Pörkölt-Style Grilled Chicken Thighs with Stone Fruit, Fennel, and Paprika Salad

Inspired by the taste of Hungary’s famous beef stew Porkolt, the summer-time chicken recipe is infused with bold flavor from Copeland’s pickle and paprika paste marinade. Peaches, plums, and chopped fennel give the chicken a fresh contrast with a second dose of paprika ground into the dressing. You can also make this flexible, simple marinade to cook shrimp, firm whitefish, or pork.

In the recipe, the paprika ingredient is the main of the pack. It is a form of a paste that is an ingredient in the marinade used for chicken thighs and seasoning in fresh fennel salad and fruit dressing. Hungarian supermarkets have aisles dedicated to paprika, the paprika paste, and their kin. In the U.S., look for it in the international gallery or at a designated Hungarian market (like Ottos, based in Los Angeles)



  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about six thighs)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons hot or mild paprika paste
  • Two tablespoons finely chopped bread-and-butter pickle chips
  • 2 tablespoons bread-and-butter pickle juice
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • Three medium-size (6-ounce) firm-ripe peaches (unpeeled), cut into 3/4-inch-thick wedges
  • Four medium-size (4-ounce) plums (unpeeled), quartered
  • One small (8-ounce) fennel bulb, cut crosswise into paper-thin slices (about 2 cups)
  • 4 ounces herb-marinated farmer cheese or goat cheese
  • Three tablespoons olive oil
  • Two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sweet paprika or hot paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon of acceptable sea salt

Additional Ingredient

  • Flaky sea salt


Cook the chicken

  1. Mix chicken, paprika sauce pic,kles, juice from pickle salt, oil, acceptable sea salt, and pepper into a plastic ziplock bag. Rub to coat chicken on all sides. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

While the chicken is marinated, prepare the salad.

  1. Lay peach wedges on top of quartered and sliced plums and slices of fennel on a large platter. Slice farmer cheese into bite-sized pieces, then scatter them evenly on the salad. Mix the juice of a lemon, some paprika, and acceptable sea salt in a small bowl. Pour the mixture evenly over the salad. Set it in a cool, dark place until it is ready to serve.
  2. Grill pan on medium-high. Working in two batches and without scraping the accumulated marinade, Add chicken to the pan. Cook until chicken is slightly charred on the edges and the thermometer stuck in the thickest section of the chicken registers 165 degrees F between 6 and 8 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken onto a plate and sprinkle with more fine sea salt according to your preference. (Alternatively, cook chicken on a grill outside. Preheat the grill to medium-high temperature [400degF – 350degF]. Place the chicken on the grates coated with oil and grill, unattended until spots are charred, and a thermometer placed in the most significant portion of the chicken registers 165degF. This can take between 6 and 8 mins per thigh.)
  3. Serve salad using Flaky sea salt. Serve with chicken.

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