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.
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!
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.
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
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
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.
288 comments on chicken and dumplings
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!
That looks like the perfect cure for a cold. Not to mention delicious!
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
oh my god.
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.
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!!
this looks divine, Deb, as always! i *adore* chicken and dumplings… i’ll definitely have to try this recipe the next time! yum!
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?
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…
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?!
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?
I’ve never had Chix & Dumplings but this looks soooooo good! I know what I’m making this weekend. :-)
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.
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!!
Ohhhh yessss. This is just what the doctor ordered.
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!
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. ;-)
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.
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!
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!
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!
This is too funny. I posted about chicken and dumplings today too! My recipe isn’t nearly as elegant as yours, though. It’s supposed to be a quickie weeknight meal. I’m definitely trying yours as soon as I can.
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…
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!
By the way, ditto on one of the above comments … definitely use buttermilk in your dumplings.
ah now I’m hungry!
I love this sort of winter warmer, and dumplings! I love, hubby hates, therefore I get them all! YAY!
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.
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?
Oh, yum. I hate tarragon, though. Can I replace with rosemary? Still sounds yummy to me.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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).
For Chicago request— try Extra Virgin or Cafe Baba Reeba for tapas. Orange for breakfast (either in South Loop or Lakeview) Both delicious!
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!
I’ve been wanting to make chicken and dumplings for 1000 1/2 years! With tarragon and leeks, this may have to be the one. Thanks, Deb.
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.
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?
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?
cupkait–perhaps soy milk would do the trick?
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!
Cupkait ~ the recipes that I’ve found use schmaltz or oil and water in the dough. I don’t know what schmaltz is but perhaps you can merge Deb’s and this recipe together??
chicken and dumplings was my favorite meal when i was little. i liked making the dumplings
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!
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?
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
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.
I have never had chicken and dumplings that was actually tasty and have always wondered what the big deal is. Now I am excited to find out! Thanks!
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!
I’ve been a huge chicken pot pie fan, but never warmed up to chicken and dumplings. Your photos make it look so good that I may give it a second chance.
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.
thanks everyone for the chicago info…can’t wait!
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.
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!
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
Mix and pour on top of filling in an casserole dish. (Shallower is better.) Bake 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
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. =]
I don’t know what I did to the dumplings the last time I tried something like this, but my g/f almost left me because of it. I’m willing to give it one more try for the sake of love.
Wish me luck!
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)?
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.
This turned out great!!!!
Thank you so much for the recipe! My mom used to make this growing up and since it is turning cold in Texas, I had a sudden craving. Sadly the store I stopped by had no leeks or tarragon, so I added extra onions and green onions and used rosemary instead. This was so good!!! I would never have thought to use the chicken fat in the dumplings but they turned out so amazingly! Thank you again!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Woah. We made this last night for dinner. I reheated the extras and am happy to report it is completely gone. Every last dumpling; every last drop. Perfection!
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.
I made this tonight..it was really good. added carrots and celery and garlic and some extra cream
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!
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!
Delightful. I erred on the side of peas, to good effect.
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.
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!
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.
I know I’m late to the party here but I wanted to pop in and say that I made this tonight and the whole family loved it!
these chxn dumplings fed my soul. I had to add a couple cups of chxn stock at the end to thin it out.
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.
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 :)
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!!
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!
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.
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. :)
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!
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!
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.
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!!!
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!
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.
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!
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 :)
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.
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”.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
I tried the cornstarch and it worked very well! Thanks, Deb, it was delicious!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
Good lord that was tasty.
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. :)
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!
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.
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.
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!!
very yummy..I’ve tried to make good dumplings for years..those are the best..thank you
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.
I didn’t have any tarragon or leaks, so I left them out and used 2-3 cups of mixed veggies (peas, carrots, etc.) instead and it was great! Definitely a keeper! ;)
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…)
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.
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.
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.
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. :)
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.
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.
Yum! I love chicken and dumplings, it might just be one of my favorite meals. I just recently made chicken and dumpling soup, love it!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
I made this last night to break in my new apartment’s kitchen. It was very good! I am officially a leek convert.
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!!!
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!
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=
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!
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!
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.
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.)
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.
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…
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.
Lordy! I accidentally purchased lemon thyme, but then thought, “what the heck,” and chopped it up. It was amazing! Great flavor. An added touch.
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.
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.
and by “you” I meant Cook’s Illustrated.
There’s absolutely no reason not to use rendered chicken fat. It makes much more sense.
Is there a reason to use skin on chicken thighs if you are discarding the skin?
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 :)
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.
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.
I am making this tonight! If you had an app, I would buy the hell out of it.
I’ve made this so many times, that I just go by memory now, FAMILY FAVORITE, it’s so delicious and we love the dumplings!
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.
