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Perfect Chicken & Dumplings

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings is a comfort food classic, featuring flavorful broth loaded with tender chunks of chicken, sweet carrots, fresh thyme, and fluffy dumplings.

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings ~ a comfort food classic featuring flavorful broth loaded with tender chunks of chicken, sweet carrots, fresh thyme, and fluffy dumplings | FiveHeartHome.com

I absolutely can’t wait to share today’s recipe with y’all. In fact, as I type this, my mouth is watering and I wish I had a big bowl of chicken and dumpling goodness in front of me right now…at 11:17 p.m. Consider it a late, late dessert, or an early midnight snack, or maybe just a can’t-stop-thinking-about-it indulgence, but this recipe is flat-out delicious.

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings ~ a comfort food classic featuring flavorful broth loaded with tender chunks of chicken, sweet carrots, fresh thyme, and fluffy dumplings | FiveHeartHome.com

My German-born mother never made chicken and dumplings for us growing up, I suppose because it’s a dish that wasn’t exactly in her cooking repertoire. In fact, I’m not sure if I even tried chicken and dumplings until college…and back then it was the condensed chicken soup/canned biscuit version. And while that version was tasty, it doesn’t even come close to the flavor and texture and amazingness of today’s recipe…not to mention the fact that real food ingredients trump cream of ‘X’ soup any day. πŸ˜‰

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings ~ a comfort food classic featuring flavorful broth loaded with tender chunks of chicken, sweet carrots, fresh thyme, and fluffy dumplings | FiveHeartHome.com

So what makes this Perfect Chicken & Dumplings recipe so fabulous? Well, first off, browning the chicken contributes deep flavor to the final dish. You can use a whole cut-up chicken or all chicken thighs, but just be sure to buy skin-on, bone-in meat…that, my friends, is where the magic happens. The skin and bones will be removed later anyway.

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings ~ a comfort food classic featuring flavorful broth loaded with tender chunks of chicken, sweet carrots, fresh thyme, and fluffy dumplings | FiveHeartHome.com

Thyme is another prominent, all-important flavor in this recipe. When I’m lucky enough to have fresh thyme, I drop a whole bundle into the pot as opposed to stripping off the leaves beforehand. As the dish cooks, the leaves drop off and then it’s easy to remove the stems at the same time that you take out the bay leaves. Who doesn’t love a thyme-saving — er, time-saving — shortcut? (Heh.)

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings ~ a comfort food classic featuring flavorful broth loaded with tender chunks of chicken, sweet carrots, fresh thyme, and fluffy dumplings | FiveHeartHome.com

Finally — and arguably most importantly — are the dumplings. Now these aren’t the doughy refrigerated biscuits of yore…these are soft, fluffy, parsley-studded orbs of delight. And the secret to giving them excellent texture and preventing them from turning gummy is the addition of a bit of cornmeal. Try it! I think you’ll luuuurve it.

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings ~ a comfort food classic featuring flavorful broth loaded with tender chunks of chicken, sweet carrots, fresh thyme, and fluffy dumplings | FiveHeartHome.com

Speaking of loving it, my family sure did scarf down their chicken and dumplings when I made this recipe most recently. My boys RAVED. My toddler conceded to taking a few bites (which is clearly a victory!). My C&D-aficionado husband declared this to be one of his favorite dinners. And me? Shhhhh…I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day while home alone so that I wouldn’t have to share! And now I’m just sitting here typing, still drooling on my keyboard…

So please…please make a big, comforting pot of Perfect Chicken & Dumplings this fall. Make ’em this weekend. Make ’em tonight! Just promise me you’ll make ’em. πŸ˜‰

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings ~ a comfort food classic featuring flavorful broth loaded with tender chunks of chicken, sweet carrots, fresh thyme, and fluffy dumplings | FiveHeartHome.com

