Rich, creamy chicken and vegetable stew topped with soft pillowy dumplings. Nothing says warm and comforting to me like chicken and dumplings.
This recipe has been an ongoing, ever changing project for years. Eleven years ago I was using a slow cooker recipe and my methods of changed completely since then.
I grew up loving my mom’s chicken and dumplings and watched her make it countless times. The result was always perfection but she didn’t follow a written recipe. She made the stew, mixed the dumpling and magic happened.
Now the chicken stew isn’t hard. Mix chicken, vegetables, some quality chicken stock, good spices plus a little half & half for some richness and you have a nice stew.
But those dumplings…. This recipe has been changed and tweaked a lot. But this version is pretty close to the soft perfect dumplings I remember from childhood.
Boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs: Either are fine but I am partial to thighs for this recipe. They are tender and less opt to dry out along with great flavor.
The veggies -carrots, celery, onions, red pepper and frozen peas: The classic chicken stew vegetables of carrots, celery and onions. Red pepper is lovely for some color. Frozen peas are perfect for stews; you don’t even have to thaw them!
Fresh spices: Thyme and Rosemary are wonderful with any chicken dish. Some fresh parsley sprinkled over the finished dish gives great color and added fresh flavor.
Half & half: Just a 1/4 cup gives creamy richness to the stew.
Flour, baking powder, salt, thyme: The base of dumpling. Combine dry ingredients completely before adding the wet ingredients.
Milk: Here was my dilemma… Using all half & half would be too heavy. Using all skim or almond milk wouldn’t be enough richness. A combo of the two is just right. Whole milk would probably be perfect but I never keep it on hand.
Butter: 1 tablespoon of butter gives flavor and richness but the dumplings still light and fluffy.
Add the melted butter and milk to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Just mixed is the key. An over-mixed dumpling is a tough dumpling.
Using a tablespoon drop spoonfuls of the mixture on the bubbling stew. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Resist the urge to peek at the dumplings during the cooking process. You want the heat and steam to cook and puff the dumplings to perfection.
Let sit for 5 minutes and admire the cute fluffy dumplings. Grab a soup ladle and scoop a good serving a stew with a dumpling or two on top.
The aroma is amazing and the taste is even better! Enjoy every bite.
Chicken and dumplings
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1 large carrots thinly sliced
- 1 ribs celery thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped red pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth (I always use low sodium)
- ¼ cup half & half
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
- ¼ cup half & half
- ¼ cup skim milk or almond milk
- 1 Tbsp butter melted
- 1 Tbsp fresh Parsley for serving.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Add the chicken and mix until all of the chicken pieces are coated.
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven warm 1 tbsp of the oil over medium heat. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the flour mixture shaking off the excess flour and add the chicken to the hot oil. Reserve the remaining flour mixture to add to the stew later. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
- Add the carrots, celery, onion and red pepper; cook for about 10 minutes until vegetables are starting to get soft. Sprinkle with the reserved flour mixture. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
- Pour in the broth, stirring constantly and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the half & half, and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- While the stew is cooking make the dumplings. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and thyme. Add milk and butter and stir until just combined. Do not over-mix as this will result in a tough dumpling.
- Stir the peas in to the chicken mixture. Drop tablespoons of the dough into the stew. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Remove cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly and let the stew thicken.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley.