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Hungarian Chicken Thigh Hunter’s Stew “Vadas” – with Recipe!

Adrienn Vass 2022.05.06.

Hungarian Hunter’s Stew (Vadas – literally ‘of the wild’ in Hungarian) is a characteristically mysterious dish. Its origin is almost completely unknown, I couldn’t find anything about it even after my search reached the depths of the internet. With all certainty this proves exactly that we are referring to a dish of fully Hungarian origin.

Translation by Tamás Vaski

The dish, based on a mix of root vegetables, was once the star of canteens. Despite its simplicity, it is quite an exciting catch, especially when complemented by its indistinguishable pairing of bread roll dumplings. We cannot find such dumplings as the garnish of any other dish, but they go hand-in-hand with vadas. The stew is most often prepared from beef, but the rabbit rib and chicken thigh versions also hit the mark in popularity.

Chicken Thigh Vadas


  • 1 kg chicken thighs
  • 4-5 carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • Half, or a quarter of a celery root
  • 1 onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • Cooking oil

Pre-cook the chicken in a small amount of oil for a few minutes. Remove it from the pot, then cook the chopped carrots and onion in the fat that is left behind. Return the meat to the pot and add the cubed celery root as well. Pour enough water into the pot to cover the ingredients, then add salt, pepper, and the bay leaves for taste. Once the chicken and vegetables are cooked, remove the chicken and place it in a separate dish, then remove its skin. Throw out the bay leaves as well.

Turn the remaining stew and vegetables into a cream using a hand blender, then add the sugar, mustard, vinegar, flour, and sour cream and continue mixing. Once it is nice and creamy, return the chicken, without its skin, and cook it all together once more.

Bread roll dumplings:


  • 4 bread rolls
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 10 dkg fine flour
  • 2 tablespoons cooking fat
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 dl water (as much as it takes in)
  • Salt
  • Fresh parsley

Chop the bread rolls into cubes. Heat up the oil in a pan and fry the bread cubes in it. Once adequately fried, remove the bread cubes and work them into the fat, salt, flour, eggs, finely chopped parsley, and as much water as is necessary to make them easily formable, while ensuring a solid mass. Cook the dumplings in salted, boiling water for about 10-15 minutes.

Poppy Seed Nudli – Hungarian Gnocchi – with Recipe!
Poppy Seed Nudli – Hungarian Gnocchi – with Recipe!

Hungarian poppy seed noodles are prepared from potato dough and wheat flour – and similarly to Austria’s eastern regions, the dish is served sweet.Continue reading

Photos and featured photo by Péter Csákvári/Hungary Today


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