My chicken Stroganoff recipe makes the best chicken Stroganoff. It’s incredibly rich and creamy, redolent of spices, slightly tangy and loaded with umami due to the addition of Worcestershire sauce, which was added to beef Stroganoff in the Russian restaurants in Shanghai and Harbin in China in the early 20th century.
If you loved my authentic beef Stoganoff recipe and my mushroom Stroganoff recipe, both based on my Russian-Ukrainian family recipes – my grandmother was Ukrainian and grandfather Russian – then I guarantee that you’re going to love this chicken Stroganoff recipe, perhaps even more.
My chicken Stroganoff recipe makes a Stroganoff that’s just as creamy and earthy, but it’s even spicier that my beef Stroganoff – and by that, I mean richly spiced, not spicy-hot. Another element that sets apart this chicken Stroganoff recipe is umami, that intense savouriness that distinguishes the Asian flavours I’ve incorporated into this recipe.
My chicken Stroganoff has even more umami than the beef Strog thanks to a few additional ingredients inspired by the Asian stops on the Stroganoff global grand tour that saw the original beef Stroganoff travel from Russia via Europe and Asia to Australia and the Americas. Few dishes are as well travelled as the old Strog!
Before I tell you all about this Russian chicken Stroganoff recipe, however, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-supported. If you’ve cooked this dish or any of my Russian family recipes, our Cambodian recipes, or anything from the Grantourismo recipe archives, which are heaving with hundreds of recipes from around the world, please consider supporting Grantourismo so that we can keep producing delicious recipes.
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Now let me tell you about my Russian chicken Stroganoff recipe.
Chicken Stroganoff Recipe for a Richly Spiced Asian Inspired Style of Stroganoff
When I first shared this chicken Stroganoff recipe with you two years ago we were at the start of our third week of staying at home due to a hard lockdown here in Siem Reap, which explained all the chicken recipes we were sharing at the time.
There were recipes for a Mexican chicken tinga taco, Cape Malay chicken curry, Burmese Indian-style chicken curry, Moroccan chicken tagine, Thai larb gai, spicy chicken lettuce wraps, Burmese fried chicken… and, and, and… you name it. We had a lot of chicken in the freezer.
I grew up eating the classic Russian beef Stroganoff, which was very similar to the recipe I published, with a few small tweaks. I shared a vegetarian version of that – my mushroom Stroganoff recipe (link above) – and as we have all this frozen chicken in the fridge, I thought I’d develop a chicken Stroganoff recipe.
For the Russian cookbook based on my family recipes that I’ve been working on in between the Cambodia cookbook, I’ve been researching the history of the Russian émigrés who fled to China in the early 20th century, as part of my research into the journey my family took from Europe to Australia at the end of World War II.
My research may have gone a little off track, but my knowledge was enriched as a result. This chicken Stroganoff recipe is inspired by those Russian exiles who first settled in Harbin, then Shanghai, and later Hong Kong, taking their beef Stroganoff on a journey through Asia with them.
In each of those cities they established vibrant Russian communities. There were Russian owned hotels, Russian bakeries, Russian delis, Russian tea rooms, cafés and bars, and, of course, Russian restaurants.
While the vast majority of those establishments have long gone and those that remain open are no longer owned by Russians, Stroganoff still appears on menus everywhere from Shanghai to Hong Kong.
You’ll find a beef Stroganoff in Hong Kong that is redder in colour than the traditional Russian Stroganoff. It’s heavy on ketchup, which was invented in China, and includes Worcestershire sauce, which, with its fermented fish, tamarind, chilli pepper, soy, and cloves is distinctly Asian.
But I liked the sound of the Stroganoff that was served in Old Shanghai, which was said to have included soy sauce along with the Worcestershire sauce. Don’t you just love how food travels? Just a few tips to making this chicken Stroganoff recipe.
Tips to Making this Chicken Stroganoff Recipe
As usual, just a few tips to making this chicken Stroganoff recipe. Let’s start with the chicken. When slicing the chicken breasts, make sure to slice diagonally across the grain.
I’ve used chicken breasts here, but you could try boneless thighs. I like my chicken pieces to average around 2cm x 5cm in size but you could make them a bit larger. I wouldn’t go smaller.
When I coat the chicken in the flour mix, I spice up the flour with paprika. I also include a little paprika in the sauce despite the early Russian beef Stroganoff excluding paprika, which just seems wrong to me.
