homemade-chicken-and-dumplings

Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

homemade-chicken-and-dumplings

Is there anything more comforting and delicious than a bowl of hot, fresh, homemade chicken and dumplings? This recipe is perfect for fall and winter weather as the temperature starts to drop and we all need to be warmed up from the inside out.

A pot of chicken and dumplings with a long spoon scooping a dumpling.

Soup Season Is Finally Here!

There’s just something about cold weather that makes you crave soup, especially soup that sticks to your bones and keeps you full all day or night. It’s safe to say that this easy chicken and dumplings recipe fits the bill!

While it’s the perfect cold weather meal, I truly love making this comfort food year-round. I first had when I was in college on a beach trip with friends and their families. It was a great meal to come home to after a long day of playing in the sun and surf. This is also one of my go-to recipes to make any time someone in my family is sick or whenever I’m taking a meal to friends or family. (Can you tell cooking is my love language?)

What Is Chicken and Dumplings, Exactly?

Chicken and dumplings is essentially a thick, creamy, and flavorful chicken stew made with dumplings cooked right on its surface via steaming. For maximum flavor, we want to make a really rich and hearty stew base that just screams comfort food.

Additionally, this soup is packed with tender cooked chicken, fresh veggies, herbs, and spices. Think chicken pot pie, but as a soup. And instead of a flakey pie crust, you get light, fluffy, biscuit-like dumplings. Yum!

You can make this dish even simpler to throw together any night of the week by using a cooked rotisserie chicken. (And save the carcass to make some homemade chicken stock!)

A bowl of chicken stew with a dumpling in the middle.

Key Ingredients

This recipe is twofold — the rich chicken soup and the fluffy homemade dumplings.

For the soup portion, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Yellow onion (finely chopped; can swap for a white or sweet onion, but no reds)
  • Carrots (diced)
  • Celery (finely chopped)
  • Garlic (minced finely)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Chicken broth (homemade or store-bought; organic, free-range, and low-sodium, if possible)
  • Heavy cream (can also use whole milk or half-and-half)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Dried thyme (or fresh, if you have it handy)
  • Dried bay leaves
  • Frozen green field peas
  • Cooked chicken (diced small; can use white or dark meat, or a mix)
  • Minced parsley (dried or fresh)

And for the homemade bread dumplings, you’ll need: all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, melted unsalted butter, and milk. (This is a similar ingredients list for homemade drop biscuits.)

How To Make It

First, we need to make the soup. Begin with a common soup starter trio — onion, carrots, and celery — aka a mirepoix. They are sautéed in butter, and then we add garlic to cook for a minute or so, just until it’s aromatic and not letting it burn.

Then we need to make a roux to thicken the chicken stew base. Stir in the flour until it is thoroughly cooked through, the vegetables are coated, and the roux starts to brown. Then, add the chicken stock and stir to incorporate before adding the heavy cream, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaves. Let all of that simmer while you prepare the dumplings.

Side by side photos of sauteeing vegetables and starting chicken stew.

How To Make Soup Dumplings

Want to hear an undeniable truth? No one wants to bite into a dense, soggy dumpling. So, I set out to perfect a method for making easy, delicious dumplings that are light and fluffy to complement this rich soup.

  • Start by whisking or sifting together the flour, baking powder, and salt. (The baking powder is what gives the dumplings a nice, fluffy interior.)
  • Then, add the melted butter and milk for moisture and fat. These also help the dumplings hold their shape, and keep them nice and tender.
  • Don’t over-mix the dough, or they will be tough and dense. All you need is a quick stir to get them to come together, and then set the dough aside.
Side by side photos of mixing together dough for dumplings.

Assemble the Chicken and Dumplings

Now that your dumpling dough is prepared, let’s get back to the soup. It’s time to add the cooked chicken, frozen peas, and chopped parsley. You don’t want to add these any earlier, or else they’ll cook for too long and can get tough, particularly the chicken.

Chicken, parsley and peas being stirred into chicken stew.

Next, drop the dumplings into the very top of the chicken soup. Cover with a lid, and do not peek! You want that steam trapped inside the pot to get those dumplings nice and fluffy.

Set a timer for 15 minutes. After that time has passed, test the dumplings for doneness. If they need a few more minutes to cook, you can flip them over at this point, then cover again and cook for a few minutes at a time until done.

Overhead photos of pots of chicken and dumplings before and after the dumplings are cooked.

Once the dumplings are cooked, this dish is ready to serve!

Recipe Tips

  • To make this a quick dinner, use a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
  • If cooking the chicken from scratch, I like to use chicken thighs because they are more flavorful, but you can use breasts as well. Prepare any way you’d like – saute in a pan, poach, or roast in the oven, then chop. I typically use about 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe.
  • For uniform dumplings, I like to use a medium cookie scoop, which holds about 1½ tablespoons, for dropping the dough into the pot.
An overhead photo of a pot of chicken and dumplings.

Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions

  • Storage: The chicken and dumplings can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freezing Instructions: You can freeze the chicken and dumplings in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: Allow these homemade chicken and dumplings to thaw from frozen in the fridge overnight. Then, reheat over low heat on the stove (or in the microwave), adding extra liquid as needed to loosen it up, until it’s bubbling and warmed through evenly.

More Chicken Comfort Food Recipes To Try

If you love chicken-based comfort food dishes, these will be right up your alley:

I would absolutely love it if you made this for dinner sometime soon. If you do, please stop back and leave a rating, and let me know how you liked it. Or tag me on Instagram. And enjoy! 😍

Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins

The best chicken and dumplings recipe made completely from scratch with a rich stew and fluffy dumplings. Make it a quick meal by using rotisserie chicken!

  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup (60 g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups (1200 ml) chicken broth
  • cup (80 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 cups cooked chicken, diced small
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley

For the Dumplings:

  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk
  • Place the chicken stock in a small saucepan and warm over low heat.

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and saute until the onion is translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

  • Slowly add the hot chicken stock, stirring constantly, and simmer over low heat until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the heavy cream, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaves. Adjust the heat to maintain a slow simmer while you prepare the dumplings.

  • Make the Dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the melted butter and milk and stir with a rubber spatula until the dough just comes together.

  • Stir the chicken, peas, and parsley into the pot. Drop the dumpling mixture by large spoonfuls of dough over the surface of the chicken stew. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Check the dumplings with a toothpick to see if they’re done; if they are still doughy in the middle, flip them over, cover and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

  • To make this a quick dinner, use a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
  • If cooking the chicken from scratch, I like to use chicken thighs because they are more flavorful, but you can use breasts as well. Prepare any way you’d like – saute in a pan, poach, or roast in the oven, then chop. I typically use about 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe.
  • For uniform dumplings, I like to use a medium cookie scoop, which holds about 1½ tablespoons, for dropping the dough into the pot.
  • Storage: The chicken and dumplings can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When reheating, you may want to add a splash of chicken stock to loosen it up a bit.
  • Freezing Instructions: You can freeze the chicken and dumplings in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat over low heat on the stove (or in the microwave), adding extra liquid as needed.

Calories: 365kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 55mg, Sodium: 1457mg, Potassium: 535mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 4769IU, Vitamin C: 23mg, Calcium: 146mg, Iron: 3mg

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Photography by Ari Laing.


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