Hi Taylor — That cooking time is for uncooked meat. I would only simmer the cooked turkey enough to warm/soften it a little.
hi, i assume the peas go in with the dumplings?
See step #5. They go in with the tarragon.
Any suggestions as to what to sub in for sherry? Cooking for someone who is allergic…
Hi Jen — You can skip it.
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.
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. :)
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!!
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.
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!
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)
Just made this yesterday, adding four carrots and using only chicken breasts, and wow! So great and yummy! I highly recommend!
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!
Didn’t have Tarragon used Marjoram. Also, didn’t have Sherry used Cabernet Will be making again. Thankyou.
This is seriously a family favorite, I’ve been making it for quite a while now, it’s my go to chicken and dumplings recipe. SO GOOD!!!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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. :)
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)!!
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!
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!
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. :-)
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!!
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?
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!
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!
i haven’t had chicken and dumplings in a while. perfect comfort food!
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.
@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
Deb – do you think you could you use sweet vermouth instead of sherry?
Ann — I think so, but I’d probably prefer dry here.
I’ve never been a fan of chicken and dumplings, but this labor of love was worth it!
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…
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
Is there a particular kind of sherry you like to use?
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.
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!
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. : )
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.
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.
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
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
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!
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!
That should work just fine. Probably don’t need extra liquid.
How would this hold up to making a day ahead and reheating? Thanks!
This should reheat just fine. If you’ve got more time, might be nice to just make the stew portion and cook the dumplings on just before serving.
If I use breasts instead of thighs what modifications do I need to make?
You shouldn’t need to change much at all.
I made this last year before finding out I have Celiac Disease. I LOVED the recipe but now want to modify for gluten free. If anyone has any thoughts or suggestion’s before I attempt, I would gladly accept it.
I’m not gluten free, but a lot of my family is, and I’ve had great results making drop biscuits with Cup4Cup flour. Since the dumplings are pretty similar to biscuits (mostly wetter), I would bet it would work here too.
Hi: This recipe sounds so delicious. When I am in a hurry I have to confess that I have gone the Bisquick route of dumplings. If you add fresh parsley they really are quite good but be careful, all dumplings soak up a lot of the sauce. Thanks for the leeks, I will have to try this very soon, especially since this week will be soooo…. chilly in upstate NY. Love your blog, SB
Chicken and dumplins (always drop the ‘g’) are sacred here in the south. They are humble but comforting. This recipe looks delicious and I look forward to making it but I’ll have to call it something else. :)
I grew up eating chicken and dumplings, but I’ve been a vegetarian for the last 20 years and haven’t even attempted to make it without the chicken. Do you think this would work without it? Any thoughts on keeping it interesting without the chicken there?
How about some braised mushrooms or greens, maybe some beans too? Oh! You should use this base instead, pancetta totally not essential for flavor.
I make this frequently for my vegetarian husband with no chicken. I use veg broth/stock, add carrots and white beans and sometimes any mix of potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage, kale, or whatever nice veg I have on hand. Complete the recipe as otherwise directed. It’s a beautiful veg stew, with or without the dumplings!
I’d had this on my list to try for ages, and decided that being home in a blizzard yesterday was the perfect opportunity. This was my first time trying chicken and dumplings, period, and it was great. Two changes: I used 3 lbs of boneless/skinless thighs, and I was out of sherry so used vermouth instead. Delicious all around.
Vermouth is my go-to for when a recipe calls for white wine. Something I learned from watching Julia Child
One of the most delicious meals I have ever cooked. So perfect for a snowy winter day. Someday, decades from now when I am gone, THIS is the meal that I want my son to remember me by.
Love this recipe. It’s in regular rotation at our house. Simple, fulfilling, and the kids will eat it!
Can you freeze the leftovers? Does it reheat well?
Yes and yes.
I love that you have a tab in the comments for “I made this”. Such a good idea!!
Made this tonight and it is great! My dad loves making the original cooks illustrated version, and when I asked him for the recipe, he told me it would be too hard for me (haha). I’m not sure what the differences are, but I thought this was very close to the original and simple to make. I think the next time I make this I will be sure to mince the tarragon very finely as the leaves are fairly strong, and maybe leave out the peas (but just because I’m not the biggest pea fan). Thank you very much for sharing!
Fantastic recipe!! I used a whole chicken that I cut up and added a few sliced carrots, but other than that, followed it to a T. I will definitely make this again.
I have made this cooks illustrated recipe at least a dozen times. No kidding. Today I thought I would relax with the iPad and see if there were any better option on the internet vs. finding my dog eared printed copy in my cooking file. This recipe follows the original almost exactly but this one brings in leeks instead of celery. I think that is a great addition and I will incorporate going forward. One thing I want to add is that you DONT need to add the oil while you brown your skin on thighs. You will always have more by 2x the amount of rendered fat for the dumplings. When you add the oil it becomes a huge mess of extra splattered grease. Do not skip the sherry it adds such depth to the tastes!