Make sure each piece of chicken is completely covered in flour and only fry the chicken pieces just until they brown then remove them immediately as you don’t want to over-cook them.
While most cooks would automatically reach for a deep fry pan or cast-iron skillet for a dish like this, we love using our flat bottomed wok for frying the chicken quickly to seal in the flavour.
Our flat bottomed wok barely leaves our stove and we use it for a lot of dishes that others would use a pan for, but by all means use the same cast iron skillet or large pan you do the onions and mushrooms in. This will be the pan you do the whole dish in.
My chicken Stroganoff recipe calls for both sour cream and cream, and I find that results in a super creamy dish. I know a lot of American Stroganoff recipes incorporate a flour slurry, but I dislike the texture and taste. If your sauce isn’t thick enough, turn up the heat to reduce it more.
Compared to my beef and mushroom Stroganoff recipes, I’ve bumped up the spice and condiments in this chicken Stroganoff recipe, as I said in the introduction. Along with the Worcestershire, tomato sauce (ketchup) and soy sauce, I’ve added fish sauce.
If you don’t use a lot of fish sauce in your cooking, and generally find it too salty or funky for your taste, then don’t add the full measurements the recipe calls for immediately. Start with half the amount or even a quarter, taste, then add more, little by little, trying it in between, to suit your taste. Also keeping in mind the flavours will develop and intensify during cooking.
Or don’t. Leave out the fish sauce if you prefer. We all have different palates, so my idea of salty might be very different to your idea of salty. Which is why I’ve indicated that the salt at the end is optional, but I find it sometimes needs it when I have a final taste before serving.
That’s because not all fish sauce is salty. We have quite a fish sauce collection and I have a favourite artisanal Vietnamese fish sauce I bought about seven years ago, and that fish sauce tastes of caramel and is pure umami.
So with fish sauces, always keep in mind that some fish sauces are saltier than others. We recommend Thailand’s Megachef for a good quality fish sauce, as its sodium levels are always consistent.
With my beef Stroganoff and mushroom Stroganoff recipes, I recommend traditional Russian accompaniments of mashed potatoes, crispy shoestring fries or buckwheat kasha, but as this chicken Stroganoff recipe is more Asian inspired, I suggest rice – and perhaps a combination of brown rice types, as I’ve used here – or even noodles.
I also suggest a Russian garden salad on the side. It’s actually rare that Russians would eat a dish like Stroganoff alone. Most of my family’s meals were shared meals with an array of dishes on the table. A family feast typically included piroshki, pelmeni and vareniki, stuffed cabbage rolls, a beetroot potato salad, and perhaps chicken kotleti.
Despite the Asian inspiration, and its travels and migrations, chicken Stroganoff remains inherently Russian, which means you will want to garnish the dish with fresh dill, and another dollop of sour cream. Serve with dishes of gherkins and additional sour cream on the table.
Chicken Stroganoff Recipe
- 800 g chicken breasts
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp ground sweet paprika
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp quality sea salt
- 3 tbsp neutral cooking oil - divided
- 2 white onions - roughly sliced
- 250 g brown mushrooms - sliced in halves or thirds depending on size
- 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
- 200 ml sour cream
- 100 ml cream
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground smoky paprika
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tbsp quality fish sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato sauce
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- salt to taste
- Slice the chicken diagonally across the grain into pieces of around 2cm x 5cm.
- Sprinkle the flour, paprika, white pepper, and sea salt onto a plate, use a fork to combine well, then roll the chicken pieces in the flour so each piece is completely covered.
- In a wok on medium-high heat, heat two tablespoons of cooking oil until the oil sizzles when you drop a little flour in, then fry the chicken pieces first on one side then on the other just until they brown and remove immediately.
- In a cast iron skillet or large pan, on low heat, gently fry the onion slices in a tablespoon each of butter and a neutral cooking oil until translucent and soft, then set aside.
- In the same skillet or pan, turn up the heat and sauté the mushrooms in a tablespoon of olive oil until brown, then turn down the heat, add the sour cream and cream, the onions and chicken, then the spices and sauces and mustard, and gently simmer for ten minutes or so until the sauce thickens and spices meld together. Taste and if needed adjust the seasoning, adding a little salt if you like.
- Plate individually with rice or noodles, garnish with fresh dill, and serve with dishes of gherkins and additional sour cream.
First Published 27 September 2021; Updated and Republished 15 May 2023
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make our chicken Stroganoff recipe as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.