Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

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Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

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Prep time

Cooking time

Total time


Chicken and dumplings is a beloved dish that brings together tender chicken, flavorful broth, and pillowy dumplings in a comforting bowl of goodness. This dish has roots in both European and American culinary traditions, serving as a hearty meal that can warm you up during the colder months. It’s a simple, rustic meal that many recall as a favorite from childhood, evoking memories of family dinners. The following recipe is a traditional take on this classic, promising a delicious experience for both new and seasoned cooks.


For the Chicken and Broth:

1 (3 to 4 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
8 cups of water
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
2 bay leaves
For the Dumplings:

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup of milk


Prepare the Chicken and Broth:

In a large pot, combine the chicken pieces with water, carrots, celery, onion, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the chicken is tender and falls off the bone.

Remove the chicken pieces from the pot and set aside to cool. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids. Skim off any excess fat from the broth.

Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and shred it into bite-sized pieces. Discard the skin and bones. Return the shredded chicken to the pot with the strained broth.

Make the Dumplings:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in melted butter and milk to form a soft dough.

Bring the chicken broth to a simmer. Drop spoonfuls of dumpling dough into the simmering broth. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked through and no longer doughy in the center. Avoid stirring the dumplings too much to prevent them from breaking apart.

Final Touches:

Taste and adjust the seasoning of the broth with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Serve the chicken and dumplings hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Tips and Variations

Vegetables: Feel free to add more vegetables to the broth, such as peas or corn, for additional flavor and texture.

Herbs: Fresh herbs like parsley or dill can be added for a burst of freshness.

Dumplings: For lighter dumplings, you can use a combination of half all-purpose flour and half cake flour.

Chicken and dumplings is more than just a meal; it’s a bowl of comfort that brings warmth and satisfaction. This recipe captures the essence of the dish, with tender chicken, rich broth, and soft dumplings coming together in harmony. Whether you’re craving something cozy on a chilly evening or looking to recreate a childhood favorite, this chicken and dumplings recipe is sure to please.

Serving Suggestions: Chicken and dumplings is a complete meal on its own, but if you’re looking to round out your dining experience, consider serving it with a simple side salad dressed with vinaigrette or steamed green beans. These lighter sides complement the richness of the dish without overpowering it.

Storage Tips: If you have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The dumplings will continue to absorb the broth as they sit, so you may need to add a little water or chicken broth when reheating to get your desired consistency. Reheat gently on the stovetop, stirring occasionally, until everything is heated through.

Making Ahead and Freezing

Making Ahead: If you want to prepare chicken and dumplings in advance, you can cook the chicken and broth a day before. After cooling, store it in the refrigerator overnight. This not only saves time but also makes it easier to remove any fat that solidifies on the surface. The dumplings are best cooked fresh, right before serving, to maintain their texture.

Freezing: This dish can be frozen, but with a caveat. The dumplings may become slightly mushy when thawed and reheated. If you plan to freeze the dish, consider doing so without the dumplings and then making fresh dumplings when you’re ready to serve. Freeze the broth and chicken in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stovetop and adding fresh dumplings.

Nutritional Information

Chicken and dumplings can be quite nourishing, providing a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, as well as essential vitamins and minerals from the vegetables and chicken.

However, for those watching their calorie intake or with dietary restrictions, here are a few modifications you can make:

Lower Fat: Use skinless chicken breasts or thighs to reduce the fat content. You can also make sure to skim off as much fat as possible from the broth after cooking.

Gluten-Free: Substitute the all-purpose flour with your favorite gluten-free flour blend for both the broth thickening and dumplings. Keep in mind that the texture may vary slightly.

Vegetarian: While traditional chicken and dumplings is not vegetarian, you could make a vegetable dumplings version using a rich vegetable broth and a mix of hearty vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, and peas for the base.

The Joy of Cooking Together

One of the best aspects of dishes like chicken and dumplings is the opportunity they present for cooking together with family or friends. Involve your loved ones in the cooking process, whether it’s helping to roll out dumplings or simply keeping you company in the kitchen. The warmth and love infused into the dish through shared cooking experiences make it taste all the better.

Enjoy the process of making this comforting dish, and may it bring warmth and satisfaction to your table.


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