Some classic recipes are worth taking a little extra time for and making sure you get them just right! My recipe for homemade chicken and dumplings is rich and luxurious and full of layered flavors all topped with fluffy dumplings. This old-fashioned chicken dinner is sure to please the whole family!
Here at BitofBacon HQ we’ve been hard at work organizing, deciding if various of the miscellaneous stuff in the house holds joy for us (spoiler alert…most of it doesn’t), and warding off the winter chill! Warm drinks, warm dinners, warm blankets and warm fires are all fine choices for this. 🙂
Of course, here on the blog I’m all about the warm drinks and warm dinners. For a warm drink, check out my recent post for Hot Bourbon Milk Punch, and, for a warm dinner, you can’t go wrong with today’s recipe!
Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
Has there ever been a dinner more comforting than old-fashioned chicken and dumplings? I don’t think so! We have creamy broth, fluffy biscuits, tender veggies, and tasty chicken all brought together for the perfect cozy dinner to ward off the winter blues.
And it’s a GREAT way to use up leftover chicken! Cook up an extra chicken breast or a couple extra thighs when you making dinner one night and later that week you can make chicken and dumplings with the meat. Bonus!
This particular version of chicken and dumplings owes its inspiration to Thomas Keller’s cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home.* His is way more complicated and fussy (no shock since he is known for running The French Laundry), but I loved the idea of his recipe, so I decided to streamline it and pair it with my favorite dumpling recipe.
I’ve been making these dumplings for a LONG TIME and I don’t think there is a better dumpling recipe out there.
*Note: The cookbook is currently out of print (as I write this). You may be able to find it used or you may be able to find a copy at your local library.
How do you make homemade chicken and dumplings?
To make homemade chicken and dumplings make a rich sauce from sauteed aromatics, flour, and chicken stock. Then add the vegetables, chicken, and cream. Drop the biscuits over the top and simmer covered until they are cooked through and fluffy.
Make the chicken soup
You start by making a thick and rich chicken soup.
Saute your aromatics (leeks and onions in this case) until they are soft and tender. Then add the flour to make roux. And pour the chicken stock over, mixing it all together.
As the soup simmers, the flour will thicken the soup and make it just the right consistency to support those dumplings.
Once the base is all happy, add the vegetables, chicken, and cream. The chicken is already cooked and the vegetables only need a little time to cook through so they’ll all be ready when the dumplings are done.
Make the dumplings
While the stock is simmering and thickening, make the dumplings. This is a very quick measure measure, stir stir sort of process. Nothing fussy here!
I do have a little advice though.
Once you’ve added the dumplings, cover, and let it all cook for about 10 minutes. Then it’s time to EAT. The best part!!
How do you tell if the dumplings are done?
When the dumplings are cooked through they will be firm to the touch and a skewer will come out clean without dough sticking to it.
What do you serve with chicken and dumplings?
While old fashioned chicken and dumplings are a complete meal, you can’t go wrong with simple salad to round things out. I would choose a salad that has fresh and bright flavors to contrast with the creamy chicken soup and tender dumplings.
For more salads check out my Salad Category.
Can you freeze chicken and dumplings?
Yes, you can.
Freeze in a well sealed container and then thaw in the refrigerator until completely thawed (This will help keep the texture of the soup and dumplings from breaking down). Then heat gently on the stove or in the microwave until steaming.
In a well sealed container, the chicken and dumplings will keep up to 3 months in the freezer.
If you try my recipe for Homemade Chicken and Dumplings, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
You can connect with me by subscribing to my emails (see the form in the sidebar or below the recipe card), liking my FACEBOOK page, or by following me on PINTEREST.
– Happy Cooking, Annemarie
Old Fashioned Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium leek, white and light green, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 quarts (8 cups) low or no sodium chicken stock
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 4 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 5 oz buttermilk
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives, plus more for serving
- Melt the butter on low in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and leek along with a pinch of salt and saute until very soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
- Add the flour, increase the heat to medium, and stir with a whisk for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the stock and whisk as it comes to a simmer and starts bubbling. Simmer the stock for 30 minutes, whisking as needed. (Mix the dumpling batter now.)
- Add the carrots, celery, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring back to a simmer.
- Add the cream and diced chicken.
- Once the soup has come back to a simmer, drop in the biscuits in generous tablespoon sized amounts into the soup.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the dumplings are fluffy and cooked through.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve with extra chopped chives over the top.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and melted butter.
- Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour. Sprinkle the chives over the top. Using a large silicone spatula, mix the dumpling batter together in a few swift strokes. Do not overmix.
- Set the batter aside until it is time to add the dumplings to the soup.
- Tips for the dumplings:
- Don't mix the dumplings too far in advance. The leaveners start to work as soon as they are mixed with the liquid and your dumplings will be less fluffy.
- Work quickly once you combine the buttermilk and butter. The butter will start to solidify if you let it sit.
- To make evenly sized dumplings quickly, a tablespoon sized scoop is very useful.
- By careful about the heat. The soup needs to be simmering while the dumplings cook. If the heat is too low, they'll dissolve.
- Recipe inspiration: For the chicken soup I was inspired by Thomas Keller's recipe for chicken and dumplings in Ad Hoc at Home. (I used my own recipe for dumplings.)