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Paprika Chicken and Rice

My grandma’s paprika chicken and rice recipe is so easy and so delicious! It’s all made in one pot, so the rice gets unreal chicken and paprika flavor.

Paprika Chicken and Rice- My grandma's paprika chicken and rice recipe is so easy and so delicious! It's all made in one pot, so the rice gets UNREAL chicken and paprika flavor. It's classic flavors done exactly right. passthechallah.com

Here comes another delicious recipe full of classic, feel good flavors—my grandma’s paprika chicken and rice.  I know this isn’t the only recipe I’ve posted were I rave about the amazingness of classic chicken flavor (see onion roasted chicken and roasted chicken thighs), and it probably won’t be the last.  Because who can ever get enough of the pure bliss that is clean and simple, perfectly cooked chicken?!  And to make this dish even better, rice is cooked in the same pot as the chicken so it absorbs all the amazingness.  Amazing.

This recipe is printed in a family cookbook that my mom and I put together a few years ago.  It’s called the Kuznitz Family Recipes (my mom’s maiden name), and it is full of all the family recipes that were either living in my grandma’s head, on various magazine and newspaper clippings in various places, or scribbled on napkin corners.  And compiling the cookbook was a lot of fun!  Most of the fun involved chasing my grandma around with measuring spoons and a pen and paper as she whipped up all our favorite family recipes that didn’t really have a recipe at all.  They had a list of ingredients.  And that’s it.  No instructions or ingredient amounts.  My grandma knows what to do because she watched her mother make it, who watched her mother make it.  But a detail-oriented perfectionist like me (and even more so my mom), wants to know exactly what to do so it comes out just like when grandma makes it.  I don’t want to accidentally add a whole can of tomato paste when it’s really supposed to be a tablespoon.  Or like for this recipe—when do I add the rice and how much water?!  That is a very pertinent detail that is key to perfectly cooked rice at the exact time of perfectly cooked chicken.  Nobody wants burnt rice and raw chicken.  Yuck.

Paprika Chicken and Rice- My grandma's paprika chicken and rice recipe is so easy and so delicious! It's all made in one pot, so the rice gets UNREAL chicken and paprika flavor. It's classic flavors done exactly right. passthechallah.com

So after many hours of writing down recipes, typing them up, and fine tuning the instructions, we now have a cookbook chalk full of our favorite family recipes.  We use it all the time.  My mom has a copy, my grandma has a copy, I have a copy, my sister, my aunt, my uncles, cousins.  It’s perfect!  Anytime I’m looking for ideas for what to make, I flip through the book and always find something that fits the occasion.

Several of my recipes on the site already have come from the cookbook (cheesy green chile egg casserole, chocolate almond clusters, and homemade applesauce), and I’m sure there are plenty more to come!  Today I’m sharing our chicken and rice recipe.  It’s simple, made in one pot (huge bonus!), and obviously tastes completely delicious as I’ve already slightly ranted about.  It gets amazing flavor and color from lots of paprika, and the rice is just out of this world.  It simmers away in part water and part chicken juices, which gives it such a succulent flavor.  And the chicken stays so moist.  But really it’s all about that delicious rice.  Succ-u-lent.  You’re going to totally love grandma’s chicken and rice.  Enjoy!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Paprika Chicken and Rice
Recipe type: Meat
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large cut-up chicken (with bones)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 cups water (divided use)
  • 1½ cups long-grain converted rice
  1. Heat oil in a 5 qt saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry the onion and garlic in oil until onions are soft and translucent, about 7-8 minutes.
  2. Season the chicken with salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Put dark meat chicken in pot, skin side up. Add 1 cup of water to the pot. Turn down heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Add rice, white meat chicken, and 1 cup of water. Simmer until rice and white meat chicken are done, about 25 minutes. Enjoy!


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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Claudia Davis February 14, 2016, 7:13 pm

    I am going to totally embarrass myself asking this question but I DO want to try this recipe and but I do NOT want to overcook the dish so here goes….which pieces are the dark meat that cook first for the hour and which are the white meat pieces that cook for the 25 minutes? I know the breast is white meat but since its so large, shouldn’t that be cooking for more than 25 minutes?

    Also, instead of using water, would chicken stock make this any yummier or is it a waste of stock to use it?

    • Samantha February 17, 2016, 11:32 am

      Hi Claudia! What are you talking about, those are both valid questions!

      The dark meat is everything besides the breasts, and the white meat is the breasts. See, you know what you are talking about! If you have a huge breast than sometimes it takes more like 30 minutes, but in general 25 minutes is enough (since the lid is on it steams and cooks quickly). Last time I made this the breasts did take 30 minutes but the rice took 30 minutes too. Somehow it always works out :)

      I would recommend sticking with water for this recipe. The chicken gives the rice plenty of delicious chicken flavor, and I think store-bought chicken stock would alter the pure, real chicken flavor. Water and the chicken is all you need to make that rice super delicious.

      Let me know how the recipe turns out for you! Can’t wait to hear.

      • Claudia Davis February 21, 2016, 5:12 pm

        Thank you so much for the answers!

        I went away this week so the recipe will wait until I get back to my apartment next week but I am super excited to try it. (On another note, I recently bought Spanish Smoked Paprika which is a whole ‘nother beast than regular paprika and I am hoping to try it in a chili recipe some time soon).

  • Catherine March 17, 2016, 8:42 pm

    Can you shed some light on paprika? Are their mild paprika’s and spicy paprika’s? I cook for a family that has little eaters so a mild version is important. Is that easy to tell in the spice isle at a grocery store? Also, the family I cook for likes to stick to organic whole grains. Have you tried this recipe with whole grain brown rice either short or long grain brown rice? If you soak whole grain brown rice overnight you greatly reduce the cooking time – so I’m wondering if that might be enough here. Just curious if you tried that? I will of course experiment, just thought I’d ask. Oooo… lastly, just to clarify, that’s 1.5 hours total simmering… an hour for the dark meat and an additional 30 for the white meat and not an hour total, putting the white meat in after 30 mins. THANK YOU!

    • Samantha March 17, 2016, 10:40 pm

      Hi Catherine! Yes you are right on, there are several different types of paprika that range from neutral, to sweet, to spicy (although I’ve never actually tasted a spicy paprika). I like to use sweet paprika or Hungarian sweet paprika. It doesn’t leave a strong flavor (just a yummy flavor), so little eaters will like it and probably not even notice it. If all you see at the grocery store is something labeled “paprika”, then this is typically a sweet/neutral paprika and will work well for you.

      I haven’t tried this recipe with any type of brown rice before! I wish I could tell you a way to adjust the cooking time…but I really don’t know. If soaking the brown rice makes the cooking time just slightly longer than white rice, then you could try adding the brown rice a little earlier than you add the white meat, and then still add the white meat after 1 hour of cooking. The flavor and moistness of the rice may be affected, but if you’re used to eating brown rice instead of white then you are probably used to this. Please let me know how it turns out, I’d love to hear!

      And yes, the total simmering time is 1.5 hours :)

  • Debbie Welchert May 20, 2016, 8:29 am

    I have never had Paprika Chicken before and it looks so amazing. I love how few ingredients there are and that it is a pot dish. I can’t wait to give it a try.

  • Lushka Smith May 22, 2016, 8:15 am

    This really sounds yummy, will be sure to try it out.

    I am envious of your cookbook, wish I had one. My Mom was like your grandma, until it looks like this, until it feels like this etc. What kind of recipe instructions are these? LOL

  • Sheila Vives May 24, 2016, 5:01 pm

    I love the flavor of paprika with chicken. I am getting hungry looking at the photo. I will have to try this recipe. It will be something different to serve for dinner.

    • Samantha May 24, 2016, 9:01 pm

      Hi Sheila! I totally agree– paprika and chicken is an amazing combo. I’d love to hear how this turns out for you! Enjoy!

  • Mike July 14, 2016, 1:23 pm

    I grew up calling this “Mrs. Nelson’s Chicken” because Mrs. Nelson always brought it to church potlucks. It’s one of my favorite dishes.

  • Natasha July 28, 2016, 10:03 am

    My grandma used to make this when I was a little girl! She also never wrote down any of her recipes. Now that she’s much older and hasnt been cooking much, she doesn’t really remember the details. I’m so excited to try this… It looks exactly like a remember it!!

  • Melodious October 13, 2016, 5:38 pm

    I found you via Pinterest! I’m making this sometime over the weekend, but I’m going to use my Spanish Smokes Paprika. Since I found it last year, it’s become a tie with cumin for my favorite spice. Can’t wait to try your lovely family recipe.

  • Bonnie February 5, 2018, 8:18 pm

    Can you make this with just white meat? Would the cooking time still be 25 mins..

    • Samantha February 18, 2018, 1:21 am

      Hi Bonnie! Yes, you can definitely make this with just white meat! I haven’t tried it but would guess you skip step 2 and just do step 3 for 25-30 minutes. I always use a cooking thermometer to see exactly when my chicken is done. Let me know how it works out for you!

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