This homemade Chicken & Dumplings recipe is a comfort food classic of flavorful broth, tender chicken, sweet carrots, fresh herbs, & fluffy dumplings.
I absolutely can’t wait to share today’s homemade Chicken and Dumplings 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 from-scratch Chicken and 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. 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!). And my C&D-aficionado husband declared this to be one of his favorite dinners. As for 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 homemade Chicken and 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. However, 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 it is to make this Chicken and Dumplings recipe in the video below!
Best Chicken and Dumplings
Perfect Chicken & Dumplings Recipe
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Adapted from Real Simple
Originally published September 15, 2015.
More Comfort Food Favorites
- Cheeseburger Macaroni
- The Best Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
- Homemade Sloppy Joes
- Ground Beef Stroganoff