes as long as they’ve been washed well.
Now is also a good time to stem and chop the kale. You can chop the kale as finely as you wish; our kids find it easier to eat if the pieces are smaller, so that’s what I do. But if you prefer larger pieces, then chop it according to your preference.
Once the kale has been chopped, set it aside and roughly chop and set aside the onion as well (if you’re using it…my 2 and a half year-old daughter is on an onion strike at the moment, so I left it out).
Add the potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots to a pot and add water until they’re almost covered.
Set the pot over medium-high heat and cook the vegetables for about 8 minutes or until they’re only slightly under-cooked and still on the firm side (you can check them with a fork).
Add the beets to a separate pot and cook them for the same length of time. This may seem like an unnecessary step, however if you add the beets to the pot with the other vegetables everything will be a big purple mess.
While the vegetables are cooking, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a heavy-bottomed saucepan (preferably one that’s oven-safe) over medium-high heat and add some olive oil to the pan.
While the pan is heating, season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper and 1 tbsp of paprika on the top-sides only (you’ll season the bottom sides in a minute).
Add the chicken thighs to your saucepan upside down (seasoned side down).
Once the chicken hits the pan, don’t move it for several minutes. This allows it to brown deeply and evenly, developing lots and lots of flavour. If you’re worried about it burning, turn the heat down to medium, but be aware that turning the heat down too low can prevent browning.
While the thighs are browning, season the other side with more salt and pepper and sprinkle on the remaining 1 tbsp paprika.
Once the chicken thighs have browned on one side, turn them over to brown on the other side. When you turn them, you should see this:
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Paprika Chicken Nutrition
Paprika Chicken with Roasted Root Vegetables
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs all visible fat trimmed
- 2-3 beets
- 2-3 potatoes
- 2-3 carrots
- 2-3 sweet potatoes
- 1 large onion
- 1/2 bunch of kale
- A splash or two of white wine use chicken broth instead, if you wish
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- salt and pepper
- Wash, peel, and chop the root vegetables into pieces as uniform in size as possible. Remove the stems from the kale and chop into small pieces. Set aside the chopped kale and onions for now.
- Add the potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots to a pot and add water until they're almost covered.
- Set the pot over medium-high heat and cook the vegetables for about 8 minutes or until they're only slightly under-cooked and still on the firm side (you can check the doneness with a fork).
- Add the beets to a separate pot and cook them for the same length of time. This may seem like an unnecessary step, however if you add the beets to the pot with the other vegetables, everything will be a big purple mess.
- While the vegetables are cooking, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place a heavy-bottomed saucepan (preferably one that's oven-safe) over medium-high heat and add some olive oil to the pan.
- While the pan is heating, season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper and 1 tbsp of paprika on the top-sides only. Add the chicken thighs to your saucepan, seasoned side down.
- Once the chicken hits the pan, don't move it for several minutes. This allows it to brown deeply and evenly, developing lots and lots of flavour. If you're worried about it burning, turn the heat down to medium, but be aware that turning the heat down too low can prevent browning.
- While the thighs are browning, season the other side with more salt and pepper and sprinkle on the remaining 1 tbsp paprika.
- Once the chicken thighs have browned on one side, turn them over to brown on the other side. The goal here is not to cook the chicken thighs through completely, but to achieve a nice brown colour on both sides before they go in the oven to finish cooking.
- While the chicken thighs are browning it will likely be time to remove the root vegetables from the heat. Use a colander to drain the water and set the vegetables aside for a moment.
- Once the other sides of the chicken thighs have browned, remove them to a plate using a set of tongs, leaving the pan on the heat with all the chicken juices left behind.
- Add a few splashes of white wine to the pan and stir up all the little brown bits left behind from cooking the chicken. Continue stirring until you can see that about half of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the kale and the onion and stir them around in the pan, allowing them to pick up all the flavour of the chicken bits, the paprika, and the wine. When the kale begins to wilt and the onion begins to soften, remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the root vegetables to the pan and sprinkle some more salt and pepper on them before tossing them with the kale, the onion and the leftover sauce you've just created as you've deglazed the pan. (If your pan isn't oven-proof, now is the time to transfer the mixture to a casserole dish with a little olive oil drizzled into it.)
- Lay the chicken thighs on top and nestle them into the root vegetables.
- Transfer the pan to your oven that's preheated to 375 degrees and let it roast for about 25 minutes or until the chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the chicken and vegetables rest in the pan for a few minutes before serving. You'll notice the brown colour on the chicken will deepen as it roasts in the oven and the vegetables will soften in the middle and may turn a little crispy on one side (especially the potatoes).