Perfect Chicken & Dumplings

Yield: 6 servings

Perfect Chicken & Dumplings

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings is a comfort food classic, featuring flavorful broth loaded with tender chunks of chicken, sweet carrots, fresh thyme, and fluffy dumplings.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces (all thighs or a whole cut up chicken or a mixture of light & dark meat)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 10 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon sherry
  • _
  • FOR THE DUMPLINGS:
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, DIVIDED
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large, deep pot set over medium-high heat, melt together olive oil and butter. Generously season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on both sides, working in batches so as not to crowd the pot (about 4 to 6 minutes per side). Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the celery, carrots, and garlic to the pot. Cook the vegetables in the drippings until they begin to soften, stirring and adjusting the heat as necessary, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the browned chicken pieces, thyme, bay leaves, garlic powder, onion powder, and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme stems and bay leaves. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate. Remove and discard the skin and bones, shred the chicken, and return to the pot.
  3. Ladle 2 cups of the cooking liquid into a large bowl or quart-sized measuring cup. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the flour until smooth. Continuously whisk the contents of the pot while slowly pouring in the flour mixture. Simmer and whisk until slightly thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. To make the dumplings, in a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in the melted butter, buttermilk, and minced parsley until just combined. With heat reduced to low, drop rustic, tablespoon-sized balls into the simmering broth. Gently stir dumplings one time and then simmer, covered, until the dumplings are firm, about 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in sherry and season the dish with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately, sprinkled with additional minced fresh parsley.

Notes

You may remove the fresh thyme leaves from the stems before adding to the soup or, to save time, drop in the whole sprigs of thyme. After cooking for awhile, the thyme leaves will drop off and it's easy to simply pull out the stems at the same time as removing the by leaves.

The addition of sherry at the end of this recipe is optional but I think it really gives a unique and delicious depth of flavor to the soup. DO NOT buy "cooking sherry," as it has added salt, etc., and also don't buy sweet sherry. A regular bottle of medium dry to dry sherry is what you are looking for, and it will last indefinitely in the pantry.

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https://www.fivehearthome.com/perfect-chicken-dumplings/

Adapted from Real Simple

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Comments

  1. Wow! This sounds delicious. I am so ready for some fall food. This makes me think of a cozy meal.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Wishes for tasty dishes, Linda

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Linda! I’m ready for cozy fall food, too. Hopefully Texas will cooperate soon by dropping down below 95Β°… πŸ˜‰ Have a great week!

  2. Pure comfort food! Yum! I invite you to share at my Thursday blog hop. Hugs!

  3. OMG this looks like comfort food to the max! I need a VAT of this πŸ™‚

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Ha, Amy…chicken & dumplings should always be served in vats! πŸ˜‰ Hope you have a great week with that sweet babe!

  4. hello,
    i have a question please.
    we don’t have butter milk in my country. what can i use instead?
    thank you πŸ™‚

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Lee! You can easily make your own buttermilk at home! πŸ™‚ Just measure a scant tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar into the bottom of a 1-cup measuring cup. Then fill the measuring cup with milk up to the 3/4-cup line (since that’s how much buttermilk this recipe calls for). Allow it to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes until it starts to thicken and curdle like buttermilk, then proceed with the recipe. That being said, if you don’t feel like messing with making your own buttermilk, you can just use regular milk instead. Enjoy!

  5. Hi Samantha!

    I’d love to include your chicken and dumplings recipe in a chicken roundup I’m doing for Parade Magazine.

    If that’s fine with you, could I use one of your lovely photos with a link back to this original post (https://www.fivehearthome.com/2015/09/15/perfect-chicken-dumplings/)?

    Let me know,
    thanks so much!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Felicia! I’d be honored to have my Chicken & Dumplings featured in your Parade round-up…thank you for asking! I love chicken recipes, so I can’t wait to check it out when it’s published. Happy Friday and thanks again!

  6. Love this recipe, not enough veggies for me though so I’m going to add some zucinni this time also it took more flour than stated to make my soup thicker.
    Dumplings are good, first time tasting cornmeal, will use it again. Thanks for the tasty recipe, now in my weekly cycle of dinners.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Zucchini sounds like a great addition, Deborah! And I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe enough to add it to your weekly rotation… πŸ™‚

  7. Joanna Krell says:

    Oh my goodness Samantha, I cannot believe I made chicken and dumplings. My grandmother would be so proud! It was so much fun making this dish and following your recipe was a breeze. Even my picky 6 year old devoured hers! Thank you for all the great recipes. My family thinks I am a gourmet cook and I owe it all to you! God bless you and your family this holiday season!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You are too sweet, Joanna. πŸ™‚ I’m thrilled to hear that these Chicken & Dumplings were a hit, and I’m happy to have pleased such a tough critic as your 6-year-old! πŸ˜‰ I’m delighted that you’re enjoying and having success with my recipes in general. Thank you for taking the time to share your kind words, and I hope your week is off to a great start!

  8. It says 10 cups!!!! Is that really how much chicken broth you are supposed to use????

  9. Kristin Quinlan says:

    Hi Samantha, I made this last night. One problem and I hope you can help. My dumplings never cooked all the way thru. Any suggestions as to why this happened?

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Kristin! I’m so sorry to hear that your dumplings didn’t cook through. The only thing I can guess is that they didn’t cook long enough, or perhaps the cooking liquid wasn’t quite simmering? If you decide to try this recipe again, I would just keep cooking the dumplings until they test done in the middle, even if that means going longer than the anticipated time range given in the recipe. Hope that helps, and hope you’re having a great week! πŸ™‚

  10. Made this tonight. SO good. Best chicken and dumplings recipe I’ve tried by far. Thank you!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Yay! Thrilled to hear that, Nicole…thanks for taking the time to share. πŸ™‚

  11. Tried this tonight, and it was a success! Thank you so much. My husband, said it was just like his grandma makes it! And the instructions were so easy to follow, thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Yay, Lilly…so happy to hear that! Being compared to grandma’s cooking is the highest compliment. πŸ™‚ Thanks for taking the time to share, and hope you’re having a great weekend!

  12. Thank internet and Pinterest the possibility of finding the housewives who writes great recipes on the other side of the globe. How would we cope if we could exchange experiences?
    The Swedish kitchen has large dumplings, seasoned with nutmeg in meatsoup. Hungarian cuisine uses small dumplings to goulash dishes and in soups with or without meat, but plenty of vegetables.
    Since I live in Sweden but are from Hungary, are both ways usual for me, although the Hungarian standing closest to me, nostalgic as I am. Hungary has also large dumplings in the Sunday soup, made with whipped eggs, semolina and salt. They are not easy to do, my usually jump out of the plate when I will share them.
    In any case, I tried your chicken with dumplings when I had my Swedish friends to dinner. I know that all of them (4 other womens + me) like to eat, so I was well prepared. I dread to food running out and my guests remain hungry. I also had plenty of bread for food, small baguettes, with extra salted butter. The bagettes I warmed a bit in the oven, as they were so warm so the butter softened at them. Delicate!
    The only thing I changed was the celery, none of us likes. I used parsnips instead, I love its little nutty taste. And I had no sherry. I made the soup at 3 whole chickens of 1.3 kg each, and also 500 grams of chicken liver and 500 g chicken stomach. Along about 11 pounds of meat in a 10 liter pot.
    There were some left, but no one dried eat dessert. Thank you for you a great recipe that since then have been several times at my home, sometimes even to order : We will be happy if we get that wonderful chicken with dumplings. No dessert needed.
    Thanks again !! eva from stockholm

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Eva! I apologize for my delayed reply to your thoughtful comment. I loved reading about your experience with this recipe! I’m so happy that you were able to adapt this dish to your needs and share it with your friends. Thank you for taking the time to let me know, and I’m honored to have you reading my blog all the way from Sweden! πŸ™‚ Hope you’re having a great summer!

  13. Tanis Elder says:

    So excited to try this! Do u think I could use whole wheat flour rather than all purpose? Or do u think it wouldn’t make them taste good…I try to stay away from anything white…

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Tanis! I use whole wheat flour a lot, but I haven’t tried it in this particular recipe. If you don’t mind a slight change in flavor, it would probably work just fine. If I were going to try it, I’d probably go with whole wheat pastry flour for a lighter texture. Good luck if you decide to give it a try! πŸ™‚

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