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

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Get ready for a taste of Hungary with this delightful summer chicken dish, inspired by the traditional Pörkölt meat stew. Copeland’s pickle and paprika paste marinade gives the chicken a bold and exciting flavor, while the accompanying salad of peaches, plums, and sliced fennel adds a fresh and sweet touch. Don’t forget the extra dash of ground paprika in the dressing! And guess what? This versatile and easy-to-make marinade works great with shrimp, firm whitefish, or pork too!

Paprika takes center stage in this recipe, both as a paste in the chicken marinade and as a seasoning in the salad dressing. Did you know that Hungarian supermarkets have entire aisles dedicated to paprika, paprika paste, and their relatives? If you’re in the U.S., you can find them in the international aisle or at dedicated Hungarian markets, like Ottos in Los Angeles. Happy cooking and enjoy the flavors of Hungary!

Active Time: 50 mins | Total Time: 1 hrs 50 mins | Servings: 4 servings



  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons hot or mild paprika paste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped bread-and-butter pickle chips
  • 2 tablespoons bread-and-butter pickle juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


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


Make the chicken

  1. Combine chicken, paprika paste, pickles, pickle juice, oil, fine sea salt, and pepper in a large ziplock plastic bag; rub to coat the chicken all over. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. While the chicken marinates, make the salad
  2. Arrange peach wedges, quartered plums, and sliced fennel on a large platter. Tear farmer cheese into bite-size pieces, and scatter evenly over the salad. Whisk together oil, lemon juice, paprika, and fine sea salt in a small bowl. Drizzle mixture evenly over salad; set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.
  3. Heat a grill pan over medium-high. Working in 2 batches and without scraping off any excess marinade, add chicken to the pan. Cook until chicken is charred in spots and a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of chicken registers 165°F, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a platter; season with additional fine sea salt to taste. (Alternatively, cook chicken on an outdoor grill: Preheat grill to medium-high [400°F to 450°F]. Place chicken on oiled grates, and grill, uncovered, until charred in spots and a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of chicken registers 165°F, 6 to 8 minutes per side.)
  4. Garnish salad with flaky sea salt. Serve with chicken.
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About the Author: Jenny Kristy

Spice Seeker, Recipe Weaver, Nomad Chef |With a passport bursting with stamps and a pantry overflowing with global spices, Jenny Kristy isn't just a cook, she's a culinary nomad. Her travels fuel her passion, transforming exotic flavors into recipes that tantalize and transport. She weaves magic in her kitchen, sharing her adventures through meals that whisper of Marrakesh markets and Tuscan trattorias. From teaching sushi to whipping up Moroccan masterpieces, Jenny ignites wanderlust and connects cultures, one delicious bite at a time.

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