Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

If you’re not from the US, or even more specifically, not from the American South, then you may not be familiar with chicken and dumplings. But you should be. Basically a chicken stew with simple biscuit dough added and simmered at the last minute, it is pure comfort food. Although chicken and dumplings is most commonly attributed to the South, it can also be found in the Midwest and may have even originated from a similar French Canadian dish that appeared in the Great Depression (says Wikipedia). When I made it most recently, I was struck by its similarity to Ashkenazi Jewish matzo ball soup. My husband, meanwhile, compared it to chicken pot pie filling. Both of which are some of our favorite foods.


Chicken and dumplings can be made a few different ways, depending on how much time you have. Traditionally, it’s a budget-friendly dish that makes every ingredient last. So typically you start with a whole chicken and boil it to make broth, then use the meat in the soup. But if you’re looking for shortcuts you can also start with canned broth and the shredded meat of a rotisserie chicken. I like to use homemade stock, and have included instructions for a few different methods depending on what you’re starting with.

Chicken and Dumplings

However you make chicken and dumplings, I’m sure everyone in the family will love this comforting American classic. And once you’ve checked out this recipe, be sure to follow the blog hop for other dumpling recipes from other cultures brought to you by my blogging buddies at World on a Plate!

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Chicken and Dumplings
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
This classic Southern dish (somewhere between a soup and a stew) is comfort food at its best and is sure to appeal to everyone in the family.
Recipe Type: Soup/Stew
Cuisine: American
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
For the Chicken and Stew:
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) butter
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1½-2 pounds (about 750g) chicken breast or boneless chicken thighs (or 3-4 cups shredded cooked chicken)
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 4 cups (950 ml) chicken stock (preferably homemade)
For the Dumplings:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
To Finish:
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
For the Chicken and Soup:
  1. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and thyme and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until softened and just beginning to lightly brown.
  2. Add the chicken and cook, stirring often, until all sides are lightly browned. (If using pre-cooked chicken simply add, stir, and move on to the next step).
  3. Add the flour and stir until you can’t see any floury white bits. Add a cup or so of the broth and stir. Add the remaining broth. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer while you prepare the dumpling batter.
For the Dumplings:
  1. Put the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and stir to thoroughly combine. Add the milk and stir until a loose dough forms.
To Finish:
  1. Add the peas to the chicken stew and stir.
  2. Drop heaping spoonfuls of the dough batter into the stew, spacing them evenly apart. Cover and cook for 15 minutes (don’t lift the lid!).
  3. Uncover and check to see that the dumplings are cooked and slightly firm. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes if necessary.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
To make kosher dairy, use margarine or other butter substitute.

World on a PlateWorld on a plate is a blogging cultural exchange. On the last Sunday of the month, bloggers from all over the world get together to interpret a food through the lens of their home country cooking. Each blogger will produce a wonderful dish featuring the food chosen that is typical of her/his home country and will tell us a bit about the dish.

13 thoughts on “Chicken and Dumplings

  1. john@kitchenriffs

    Great dish! I haven’t made this for ages, and have been thinking about it lately. It’s so perfect for cold weather! And who can turn down a dumpling? Or four? 😉 Really good stuff – thanks.

  2. Eha

    This is also a very common winter soup in the north of Europe. I grew up in Estonia in the Baltic States, and we would have had a beef or chicken soup with ‘klimbid’ [dumplings] very similar to this at least once a week 🙂 !

  3. mjskit

    You’re definitely taking me bake to Louisiana here Katherine! My mother loved making chicken and dumplings and I love eating them!! Yours look SO GOOD and I can smell the goodness.

  4. Hyosun Ro

    My mouth is watering looking at those dumplings. I’ve had chicken and dumplings before, but never made it myself. Now I have no excuse with this great recipe. Thanks!

  5. Tangrene

    Finally I found someone who makes the dumplings without fat, which is how it should be imho. I’ve made dumplings for 50+ YEARS and while I made probably every type of southern dumpling recipe, my fav came from watching an old Julia Child show (black and white) where she made a dumpling as yours is, BUT uncovered 10 mins then covered 10 mins. My family loved this recipe AND I found that it reheated well compared to other recipes which fell apart if cooked a little while or reheated.

    My long experience here might help you. I let dough sit 5-10 mins and it gets a little puffy. THEN I use 2 teaspoons. Dip both into hot broth, then scoop gently with one, and use other spoon to slide dumpling off into broth, dip spoon in broth, repeat. This heated spoon tends to make a smoother rounded dumpling, and less little pieces that make broth less pretty. If you run out of room on top, just dunk some of the dumplings gently and make room for more on top. I like a thinner soupier style of dumpling dish, served in shallow bowls, but for company, I will add more meat and dumplings and serve on plates. But I prefer a soupier style if I am going to have leftovers.

  6. James

    I have my go to chicken stock simmering on the stove right now and couldn’t find my dumpling recipe. Nobody had one that sounded like it until I found your site, thank you. The only difference is that mine says to simmer 10 min with the lid on and 10 with it off.

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