Chicken and Dumplings

5 from 5 votes

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Fluffy yet toothsome dumplings are nestled into a saucy, creamy blend of chicken and vegetables.

Chicken and Dumplings

It did not take long to realize that the sweet spot of my cooking is comfort food. Old-fashioned chicken and dumplings falls squarely in that comfort food category. Fluffy-yet-firm “dumplings” made from biscuit dough are nestled atop a stew of super-tender chicken and assorted vegetables in a brothy, creamy sauce. There are some steps involved, yes, but it’s surprisingly easy to make, and make really well.

I know this recipe says serves six, but the reality check is that with my family of four, there are no leftovers. You really don’t need anything else — this is a one-dish meal — but a salad, like a Caesar Salad or Light Green Crunchy Salad, is nice.

Chicken and Dumplings in a pot.

Chicken and Dumplings: Fluffy yet toothsome dumplings are nestled into a saucy, creamy blend of chicken and vegetables.

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Ingredients

For the Chicken and Broth

  • Chicken – I use a whole, 4-lb chicken and remove the skin and bones after it is cooked in the broth. You can use 4 pounds of bone-in skin-on chicken pieces instead. If you want to use 3 pounds of boneless, skinless thighs and breasts, you can, and it will cook a bit faster, but you won’t get a flavor that is as deep.
  • Carrots – For the broth, the carrots should be peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  • Celery – Cut your celery into 1-inch pieces for the broth.
  • Onion – Peeled and quartered.
  • Bay leaf – Stewing with a bay leaf makes for a more aromatic broth.
  • Peppercorns – Whole peppercorns add punch to the stew.
  • Salt – To taste.
  • Chicken broth – Preferably less-sodium so that you can control the amount of salt in your dish.
Transferring Chicken and Dumplings from pot to soup bowl.

For the Stew

  • Unsalted butter
  • Carrots – Peeled and chopped.
  • Celery – Also chopped.
  • Onions or leeks – White and light green parts only if you’re using leeks!
  • Mushrooms – I used button mushrooms, but any kind will do.
  • Minced garlic
  • All-purpose flour – For thickening the stew.
  • Green peas – Frozen, fresh, or canned and drained — any version works here.
  • Sage – One tablespoon chopped fresh sage or one teaspoon dried sage.

For the Dumpling Batter

  • Flour
  • Baking powder – Baking powder will give the dumplings more volume and a lighter texture.
  • Milk – Whole milk works best.
  • Parsley – I added some chopped parsley to these dumplings for color and freshness.

How to Cook Chicken and Dumplings

  1. Cook the chicken: Place the chicken in a large pot with the pieces of carrot, celery, and onion, as well as the bay leaf, peppercorns, and salt. Add 2 cups of broth and just enough water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Remove the chicken and set aside on a cutting board until cool enough to handle, then strain the broth. Measure out 3 cups and reserve the rest for another recipe or freeze for soup.
  2. Prep veggies for chicken stew: Melt the butter in a large, deep oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the chopped carrots, celery, onions or leeks, and mushrooms for about 8 minutes, until golden. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute more.
  3. Add flour: Sprinkle over the flour and stir until the flour has coated the vegetables and has started to turn golden brown.
  4. Add stock and milk: Slowly add the reserved 3 cups of cooking stock, whisking constantly, then whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add peas and sage: Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until thick and creamy.
  6. Debone chicken: While the vegetable mixture is simmering, remove the skin from the chicken and discard. Take the meat off the bones, keeping the chunks a generous 1 to 2 inches, and then add the chicken back into the pot with the vegetables.
  7. Form the dumplings: Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the milk and parsley just until combined.
  8. Add dumplings to the soup: Drop the dumpling dough on top by the heaping tablespoonful. Cover the pan tightly and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes without peeking.
Dropping dumpling batter into chicken soup.
  1. Serve: Serve immediately, either from the hot pan or transfer the mixture to a shallow serving bowl, trying to keep the dumplings on top.
Woman serving a portion of Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings.

FAQs

Where do chicken and dumplings come from?

This comfort food is most popularly attributed to the Southern and Midwestern U.S., but there are also claims that it originated in French Canada. Some sources contend that it’s an economic downturn-fueled meal, motivated by a desire to make a few cheap ingredients last as long as possible. All we can say is: Good job! This is a delicious meal, whether it was born of frugal cooking or not.

What else can you call chicken and dumplings?

This homey dish goes by many names — you might have encountered it under the name chicken and pastry, chicken and sliders, or perhaps even chicken and slicks. It’s all the same thing!

Why are my chicken and dumplings not fluffy?

The answer to this question lies in cooking time and strategy. If you cook your dumplings for too long, they’ll end up hard; this is a form of biscuit dough, after all! You also want to keep the lid on your pot while cooking those dumplings, as hard as it is to resist checking on their progress — the steam that builds up inside the pot is essential to achieving ultimate fluffiness here.

What to Serve With Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings in soup bowl.

More Chicken Comfort Food Recipes

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5 from 5 votes

Chicken and Dumplings

Fluffy yet toothsome dumplings are nestled into a saucy, creamy blend of chicken and vegetables.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 6 People
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Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 1 4-pound chicken
  • 2 carrots (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 2 ribs celery (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 onion (peeled and quartered)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 peppercorns
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (preferably less-sodium)

For the Filling:

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 ribs celery (chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped onions or leeks (white and green parts only)
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms (button or any kind)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (about 10 ounces) green peas (frozen, fresh, or canned and drained )
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

For the Dumplings:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions 

  • Place the chicken in a large pot with the pieces of carrot, celery, and onion, as well as the bay leaf, peppercorns, and salt. Add the 2 cups broth and just enough water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Remove the chicken and set aside on a cutting board until cool enough to handle, then strain the broth. Measure out 3 cups and reserve the rest for another recipe or freeze for soup.
  • Melt the butter in a large deep oven-proof skillet (or a Dutch oven if that’s what you have) over medium-high heat and add the chopped carrots, celery, onions or leeks, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes, until golden. Add the garlic and stir frequently until you can smell the garlic, about 1 minute.
  • Sprinkle over the flour and cook, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes, until the flour has coated the vegetables and has started to turn golden brown. Slowly add the reserved 3 cups cooking stock, whisking constantly, then whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the peas and sage. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until thick and creamy.
  • While the vegetable mixture is simmering, remove the skin from the chicken and discard. Take the meat off the bones, keeping the chunks a generous 1 to 2 inches, and then add the chicken back into the pot with the vegetables.
  • For the Dumplings: Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the milk and parsley just until combined.
  • Drop the dumpling dough on top by the heaping tablespoonful. Cover the pan tightly and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes without peeking. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • You can use 4 pounds of bone-in skin-on chicken pieces instead. If you want to use 3 pounds of boneless, skinless thighs and breasts, you can, and it will cook a bit faster, but you won’t get a flavor that is as deep.
  • Serve immediately, either from the hot pan or transfer the mixture to a shallow serving bowl, trying to keep the biscuits on top.

Nutrition

Calories: 586kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 132mg, Sodium: 636mg, Potassium: 1008mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 7879IU, Vitamin C: 37mg, Calcium: 170mg, Iron: 4mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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1 Comment

  1. Jenifer Greenwell says:

    I haven’t tried making this yet, so I can’t rate it (I’ll come back and give it a rating!). Just wanted to say that this recipe sounds like the chicken and dumplings my grandmother used to make. I’ve been searching for this for years! Can’t wait to try it!