chicken-and-dumplings Recipes

chicken and dumplings

I’ve been thinking this week–probably more than anyone should–about what it means to be a perfectionist. I never considered myself one before; fussy, maybe; needly and exacting at times. Oh, and I have been known to cut cookie bars with a ruler, but I never thought it was about being crazed with perfection–I just don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t use a tool readily available to them.

Nope, I’m thinking that being a perfectionist isn’t about so much what you do, but how you react when little, obviously unsubstantial things go wrong. You over-browned an edge of the cake but it has absolutely no bearing on the final flavor. You accidentally measured wrong and now the aforementioned brownie bars aren’t all even.

leeks, onions, butter

I confess, this is not my strong suit. I can be a little… impatient. (Alex, stop laughing. Stop it!) I kind of want what I want. But I’m not above falling in love with a dish that doesn’t give a damn about my desire to control its every aspect. In fact, sometimes, messy and deliciously imperfect is just what I needed, whether I realized it initially or not.

The recipe comes from Cooks Illustrated, but by way of a writer for Philadelphia Style Magazine, Joy Manning, who had been kind enough to think of me for an article she wrote this fall (PDF a few bullets down over here) about food blogging. I’m very awkward when I find myself under the spotlight, so when I said thank you, I tried to change the subject and find out if she had a favorite recipe and guess what–she did!

making dumplings

And now I owe Joy an extra thank you. I had never had chicken and dumplings before, but wow, are they tasty and just perfect for the freezing winter when you need something substantial. We even finished the leftovers. Now, I’m not of the belief that chicken soup can cure a world of problems–I don’t think it’s going to fix everything just yet–but I am the kind of person who likes to live in hope, and who thinks it’s easier to deal from a place with a belly full of warmth.

Now go get yours, too.

chicken and dumplings

cookie care packages from the smitten kitchen The Menu for Hope Campaign continues, which means that you still have a chance to win a box of home baked cookies from the Smitten Kitchen, delivered to your doorstep. You receive one raffle ticket for a prize of your choice for each $10 you donate. I’ve explained everything else over here.

One year ago: Boozy Baked French Toast

Chicken and Dumplings with Leeks and Tarragon
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, February 2005

CI notes that you should not use low-fat or fat-free milk in this recipe, and that you should start the dumpling dough only when you’re ready to top the stew with the dumplings.

Serves 6 to 8

Stew
5 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Table salt and ground black pepper
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 medium leeks , white and llight green parts only, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, minced
6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 cup frozen green peas
3 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves

Dumplings
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons reserved chicken fat (or unsalted butter)

1. For the stew: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of the chicken and cook until golden on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and remove the browned skin. Pour off the chicken fat and reserve. Return the pot to medium-high heat and repeat with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and the remaining chicken. Pour off and reserve any chicken fat.

2. Add the butter to the Dutch oven and melt over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, onion, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the flour. Whisk in the sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the broth, milk, thyme, and bay leaves. Nestle the chicken, with any accumulated juices, into the pot. Cover and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked and tender, about 1 hour.

3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Discard the bay leaves. Allow the sauce to settle for a few minutes, then skim the fat from the surface using a wide spoon. Shred the chicken, discarding the bones, then return it to the stew.

4. For the dumplings: Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Microwave the milk and fat in a microwave-safe bowl on high until just warm (do not over-heat), about 1 minute. Stir the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth.

5. Return the stew to a simmer, stir in the peas and tarragon, and season with salt and pepper. Following the steps below, drop golf-ball-sized dumplings over the top of the stew, about 1/4 inch apart (you should have about 18 dumplings). Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the dumplings have doubled in size, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve.

To make the dumplings: Gather a golf-ball-sized portion of the dumpling batter onto a soup spoon, then push the dumpling onto the stew using a second spoon. Cover the stew with the dumplings, leaving about 1/4 inch between each. When fully cooked, the dumplings will have doubled in size.

See more: Chicken, Photo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

207 comments on chicken and dumplings

  1. Christine

    My goodness! You read my mind. For the past week and a half I’ve been craving something creamy and chicken-y. I looked up a bunch of chicken & dumpling recipes, but most included canned cream of chicken, and although I’m not a food snob, for my first go round I wanted it to be from scratch…Eventually Sunday I settled for homemade chicken soup with a splash of cream, but this would have been so much better.

    *sigh* Then yesterday we had some sriracha chili wings, and tonight I’m roasting a chicken. Do you think this tomorrow would be chicken overkill? I guess Thursday night it is!

  2. Yes, Yes, Yes!

    Dumplings should be dropped, not rolled and cut! Kudos!

    Sorry, It’s the way my Mom always did it, and the more “formal” approach just doesn’t do it for me.

    It looks wonderful

  3. EB

    YES! I can’t tell you how much I love chicken and dumplings!!! My mother was a horrible cook but one meal she could turn out was chicken and dumplings. I was always fascinated by the bubbling balls of dough on top of the thick savory stew. Mmmmmm mom.

  4. My husband speaks fondly of his mom’s chicken and dumplings. I have never made dumplings of any kind, but nonetheless, I am going to try this recipe Friday night. He’s been away for a week on a cold ship and I think he’ll need it.

    I’ll let you know how it goes! It looks fantastic!!

  5. I have been trying to figure this dish out for a while — I had never heard of it, and then the recipe started popping up and I began to wonder why everyone on the planet has eaten this, and I haven’t. Is it a southern thing? Midwest? Am i just totally oblivious?

  6. Deb, my mouth is watering! Chicken & dumplings is one of those dishes I have not had the fortune to try; every time I see the dish on Food Network or see dumplin’ porn in a food mag, I’m reminded of how I need to make it for myself. I wonder how they keep? I live alone and would probably end up freezing some…

  7. squashi

    wow, that DOES look good. For those of you who are interested in chicken and dumplings, do make it yourself. I had my first (and, til now, only) experience with the dish at a cracker barrel i was forced to stop at on a long road trip. It was SO heavy and corn-starchy and gross! I bet CI’s is delicious, though- maybe I’ll give it a whirl.

    QUESTION: what does one do with the browned skin? hopefully one doesn’t discard it?!

  8. This looks so good, Deb. So comfort-foody. Squashi – I’m thinking you DO discard the chicken skin – it seems the point of it is to render its fat so you can then use that fat to make the dumpling dough. (Or you could secretly throw them in another pan and make cracklins’, then hide in a closet and eat them!) Did I say that out loud?

  9. sassy

    This does look really really good, but I actually wanted to thank you for saving my night.
    I came back at 8pm after a long and tiring 5 day business trip to an almost empty fridge, and determined not to order in, I took my 2 pieces of bacon, 2 eggs, and amazingly not yet wilted arugula, spinach, and frisee salad mix and sundries and made your Lyonnaise salad – wow did it hit the spot…
    I feel all warm and full and happy.
    Thank you!
    I remembered the picture of it from over a year ago, and i also loooooove bacon (it was what changed me from a vegetarian to a “flexitarian” too!!

  10. Mara

    Deb, this looks fantastic, especially after a horribly failed attempt at a very highly rated chicken and dumpling soup recipe from another site. However, much to my dismay I don’t yet own a dutch oven. Is there any reason this can’t be cooked in any available large heavy soup pot? One of these days I’m going to go out and get a dutch oven if for no other reason than to join the No Knead Bread Club, but that day isn’t in time for dinner tomorrow. Thanks for any suggestions!

  11. Laura

    My husband just ate the last serving of our CI chicken ‘n dumplings today for lunch. Our recipe is a bit different (comes from their Soups and Stews cookbook — uses carrots and celery, but no tarragon and leeks, and calls for a whole chicken so you end up making your own stock) but looks incredibly similar. We leave out the sherry because we don’t keep any around; it’s fantastic even without it, so don’t pass up this one if you don’t have any.

    I can only recommend one change: use buttermilk for the dumplings. (An idea adapted from the buttermilk crust my grandmother uses for her chicken pot pie.) And do be sure not to overmix the dumplings — I’m so prone to that I just make my husband mix them every time, and they come out perfectly light and fluffy.

    We make this every other week or so, especially when it’s cold out. I often cut the vegetables up the night before and use shredded chicken and stock that I have in the freezer. Makes it a manageable weeknight meal for us.

    I made a pot of turkey ‘n dumplings after Thanksgiving and didn’t like it as well. The stock may have been a bit strong that time, but I mostly think it was because the chicken flavor fits so perfectly with this dish.

    Glad you discovered it, deb!

    @sugarlaws — Yes, it’s a Southern thing. ;-)

  12. courtney

    If you want to make this even better (same goes for chicken and homemade noodles which I prefer) you need to serve it on a pile of buttery mashed potatoes. Yes it is ridiculously carb heavy, but oh-so-good.

  13. jen-again

    Clare-

    I would recommend not trying to freeze or store the dumplings- they are kind of a need to eat right away thing. But, I also need to make this for one person so I would recommend just cutting the recipe in half for the dumplings, that is what I usually do when I make my own chicken and dumplings.

    Deb- Thanks for posting this recipe… I am going to use this stew recipe this weekend because it sounds so good!

  14. jen in ia

    Here in the Midwest, we have been in the deep freeze for what seems like forever. This is just what the doctor ordered!

    On a different note, I am heading to Chicago this weekend and wanted some restaurant suggestions. The last time I was there I had no money (or sense), but this time I have a little more of both and would like to have a nice, non-touristy meal that does not involve a pound of pepperoni (although I have been known to belly up to my share of cured meats). Any recommendations would be appreciated!

  15. I’ve never had chicken and dumplings myself, but I’ve always heard about it. Is it a Southern dish? It looks a bit over my head, but I’m going to give the recipe to someone else to make it for me. As for the perfectionist thing… I think your loyal readers have known for a long time ago that you like when things, uh, come out right — just look at your photos!

  16. Well, I went outside this morning to find we finally had FROST on the ground, and the strawberry plant all frozen into its watering-pot as if in the middle of its own ice-skating rink. And then I came inside and found this! I think I’m going to choose to take this as a sign that it must be made. I’d never heard of anything along these lines until a few weeks ago, but oh my it looks and sounds amazing…

  17. Cheryl

    Ahhh, you’ve stolen my thoughts! I actually made a huge pot of TURKEY and dumplings with my leftover turkey carcus and meat … my husband had never had them before (which is hard for this Texan to believe, but he is from Wisconsin, so there). Anyway, my version isn’t so “elegant” … but it’s oh-so-good and totally reminds me of being at my Gramma’s house. I’m going to make it again soon, this time with the usual chicken, and maybe I’ll try this version!

  18. I *heart* chicken and dumplings. I have to, with a family from the South I think it’s in my DNA. I recently had it because it’s my birthday dinner every year. The only thing I would add it that it’s sometimes nice to herb your dumplings. Nothing overboard or crazy, just a few herbs, used sparingly.

  19. meghan

    For the Chicago request… I think Heaven on Seven is fantastic. Cajun food.

    Question on whole milk – I never, ever have it, but this time of year I tend to have heavy cream or half and half. could you replace whole milk with a combo of skim milk and cream?

  20. And here I’d sworn off dumplings forever, after seeing Saveur’s recipe this month that called for something like five cups of butter (five? maybe 10?). Somehow after a stick, it’s all the same. I can also recommend CI’s chicken pot pie from the December issue a couple of years ago.

  21. Deb – This looks sooo good. It reminded me of one of my favorite Korean dishes, sujaebi (or sujebi) which is a dumpling soup with a kelp and anchovy-based broth.
    It is nothing like chicken and dumpling soup, but the reason it reminded me of it is because when my mother made it she made the dumplings big and chunky like the ones you made. You can’t find it at many restaurants for some reason – I guess it’s truly home cooking. (Sorry to go off topic!). I’ll try out this recipe!

  22. These look great! I don’t often have disasters in the kitchen (occasional mishaps, perhaps, but not full on disasters), but after having to dump chicken and dumplings in the trash not once, but twice, I haven’t tried them again in the last 2 years. Maybe this recipe will do the trick?

  23. I’m certain we would devour this with reckless abandon.

    I have been accused of being a perfectionist myself; sometimes I hate it, but when it comes to cooking it seems that some of the best of them all are raging perfectionists. I can name names.

  24. Laura

    Oh! I forgot to say, to make our dumplings light and fluffy, like I said we mix them *just* until they come together (and no more), but we also used soft wheat flour (essentially pastry or cake flour).

  25. Christy

    For Chicago request— try Extra Virgin or Cafe Baba Reeba for tapas. Orange for breakfast (either in South Loop or Lakeview) Both delicious!

  26. Ha! You said “Dutch oven.”

    Juvenile humor aside, can’t wait to try to chicken and dumplings. I’ve only ever had them once and they were doughy, tasteless lumps. Like uncooked Bisquick. These look (and probably are) infinitely tastier. Husband will love!

  27. lemongrass

    kimba – funny, I too was thinking I would make this recipe for my husband as he loves his mother’s version and is also getting off ship this week. I’ve never made C&D before, but I’ve wanted to for a long time.

    jen in ia – And for the Chicago restaurant recommendation I second the nod for “Orange” for breakfast, it’s fantastic.

  28. cupkait

    I grew up loving my mother’s chicken and dumplings and really wanted to make some for my boyfriend, tricky thing about that is he keeps kosher. Any ideas for how to approximate the C&D experience while omitting either the chicken or the dairy? I know it seems wrong to leave out either, but what’s a girl to do? Southern cooking meets Judaism…can it be done?

  29. Emily

    Speaking to your comments on perfectionism… My holiday cookies left me totally disappointed, as I try to adjust my baking to our new convection oven. Do you have any tips?

  30. Lora

    I have a tried and true chicken and dumplings recipe that I made up years ago. I took a look at this and noticed the addition of sherry…so I added it to mine tonight and it was such a nice background layer that I will be keeping it in. Someone asked about using cream…I use cream in my recipe all the time (I never have whole milk either…only skim) and it is heavenly. My dumpling recipe is a little different (1 cup flour, 1/2t salt, 1 egg, and about 1/3 cup milk…should be fairly stiff) so I didn’t try yours; although it sounds lovely, I don’t like my dumplings light and fluffy (I know, it’s strange)…I like them heavy and dense in my soup. It’s how my mom made them and I can’t change them!

  31. Bg

    Hi,
    I have been a loyal reader of your wonderful blog for a while now but noticed recently that I am no longer able to view the photos you are posting. This happened after your updated the background. Could it be my settings? I don’t want to miss out on any more wonderful posts!
    Thanks

  32. deb

    Hi Bg — So sorry to hear. I haven’t made any design updates, or changed the background, so it might be your settings. It is possible to turn off images through your browser, though…

    Is anyone else having this problem?

  33. Melissac

    For Chicago restaurants – for breakfast/brunch – the bongo room is NOT to be missed! So wonderful. We have moved way out to the burbs and we still make it into the city just for breakfast there a few times a year. MMMMMM

  34. Buckethead

    This recipe is really good with whole wheat biscuits in place of the dumplings, too. Make them separately and spoon the stew over the top of a couple biscuits when you plate it. The crusty exterior of the biscuit is a nice contrast with the texture of the stew.

  35. Susie

    I grew up in a divided household – that is, my mom was from the North (PA) and my dad was from the South (GA). So I had a kind of Tale of Two Dumplings experience. Both my grandmas had restaurants and I got the best of both. My Georgia grandma made the roll-out & cut-like-noodles kind of dumplings that simmered IN the chicken stew. My Pennsylvania grandma always made the light fluffy orbs that simmered on TOP of the stew. Both were great, just different, and I’ve always just assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that it was a regional thing. Does anyone else think it’s a northern vs. southern difference? This is such a homey, comfort food type of dish. I hope everyone who’s written that they’ve never had C & D will definitely try it!

  36. Today was a snowy (read: stuck inside) day here in northern ‘burb of NY and I’d saved this recipe for exactly such a day. I shopped before the first flakes fell and was ready. I had a husband, 5 year old, and 1 year old to please and this recipe succeeded where many…most, actually, have failed. It was homey, delicious, sort of a balanced meal, and had us all at the table for almost an hour eating and sharing or at least making funny faces at each other. In the land of family dinners, this was a home run. Thank you. It was also a fun cooking project for 5 year old sous chef…washing lkeks, pulling tarragon and thyme from stems…not too shabby…stirring dumpling batter…soooo cool. Very much praise from our home tonight.

  37. ap

    I’ve never had chicken and dumplings before – yesterday was a gorgeously snowy day so I called up the butcher, had 5 lbs of chicken put away and picked it up on my way home… this was so EASY, and so GOOD! Everything worked out exactly as the recipe said it should, and I was scooping more bites out of the pot when I was cleaning up before bed. I’m going to take the leftovers to my grandmother’s house today – they’re going to love it.

  38. Holy cow! I am soooo going to have to make this. The last time I made chicken and dumplings was before I knew how to cook and I used Bisquick. This looks amazing!

  39. Laura

    Susie, my grandmothers (NC and VA) never made chicken ‘n dumplings. So I’m pretty clueless about any difference between northern and southern styles.

    My NC grandmother usually made chicken (or turkey) pot pie with a fluffy buttermilk crust that was basically these dumplings with half the flour, buttermilk instead of milk, and, erm, the whole stick of butter.

    To be precise, in case any of your want to try it:
    1 cup self rising flour
    1 tsp salt
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 stick butter
    dash pepper

    Mix and pour on top of filling in an casserole dish. (Shallower is better.) Bake 425 degrees for 30 minutes.

  40. Kate

    We tried this recipe at my house a few weeks ago and it was awesome! It was just perfect on a cold night. I have been lurking around without commenting for quite a while now – I always enjoy reading your blog. =]

  41. This looks amazing! I’d love to make this, but would prefer to use b/s chicken breasts. Would you recommend just boiling and shredding them prior to use? How much should I plan on using (either lbs or cups shredded)?

  42. Alexis

    Fantastic meal and what great flavor!
    Thank you for this recipe and I know that this will be my mother in laws recipe.
    I gather that you don’t like leftovers, just like my husband, but what would you recommend to reheat this meal? I would love for my husband too try this but he wasn’t home when I made this dish.
    By the way, love the photos! I have passed along your website to all of my culinary friends.

  43. Laura

    Michelle, I often keep boiled, shredded chicken breasts in my freezer and thaw for use in my version of this recipe (nearly identical, also from CI). I’m sure I’m not discerning enough to tell a difference in taste, but it’s quicker to make with b/s chicken, and it’s definitely still delicious. I usually just eyeball it, but maybe two or three cups? (My version uses 4 cups of the chicken broth.)

    Alexis, my husband and I eat leftovers of this for a day or two, but we’re not terribly picky about leftovers. I do think stews like this tend to reheat better than most things. The dumplings hold up fine if that’s what you’re concerned about.

  44. Kirk

    By coincidence I made chicken and poppy seed dumplings this weekend. It’s a favorite recipe but I hadn’t made it in a long time — like a couple of years. Turned out delicious. Of course, as usual, I got carried away and made the dumplings too big. They came out looking like something from an “I Love Lucy” episode. But seeing your technique makes we want to try again and create lots of smaller dumplings instead of just a few giants.

  45. Alison

    I made this this week, and it was awesome! I’ve never made dumplings before and I was worried about how they’d turn out, but they were perfect. I think the secret might be including the fat and, as others have said, barely mixing them. This was seriously f’ing awesome.

  46. your chicken&dumplings look delicious.Ck.&dumplings is a typical southern Ky.dish made in nearly all grandma’s kitchens.In this area where most grandma’s raised their own chickens the fat hens were just boiled with their skin and fat and only salt and pepper no vegies until very tender and the dumplings were made like biscuit dough and either dropped from a spoon or rolled to desired thickness and cut into squares and dropped into broth.If you did not have a fat hen you dropped a hunk of butter into the pot when you cooked the chicken so the broth took on the slightly yellow cast of hen fat.A home grown chicken is so superior to a store bought one you do not need other flavors.You do need exercise after such a high fat meal! Cole slaw is usually served along side

  47. Marissa

    I made this yesterday. It was so tasty and satisfying. I didn’t have fresh herbs, but used dry and they substituted just fine. I am excited to have the left overs tonight. I had never had chicken and dumplings before! Thanks Deb for sharing.

  48. Amber

    I follow your blog religiously, but have never commented. The crisp weather today made me crave chicken and dumplings, and I had remembered seeing a recipe on your blog–but couldn’t find it in the recipe index. No harm done; a quick search pulled this page up, but I thought you might like to know that this is missing from your index (unless I have somehow overlooked it.)

    Thanks for your truly wonderful blog.

  49. jessica

    I stumbled across your blog over the summer, and have become ADDICTED to it. I try AT LEAST one recipe per week, and only recently have I had to delve into your archives. OH BOY am I glad I did. I feel almsot ashamed to admit this, but the hubby and I enjoy this recipe over his gramma’s “tried and true – never fail – recipe” I didn’t ahve peas, so we added fresh grean beans, and used half and half over whole milk since that’s what I had – deeelish!

  50. Lin

    Wow! This is FANTASTIC! I couldn’t find the tarragon at the market, but it tasted amazing without it as well. Admittedly a little time consuming with all the chicken prep, but the results are outstanding.

    My friend called it ‘heaven in a bowl’. Thanks for passing along the excellent recipe! The leftovers are already gone!

  51. Jenna Marie

    I just whipped up a batch of this to the delight of my family. Thanks so much for never failing to inspire. I make your recipes all the time. In fact, yesterday I made the caramelized shallots and tomorrow I’m diving head first into the pecan bars. Amazing.

  52. I’m trying this tonight. It’s perfect for the snowy (albeit bizarre) weather here in Portland. It’s like you’re anticipating my next culinary move… Get out of my head!

  53. maggie

    I’ve been trying to make the perfect chicken & dumplings for 20 (count ’em) TWENTY years, and was never satisfied with a single attempt. This recipe DID it.

    I made this dish yesterday and it was so soulfully satisfying, so rich-tasting (while containing less than 1Tb of fat per serving), that I will never, ever need another recipe for it.

    And there wasn’t one single thing I would change for the next batch. It’s perfect.

    I might note, though, that it makes a big batch. More than 8 servings, I’d say. I wound up with 12 or 13 large dumplings, each of which would constitute a serving. Yours in the photo look smaller; mine were indeed each golf-ball sized.

  54. Maggie

    Just had to update on this — I’m so in love with this that I’ve made this dish FOUR TIMES since my original comment on 12/22, to constant raves from all eaters. Last time, I added some diced carrots to the mix, thickened the sauce a bit with 2 addt’l TB of flour, and used it as a filling for Chicken Pot Pie. Simply delicious.

  55. April

    Hi, I’m actually writing out a shopping list for this recipe as we speak (well, for tommorow), but I have one question – I don’t have access to fresh tarragon leaves, and I’d say if I used even a reduced amount of dried tarragon it might over power it (that’s just a guess, ‘cos I dislike using dried herbs unless I absolutely have to, so I’m not sure of the strength compared to fresh). If anyone can think of a substitute herb (Sage?), please let me know, thanks :)

  56. jennifer

    We made this before Thanksgiving and froze the leftovers which I just reheated today and must admit that I enjoyed it just as much as I did 2 months ago! Excellent reheated, makes this a double-winner in my book!!

  57. Wow Wow Wow. I saw some chicken and dumplings on TV the other day and decided to see if you had a recipe up. I just made it today for my parents and myself. UN.BE.LIEVABLE. The tarragon flavor is fantastic (I honestly don’t think I knew what it tasted like before today). I’m a Mississippi girl, so it’s about time I learned how to make chicken ‘n’ dumplings!

  58. Tsaro

    Made this recipe with some friends over and it was a big hit. Used buttermilk instead of milk for the dumplings as per Laura’s comment, and I substituted 1/2 cup water for the last half cup of broth as I didn’t want to open another 4 cup package. Came out fantastic and will definitely be making this one again.

  59. Amy

    So excited to make this! I bought my chicken today. Just wanted to add that I grew up with chicken and dumplings as my favorite meal. But, my mom made them with Bisquick dumplings and, get this: the meat from a whole, CANNED chicken. My tastes have changed a bit…I’m married to a professional, pedigreed chef now. But I’m yet to find a chicken and dumplings recipe that tastes as good as the memory of my mom’s…we’ll see if these fit the bill! So excited. Thanks, Deb. :)

  60. Brooke

    up until now i have only ever been a fan of my grandmother’s chicken n’ dumplings, but she passed without writing down the recipe. but then i saw this recipe and decided to try it for my sister’s birthday and for Father’s Day because the photos looked so delicious.
    SO GOOD! these dumplings are spot on! and the stew was fantastic and great for a different variety of leftovers!

  61. Amy

    This was great! Unfortunately it took me several hours, though, because I accidentally added chocolate soy milk instead of broth after cooking the leeks and had to start over. MFing paper cartons. Anyway, I had to use shallots instead of leeks and white wine vinegar instead of sherry because of my mistake, and it was still awesome! Very filling and warming!

  62. Andi

    My goodness, I just finished making the stew portion of this recipe and I can’t stop tasting it! It is soooo good. I’ve never cooked with leeks before and I really love the flavor. My husband doesn’t like chicken and dumplings but he’s never tasted this before and I think I will have a convert when he smells this walking in the door from work. Thanks for this recipe and your blog, I visit often and am inspired.

  63. Psyche1226

    I just have to say that this is the most astonishingly satisfying treatment of chicken-soup-type dishes it has ever been my delight to try….and the first of its kind to really “WOW” me! The stew portion was spot-on perfection, and flooded my apartment with a heady-yet-delicate fragrance of steamy herbal wholesomeness…and the dumplings! First time trying it, and not only were they almost painfully easy, they were so blissfully fluffy and tender that I practically heard the Hallelujah Chorus upon cutting into one with my fork… This has DEFINITELY earned a deeply-engraved place in my dinner rotation!!!

  64. Amanda

    This is just to die for! I made some tonight for dinner- my first time using leeks, I bought them specifically for this recipe. I made the stew part dairy-free because my son is allergic to milk, and it’s wonderful! I kept coming back and sampling the broth as it was cooking, it smelled so good. Even my 3-year-old kept trying to taste it! It’s been soooo long since I’ve had really good chicken and dumplings, and this is simply perfect!

  65. MelissaP

    This recipe looks like a great variation on my own southern C&D recipe… I will have to try it. I also wanted to give you a tip for making dumplings. Use only one spoon. Dip the spoon in the hot broth before you scoop up the next “dumpling” and it should slide right off the spoon into the pot. This step doesn’t change the dumpling consistency at all.

  66. Sara

    Hi Deb,

    I had planned to make your steak sandwiches last night and as I searched through my book marks I found this. Bliss! Serendipity!

    By the end of his second helping my husband declared he would like to renew our wedding vows. my children declared this “best ever”.

    Merci Deb. You rock!

  67. K

    you know what would be a fantastic idea? adding a “Comfort” section to your index to store all the comfort food recipes like this one :)

  68. Geralyn

    This is oh so fabulous. I thought we’d have leftovers for days with this but it was lunch then dinner and now gone.

    As a California girl cooking for her Southern husband, I thank you.

  69. Lee

    This is freaking amazing!
    Deb, you have very rapidly catapulted from “a blog I read” to “that blog I check whenever making anything, in case she’s got a recipe for it up”.

  70. Jessica S.

    I love love love chicken and dumplings, but I’m really more of the roll and cut dumpling person–that’s how Grandma always did it. I think that dropped dumplings are always too doughy. Now, if I could just convince my husband that peas are a proper addition to chicken and dumplings. He rather likes his just chicken, dumplings, and broth.

  71. Janet

    Thank you so much for all of your amazing recipes. I’d never had chicken and dumplings before today, and was kind of grossed out by the idea, but this was incredible! Smitten Kitchen is my favorite virtual cookbook!

  72. MomTo3Boys

    Made this tonight for my family….YUMMY! It was a bit futsy to make–lots of steps, but I think it is well worth it! I used 1/2 white whole wheat flour and half white for the dumplings and they turned out great.

  73. Juliet

    The weather in Kansas City has been very brutal this winter, and I made this last night for my boyfriend and my roommate… SO TASTY! I, too, had never had chicken and dumplings, and as the snow piles up outside I look forward to eating these leftovers for the next few days.

  74. Caroline

    Thank you so much for this recipe!! I happened upon your blog a couple weeks ago during an online recipe search and I love love love it! I made this last night for my husband and our friends and it was delicious. It was also the first time I ever had/made dumplings and it turned out really well. Three of our neighbors actually came over to find out what was cooking because it smelled so good! Thanks again, it is a joy to visit your site!

  75. Jennifer

    I’m in college and part of a large dinner group which includes a girl with Celiac’s disease. I would like to make this and figure I could reserve some of the stew without dumplings, but there’s still flour in the stew. Do you think cornstarch would be an acceptable substitute? Maybe half as much?

    Thanks!

  76. Deb,

    I’m not sure how I stumbled onto this one, but THANK YOU.

    My mother was a horrid cook (night after night of macaroni casserole without a spice in sight), but hers was the only chicken and dumplings I’ve ever known.

    I’m guessing this will be much tastier and since I’ve got a bit of a cold right now,I intend to make it immediately.

  77. deb

    Hi Jennifer — I think I first skipped over your comment because I’ve only made the recipe as written and can’t be sure that something else will work. However, I’m thinking it would be worth it to make a slurry of cornstarch and a little water and then pull out a cup or two of the stew and whisk it in and see if it works without ruining the pot if it does not. Make sure you cook it a few minutes beyond adding the cornstarch, so it doesn’t have that chalky flavor. And be conservative, it really continues to thicken a bit as it cooks so you can always add more, but you won’t be able to take it away! Good luck.

  78. Deb,
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I made it a few months ago when I came down with a nasty flu, and since then I have made it again and again. I haven’t changed up anything in the recipe other than the cook time of the chicken (simmered in the stew for about 40 minutes instead of an hour), it’s perfect just the way it is. It’ll be a comfort food staple in my kitchen for years to come.
    xo,
    Mary

  79. Kate

    I did several things wrong with these dumplings (definitely overmixed, didn’t use full-fat milk or buttermilk, used a mixture of wheat & white flour) resulting in some doughy/glueyness. However, one thing I tried that did work, inspired by the chicken & dumplings at Nob Hill in Las Vegas, was putting herbs IN the dumplings. Yum.

  80. Mia

    This was the recipe that won my dedication to smitten kitchen. I made it exactly as posted the first time around, and it did indeed take over two hours to make. The second time around I used the meat off of two smallish rotisserie chickens, and cut the tarragon back to 1 TB…3 was a little overwhelming, since tarragon has a licorice-like flavor. Using rotisserie chicken still left the stew with tender, meaty chicken goodness but saved me an hour or more in the kitchen!! This is one of the most delicious recipes I’ve made. Thanks Deb!

  81. Raich

    I just wanted to let you know that I made this last night (delicious!) using boneless chicken breast. After the browning step it only took 15 minutes to cook through. Also, I replaced the milk in the stew as well as the dumplings with soy milk and it worked great!

  82. I made this the other night for my family and they loved it, despite the fact that I kind of burned it! Even ate the leftovers.

    Oh, tip: I suppose this is common sense, but if the dumplings are sticking partway out of the stew (I was low on chicken broth), flip ’em! I didn’t think to even do this until they had been in there for a long time and still looked doughy. Teehee.

    Awesome recipe, thanks for sharing!

  83. Drew

    Running low on groceries. Haven’t had time to shop, but there is a chicken in the fridge, some frozen peas and just about every other ingredient needed to make this pot of heaven. Can’t wait.

  84. I know that this posting is older, but I searched your website today just for it because my boyfriend was requesting chicken and dumplings. While I’ll admit I couldn’t taste the meal (I’m vegetarian), he swooned over it. It’s rare for me to see him react to a dish so strongly, but this definitely did it. Anyway, thank you for sharing the recipe and for all of the other recipes. This is not the first recipe of yours that I’ve followed, and so far I have yet to be disappointed with the resulting dish. :)

  85. unsightly

    I made this last night. It was amazing. I used a whole 5lb chicken instead of the thighs and cooked it 20 minutes longer. I also subbed chopped green beans for the peas since I had a bunch in the garden. It was so good, my husband and I nearly polished off the whole pot- we each had 3 large helpings. I just finished the meager left overs, and it reheated perfectly. Thank you for sharing!

  86. This was terrific, the sauce was very flavorful. I made a few changes. I didn’t have a leek so I used extra onion. I added a cup of sliced carrots just after the onion. I used red wine instead of sherry. No tarragon so I used parsley and dried thyme. Very good! I will make this again.

  87. Maureen

    I wasn’t going to comment, but since another Maureen commented before me- I’m in the process of making this as I type (just added the dumplings). Of course, we were out of sherry so I threw in some dry white wine and am hoping for the best. So far it tastes wonderful, but I’d like to make the recipe again as written instead of substituting what I need with what I have. Love the blog, have been following it forever.

  88. emily

    I’ve made this several times before and making it again tonight… Perfect cold weather food, thank you for this wonderful recipe. I’m a big fan of all your recipes!!

  89. Cristina

    Made this a few days ago and the flavor is great (esp. with the tarragon). It was a bit on the rich side though, and I would leave out the flour in the soup (it was almost like a white gravy). I think I would have liked it better if it were just broth.

  90. Allison

    Wait, so you just DISCARD the chicken thigh skins? They never get added back in anywhere. Don’t tell me I’m going to have to further fry them up and just eat them! (YUM, but um, ouch on the cholesterol/waistline…)

  91. Megan

    Thank you for posting this recipe. One of the things that was lost when my grandmother passed was her chicken and dumplings recipe. This took me back to my grandmothers kitchen.

    1. deb

      Does anyone watch Top Chef and see those icky chicken and dumplings from last week? All I could think of was these, and how there’s no need to mess with a perfect dish.

  92. Susan

    I’m making beef stew and was just looking up dumpling recipes to compare to the biscuit recipe I use and have decided that dumplings are nothing more than a biscuit dough, but with a little less fat. I didn’t see the episode you are asking about here, but this type of dumpling is so easy, I can’t imagine rolling out dumplings, if that’s what they did on Top Chef, or making a fussy recipe for them. Maybe a few minced herbs included would be nice, but that would be it. This recipe for C&D is really good.

    1. deb

      The dumplings were rolled out AND the stew part was made with “Southwestern flavors”. A judge thought it tasted like tortilla soup with dumplings. Now, tortilla soup is delicious but changing something excellent just for the sake of putting your own “spin” (which is hardly an original “spin”) on it is the cause of countless bad meals. I’d have made this recipe and won. :)

  93. Susan

    I’m all for some spin if you are able to capture the larger essense of the dish you are adapting. The addition should be a back note to it, not resemble another recipe all together! Especially classic dishes like C&D. People have expectations.

  94. Lauren

    Someone else asked this, and I didn’t see an answer, but can this be made in a large pot instead of a dutch oven if you don’t have one?

    I’d love to try it, but I don’t like making changes the first time I try something out.

  95. elisabeth

    Oscar night seemed like a night to roll out the 5-6 frozen chicken carcasses and make some stock. (i kind of just took random crap from my fridge and threw it into the stock and it came out great.) Today i was looking for a recipe to use said stock and naturally wanted to see what you had to say. (At this stage, I’ve lost count of how many of your recipes I’ve made.) I threw in kale instead of peas and thyme and oregano instead of tarragon and bay leaf- (it’s what was at the bodega and the beauty with soup is its flexibility right?) But the leeks and vinegar kind of seem essential as does the technique. (I love that you use sherry vinegar quite a bit.) Awesome recipe once again. Thanks!

  96. elisabeth

    Oh geez, you said to add “sherry” and I read “sherry vinegar”. In any case, the vinegar cut the richness of the broth nicely. It may have been a happy mistake.

  97. I made this using a whole organic chicken, trimmed of fat & excess skim (but still skin on!) and was very pleased with the result. I think the butter could be cut down a bit as the chicken fat in there it will thicken up with the flour as is but it was just delicious all the same. I funnily enough couldn’t taste the tarragon but I was super impresses by the dumpling-first time I have made and had them I think! Very comforting winter food. I think some steamed greens on the side & rice with this would lighten it up a bit.

  98. I usually have several variations on the soup part, but these dumplings are divine! My husband LOVES them and asks for them often in the winter. So good! Making this Saturday for an Anne of Green Gables Party!

  99. Susan

    Just made this for the second time today. I throw a little bit of sage in and this time I used a turkey breast and a turkey leg quarter since that’s what I had. (This was enough meat for a double batch.) I love, love, love this recipe. I did have to throw in more stock because a lot of mine bubbled away, but I had a lot around and I think I had my stove up too high, too, so hence the need for more liquid.

  100. Lorri

    As it is so rainy in the city and we have been exhausted packing up our apartment, this dish totally hit the spot! I ended up only using 4 tbsp of flour in the stew and adding an additional 2 cups of broth. I did forget to add the peas and lifted the lid quite a bit because it smelled so heavenly so maybe that has something to do with it. We are headed to chilly WI so I am sure I will revisit this dish often! Thanks Deb!

  101. Eliza

    YUM! We used leftover turkey, so I’m sure we missed some flavor booster steps, but still… yum! Perfect for a chilly rainy evening, any season!

  102. Megan

    First of all, I am huge fan of your blog. I am constantly trying new things on here and am always forcing my housemates, family, and boyfriend to eat it all! I am dying to try this, but I am a vegetarian. I am pretty good at swapping things to make dishes work, but I have a few questions! Do you think if I substituted maybe mushroom broth (vs. plain vegetable broth) that the stew would still thicken? I use Quorn fake chicken products that I think would be amazing in this. I figured I wouldn’t throw those in until the very end though after the stew had thickened most of the way. Thanks!!!

  103. Arjuna

    Great recipe, thanks for publishing it here. My wife is addicted to your blog, and regularly experiments with various recipes from here. We will roast a chicken for dinner on Sunday, pick the carcass on Monday for Chicken Pot Pie (your recipe) and boil it down for stock and soup, and finally use the left-over CPP filling for chicken and dumplings later in the week. A great way to use the whole bird for multiple meals, and best bit is it covers at least 4 dinners for the week from a single chicken!

  104. Jess

    Okay so, I’ve never cooked anything in my life except ONE time and I had a lot of help from my boyfriend. Well, today while he was at work, I decided I’d surprise him by making dinner.

    I improvised, of course. It’s just the two of us so I halved all of the amounts, and instead of with-skin and bone chicken, I used boneless, skinless chicken breast.

    I also didn’t have any of the leaves that you have, or the Sherry – I skipped the leaves entirely and improvised apple cider vinegar for it instead.

    I must say. . . This has turned out the me the most delicious thing I have made in my entire life. I’m so happy with it that I’m almost to tears – it’s just that amazing. Especially since I’ve only cooked once and it turned out this great. I’m so proud of myself. Thank you for the recipe. C=

  105. Londongirl

    Just made this on a chilly autumn day in London, and though I didn’t have tarragon or sherry, it was just gorgeous. My dumplings were a bit mis-shapen, but tasted brilliant. ps: love the blog!

  106. melissa

    just made this… yum! i halved the recipe and it still made a ton. i used a cup of homemade chicken stock and the rest canned broth; very rich flavor. this was soupy, not creamy or pot-pie-filling-y at all; almost no thickening. for a few minutes i wondered if i’d used teaspoons instead of tablespoons of flour. don’t think so, though. maybe i should have put in just a little bit of broth at first, stirring till it thickened, like you do with a roux?

    i added some chopped carrots, celery, and parsnips because it seemed to me the dish would have a fuller flavor and texture, and only while looking up the original recipe realized they were part of it. i’m not sure of the benefit of taking them out, though i love the addition of leeks and tarragon to this recipe.

    the only thing that surprised me was the texture of the dumplings–it’s possible they could have used a minute or two more cooking, but i didn’t expect them to be *quite* so airy–the inside completely melts as soon as it touches the broth. i guess i was expecting something more like soup dumplings (fluffy matzoh-ball texture)? by the time i was done my second helping, i definitely appreciated them, though. i did read tips in the CI recipe that you should wrap a dishtowel around the lid so it soaks up the moisture instead of dripping on the dumplings and making them slimy; and that (like with matzoh balls) one of the keys to fluffiness is not to open the lid until you think they’re done, or they won’t steam properly.

    i have to add that the chicken was amazingly flavorful and succulent. who knew thighs could be THAT good!

  107. Jenny Mc

    Hi,

    I am new to your blog and this recipe caught my attention. I would like to create a dinner around it. This being an entree. What do you suggest I serve along side it?
    Salad? Wine? Cheese?
    Please advise me.

    1. deb

      Jenny — Salad, wine and cheese or whatever you like to eat with stews. The dish is hearty, however, probably just a salad will do. (P.S. I would enjoy it with beer, but I always like rustic food with beer.)

  108. Jake

    A bowl of this fragrant glory sits steaming beside my mouse even as I type…the tarragon and leaks lend a sweetness of odor and flavor that I did not expect, but appreciate.
    melissa, I could have told you chicken thighs are this good! I’ve always been a fan of the brown meat and this recipe only confirms my preferences
    …this tarragon is freaking out my tastebuds and flavor memory…
    Deb, it needs more vegetable! To that end, I resolve to add carrots next time I make this.

  109. JamieF

    I first made this recipe about a year ago. It was my first time eating chicken and dumplings, too. I thought I wouldn’t like it – I had once gone to a restaurant with a large group of family and several people ordered chicken and dumplings. What the server brought out looked like it came out of can – it was gelatinous and topped with what looked like balls of paste. Your photos made me get over that. I made the dish and it was so good.

    I made it again recently, remembering that I had enjoyed it, but it was funny – it was even better than I had remembered! I drove everyone around me nuts with my, “can you believe how GOOD this is?” over and over – which is doubly obnoxious when talking about a dish you made yourself! I had always assumed that dumplings like this would be pasty and overly starchy – but they are like delicious little clouds, light and fluffy. It’s supposed to rain this weekend. I think I might be making this again…

  110. Sarah

    I love this recipe! I first tried it six or seven months ago and it’s been in regular rotation ever since. It’s great for company – I make it ahead, stopping after step 3, and then heat it back up when they arrive, add peas and tarragon, and make the dumplings.

  111. This dish is absolute perfection. My family loves it, even my picky eaters. It tastes like a big bowl of comfy. My children would think they were dying if God forbid they found an onion, let alone a leek, so I sub in carrots and celery and it’s still awesome. Thank you so much for blogging this. Thank you so much for everything. Can’t wait for the cookbook.

  112. I do have one question…why would you use butter to saute the leeks and onions? I used the rendered chicken fat. I know butter has a wonderful flavor profile, but chicken fat’s good too and, in this case, it’s free.

  113. Debbie

    I grew up on chicken stew with dumplings as well as beef, moose or caribou stew with dumplings! All family favorites that I have continued to make as an adult.

    My Mom always made the dumplings with Crisco, I have tried lots of other variations but always go back to Crisco! This dish is always better the next day, and I have several size heavy covered pots that I make stews in ( this dish is popular with friends, especially with batchelors that always expect to take home some leftovers)

    I grew up in the Yukon Territory and now live in Prince George, BC so I do have to say that this is not only a Southern dish :)

  114. Old post, but I need to weigh in heavily on this one. Like “Cobblers” there’s a 101 ways to make chicken and dumplings, there’s no “It SHOULD ALWAYS BE…” The dropped vs.rolled/cut/debate is silly. As with cobbler you can use a rolled pie crust, biscuit type topping, batter topping, or a crumble topping (although I guess technically crumble topping makes something a crumble?)

    C&D is just good old peasant food though, no big RULES. The end.

    Anyway, with Chicken and Dumplings there are many US regional variations as well as International ones. Most German/Eastern European countries have some versions of it (Czech cooking uses a “pinched” dumpling more akin to Spaetzle, while Bavarian variations can include liver dumplings, and Hungarian ones contain paprika). You get the idea. Some recipes include cream or milk in the “gravy”, others no dairy in the liquid at all. Some cut the veggies big, almost whole then remove and serve them on the side with a platter of the chicken, while some recipes chop up the veggies, remove the meat from the bone then place the meat back into the liquid. ANYTHING GOES WITH THIS DISH…WHEEE.

    Now, for the rolled (or risen) vs. dropped debate. Here’s where I get a bit persnickety. It’s a matter of heritage, regionalism and preference. My Nana (from Shelby, North Carolina) apparently made some LEGENDARY Chicken and Dumplings with a soft biscuit type dough, patted it out quickly into 1/2 thick magazine sized slab, let it sit for 30 minutes, cut into long strips and dropped them one-by-one into the liquid. I’ve heard that’s typical in certain parts on NC, but not in other parts. Some places however, cut thinly rolled dough into squares (a la Cracker Barrel) while of course there are the dropped varieties. You see all kinds in the South.

    I’ll tell you though, my Nana never wrote down her recipe, much to the sadness of my mother, father and aunt. After many tries and tastings and documentation, I was finally able to nail her recipe and it made my mother and aunt well up with tears and memories. So, if I’m able to bring two people I love so much happiness with rolled dumplings, I say that recipe is damn right proper.

  115. Karen

    Thank You :) The weather here has turned & this recipe was another Smitten Kitchen epic win in my house. I don’t have a Dutch oven so I used a large casserole pot w/ lid, I subbed soy milk and added half a sweet potato in small cubes to add richness. Glad I sprung for a good bottle of cooking sherry. That, paired with the perfectly light dumplings and tarragon was so savory that we all just kept saying, “yummmmm.” Perfect dinner after a cold, grey & dreary Seattle day.

  116. Taylor

    Hi Deb! I plan on making this recipe with a split, fried turkey leftover from Thanksgiving. Should I simmer the previously cooked meat in broth for an hour as directed for raw chicken, or will it turn tough and overcooked? I am using flavorful homemade chicken stock and about 6 pounds of turkey, bone in.

  117. Sarah

    Wow. I just made this, and it was SO GOOD! I even took a shortcut – skipped the first step and just used a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. This is delicious. Thanks for a great recipe.

  118. Hi Deb,

    I’ve made this several times and I just love it, but every time when I get to the step with cooking the dumplings, the bottom of the pan burns while the dumplings cook. Any idea how to stop that from happening? Even if I turn my heat to the lowest setting, the bottom burns and the dumpings take a lot longer to cook through. (I usually use an enamel coated cast iron dutch oven). Thanks. :)

  119. Jaimie

    I don’t have all the ingredients for this exact recipe but I’m using the method tonight. Onions instead of leeks, add carrots, no sherry just used chicken broth, no bay leaves never have them.. But I am excited about the addition of peas. Will definitely have to try the leeks next time though!!

  120. Sarah

    My fiance is a terribly picky eater, but this dish is amazing and a favourite for both of us! We’ve made it at least once a month since last year.

  121. CK

    I have never commented on one of these before but I wanted to say how delicious this was! I followed the recipe exactly except that I omitted the tarragon and replaced it with rosemary and it was sooo tasty! Thanks Deb for your great recipes!

  122. pauline

    I’m German but until yesterday C&D premiere a floury-dumpling-debutante (thanks for the buttermilk-recommendation..it worked a treat!).The recipe turned out delicious and pretty reminiscent of what i ve know since childhood as a chicken fricasse – a new twist on a beloved favourite basically. As we are on the cusp of spring with bright days but chilly nights i added some finely grated zest of an organic lemon with the peas and tarragon. it subtly freshend the whole thing up and pointed the overall flavour a little more towards spring .. not long now :0)

  123. Lisa

    Just made this yesterday, adding four carrots and using only chicken breasts, and wow! So great and yummy! I highly recommend!

  124. Alexa

    I made this today with mixed frozen vegetables (mostly for the color) instead of just peas, and it was damn good! Thanks for the recipe!

  125. caroluski

    Delicious!
    Didn’t have Tarragon used Marjoram. Also, didn’t have Sherry used Cabernet Will be making again. Thankyou.

  126. Valerie

    I just made 2 batches of this- one using veggie broth instead of chicken broth because I was out of chicken broth. WOW the veggie broth version was SO MUCH BETTER! I will definitely make that change when I make this again one day.

  127. Imelda

    This recipe was awesome. I adored the gravy – so much flavor!! I was also impressed by how simple it all was even if just a smidge time consuming. Thank you!

  128. Amy

    I used single malt whiskey instead of Sherry because it’s all I had around and guess what? It was delicious! Very Oaky and woodsy and almost mushroomy. If I had Sherry I would use it but try a little whiskey if you have it on hand.

  129. Julia

    I love it when a time-consuming recipe tastes as delicious as this one. Skipped the sherry and still had a terrific result. Definitely a nice way to spend a chilly day off!

  130. Kathryn

    I am new to your blog. Glad I found it. This looks delicious. I am going to try to make a Gluten Free and Dairy Free version of this recipe. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  131. JoLayne

    O.M.G. I have only tasted the gravy and I can hardly wait until this is done to sit down to dinner. Deb, you’re brilliant. :)

  132. Laura

    I made this and it was one of the most delicious comfort foods I’ve ever cooked. I forgot the butter because there was enough fat from the chicken to saute the leeks/onions in, and it was STILL AMAZING without butter– couldn’t believe it. Next time I’ll save this for a weekend as it was a little time consuming for a weekday meal, but wow, will definitely make this again soon (even if I didn’t have a bottle of sherry to use up)!!

  133. Meg

    Ok- I don’t usually comment on blogs but I just realized it’s been 7(!) years and I should probably let you know that I’ve been using this as my go-to meal for meal contributions for my friends with newborns. I’m in my 30s, so that should give you some idea of how ridiculously often I make this dish. I thank you and lots of new families thank you!

  134. Julie

    Deb, I made this a year ago and was floored by how delicious it was. My Pop Pop comes home from the hospital on Monday and I’m bringing this to him to put some meat on his bones. This time I’ll be adding chives to the dumplings just for funsies, but otherwise there’s no need to mess with perfection. Thanks again!

  135. C Rios

    Hi Deb! Made this for dinner tonight, and I love it… Thank you for sharing and for linking from your new Better Chicken Pot Pie recipe. :-) I bought chicken two days ago intending to make soup, but this is so much better.
    I added some fresh garlic and substituted marjoram for the tarragon (I just moved and I either don’t have tarragon or can’t find it). I also added carrots since my gramma used to put them in hers. And I didn’t have sherry (also missing since the move) so I used hard cider
    I used my Dutch oven, but I think I’ll use a lighter pot next time because the sauce browned a little on the bottom. The Dutch oven retains SO MUCH heat.
    And the dumplings are so cool! I won’t lie… I eyed the batter/dough suspiciously, but wow! 16 minutes later – perfect little tender dumplings. Awesome.
    Thanks again. Hope you’re doing well. :-)

  136. Sarah

    Oh. My. God. This was so incredible. Better than my grandma’s from Mississippi! My husband said it was the best chicken and dumplings he’s ever had. We made this last night and shared dinner with our best friends who are 9 months pregnant and she went into labor at 1am last night! I don’t know if the dish was so good that it induced labor but she thanked me at the hospital for those stick-to-your-ribs baby pushin dumpling that got her through. :). This is a recipe for my recipe box and for joyful stories for years to come. Thank you!!

  137. Lindsay C

    Can this be made with something other than chicken thighs? We keep trying the thighs, and really just don’t like them much :( Maybe bone-in breast? Or do you lose a lot without the dark meat?

  138. Sarah Z.

    I made this dish using 3 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (they were all my local market had), and it turned out great. I usually find chicken thighs too greasy/fatty, but they were wonderful in this recipe.

    To cupkait (comment #39) and others who keep kosher, the dumplings turn out fine if you replace the cow’s milk with almond milk and the butter with margarine. I know it sounds kinda gross and is akin to culinary blasphemy, but it’s worth it to be able to enjoy this wonderful meal!

  139. Help! This is absolutely one of my family’s favorite comfort meals. I’d like to make it for my mom’s birthday dinner this weekend. There will be 10 of us, so I intend to at least double the recipe. I’m wondering if you think it would work to put the chicken and gravy (sauce? whatever), in a roasting pan and put the dumplings on top, cover with foil and finish them in the oven? Maybe at 300° or so? Bake 20″ and see how they are, maybe then remove the foil to finish? For just our family (6 servings), I tend to make 1 1/2x the recipe for the dumplings part, so I’m thinking I’d probably triple that to dot on top? I’d appreciate any advice you feel like offering. Thank you!

  140. Sophia

    I’ve been making this recipe for four years now and loving it! I have to confess that instead of making dumplings, I use the chicken and gravy in a pie (with some liquid drained) and it’s a favourite everytime with family and friends. Thanks very much.

  141. Melanie

    @Deb. If I ever end up marrying my bf it will be solely because of this recipe. He likes to tell friends that this is how I “hooked” him. Also, he just volunteered me to make this dish tonight to welcome our new next door neighbors. In July. In Texas. I’m ok with all of this because this dish is so amazing. He’s pretty alright too <3

  142. Steph

    Helpful hint – when the recipe says to simmer covered, one should make sure to actually put the lid on the pot before simmering for an hour. :( I managed to save the chicken, but the poor leeks were another story…

  143. Emily

    Made this last night! I used a roasted a chicken that I made earlier in the week. Essentially precooked chicken so I only simmered it for about 20 minutes in the broth to release the meat from the bones. Worked wonderfully. I’m thinking this would be an amazing way to use post Thanksgiving turkey leftovers too! mmmm Turkey dumpling soup, sounds like my kind of leftover. I know this recipe is an oldie for you, but thanks again for an awesome one, warm delicious dinner for a cold rainy night perfect! I’m never disappointed with your recipes! :D

  144. deb

    Rachel — I usually buy an inexpensive but solid dry sherry from a wine store. Don’t have a brand in mind (mostly because I just used what I’d had for the last year or two up) but as long as it’s not sweet or a “cooking” sherry, I don’t think you’ll be unhappy with it.

  145. ro

    I just wanted to let you know that I made this tonight and it. was. AWESOME! It must feel good to see that your recipes are memorable like this! We loved it. =) The only change we made was to add some frozen asparagus instead of frozen peas and it was delicious with the tarragon! Thanks for a great meal tonight!

  146. Rachel

    I made this 2 days ago and it was freakin’ awesome! I did not have sherry and I used canned peas. I also used butter for the dumplings, not schmaltz. : )

  147. Carolyn

    This is still on of my all-time favorite recipes. It’s my go-to when I want to impress people. I typically add more vegetables and stock though.

  148. Jennifer

    My husband is big on comfort foods and when I said I was going to make this, he asked me why I didn’t just go buy a can of it instead. A can! Anyway, he ended up loving this and agreed it was much better than a can would have been. A can! Ick. And actually, I’ve never been big on leeks but now I’m thinking maybe I need to stick to the whites and light greens from now on so thanks for that.

  149. Kerri

    Love, love, love this recipe, have made it a few times now. One evening I was too lazy to make the dumplings and poured it over biscuits, then used the leftovers to make chicken pot pies. Yumm

  150. Charlotte

    Question! I have the stupidest food intolerance ever and can’t eat alliums except for a bit of garlic, and chives/the tops of green onions. What would you recommend to replace the leek and onion? I’m thinking fennel or celery, but would so welcome someone else’s ideas as I always stall when it’s a big ingredient and I can’t just chuck in a couple extra garlic cloves instead :P

  151. Alice

    This looks amazing and is exactly what I need in the cold winter months here in Australia. I live alone and could never manage to eat all this before it expired – do you know if it could possibly be frozen into individual portions once cooked? Do you have any advice for doing so?
    P.S. I love the new site design. Brilliant!

  152. Sara

    This sounds amazing, but I don’t have a Dutch oven. Any advice for how to adapt the recipe to use a frying pan and a large (but fairly thin) pot? For example, doing step 1 with the chicken in a frying pan, and the rest of the recipe in the pot? Maybe add a little extra liquid at the start of step 2 so that things don’t stick?

    Thanks a bunch!