Easy Chicken & Dumplings…a comfort food classic featuring flavorful broth loaded with tender chicken, sweet carrots, fresh herbs, and fluffy dumplings.
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.
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 amazzzingness of today’s recipe…not to mention the fact that real food ingredients trump cream of ‘X’ soup any day. 😉
How to Make Chicken and Dumplings
So what makes this Easy 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.
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.)
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.
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 picky daughter 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 Easy Chicken & Dumplings this fall. Make ’em this weekend. Make ’em tonight! Just promise me you’ll make ’em. 😉
Helpful Tips, Tricks, & Equipment
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- 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.
- Check out how truly EASY this recipe is to make in the video below!
Chicken and Dumplings Recipe
Adapted from Real Simple
Originally published September 15, 2015.
More comfort food favorites…