I grew up on this. My mom poached the chicken then removed skin and bones so her broth was rich and golden. And she only used celery and onion. No carrots or peas. And in 1950’s small Midwestern Illinois town, who ever heard of a leek? She made her dumplings with whole milk and dropped them into the bubbling broth by spoonfuls. They expanded into large soft fluffy clouds that soaked up just enough broth to soften the outside and leave the inside with some texture. We then ate this over managed potatoes. Yep. Starch on starch. My mom killed it in the kitchen.
This looks amazing !! Can you make this dairy free?
Ha! I was literally searching for answers to this exact question. I am wondering if soy milk would work???
Soy milk is a little thin; you may want to try unsweetened cashew or coconut milk.
I made this on Friday with boneless skinless thighs (I still browned them) and used coconut milk both in the recipe and the dumplings and my husband and I both have LOVED it. I also put it in the crock pot all day and could have increased the liquid at the start as it was very thick, but we haven’t minded that.
For those who are not a fan of thyme or tarragon, do you have another spice combo to suggest? 😉
I’ve made this several times….absolutely delicious. Have changed the dumplings a bit…I add some lemon zest and some finely chopped parsley. It’s a wonder what a little lemon zest can do for a recipe! ALWAYS get raves from everyone who eats it.
NOTE: I’m glad you pointed out that the dumplings must be added to bubbling hot chicken stew so they puff up and cook properly!!!!
This is stupid delicious. Added carrots, subsitituted vermouth for sherry (what we had on hand) and thyme for tarragon. Made the batter with my 5 year old, and now she’s obviously an expert! Thank you.
Just made this last night during our first snow storm of the season. Switched out fresh Thyme for ground (couldn’t find fresh) and added some rosemary to the dumplings, turned out great! Loved it and couldn’t recommend it more!
Can you freeze this?
How would this turn out if you only have boneless thighs on hand?
Probably fine but will need less cooking time; if skinless too, I find little advantage to the browning step.
Thanks Deb! Trying it tonight!
This just got rave reviews from me and my husband! I used probably only 3 lbs of chicken thighs and added some sliced mushrooms along with the leeks and onions, and I used 1/2 tsp dried thyme and about 1 tbsp dried tarragon instead of fresh. I didn’t have any sherry so I subbed 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 2 tbsp water. Anyway, this was so so so good! The stew is fantastic and the dumplings are wonderful, so light and fluffy. Now we have delicious leftovers to look forward to all week :)
I’ve been wanting to make chicken and dumplings forever – never tried it before. Today was the day and this recipe did not disappoint. So delicious! Kids, parents and grandparents equally enjoyed.
Temp here in Pa, NY border is going down to 29, think I want to make some comfort food. Thanks for the great recipe, wish your book tour was in NY near us. Hey, I can still buy your new book….Love your blog!!
So to speed things up for a week night meal I made this with a rotisserie chicken. I chilled it in the fridge to congeal the fat for the dumplings. It was fantastic.
This is one of the most delicious things I have ever made. Something about the process of saving the chicken fat to use as an ingredient in the dumplings totally tickled me and made me feel like a “real chef.”
I didn’t have chicken broth, so I used beer and water instead. In case anyone is trying to make this ahead of time, I cooked up the stew part the first night after my toddler went to bed. I removed the bones, reheated it and did the dumplings on the second night. I wonder if allowing it to sit added to its deliciousness?
I am not a big dinner person, but I woke up in the middk of the night to eat a little bit more. 💛
I made this for the first time a few weeks ago, and I’m addicted! I made it again yesterday because I just can’t get enough.
Even though I’ve only made it 2 times, I do have a few changes that worked best for my family/friends. I use a mix of breast and thighs, both bone in, skin on. I tried just breast, but it’s a little dry and misses some of the amazing flavor the thighs give. I’ve never added peas because I keep forgetting them at the store. I’ve tried rosemary/thyme mix, and the suggested thyme/tarragon mix. For me, personally, I loved the rosemary but both are fantastic. The biggest change I make is to add 2-4 cups of water (in addition to the 4.5 listed), use only 4 TBS of flour in the beginning part of the recipe, and cut the dumpling recipe in half, we just really like more soupy/stew style chicken and dumplings.
Thanks Deb for such a fantastic recipe!! I can’t wait to keep making this. Easily one of the best chicken and dumpling recipes I’ve ever made. I plan on making for our Christmas Eve dinner :)
Just made this for dinner and it was delicious! I made a whole chicken in the crock pot and used it here to save some active cooking time. Didn’t have sherry on hand so I used rosé, because who doesn’t have rosé on hand?! I probably could have made the dumplings even smaller than golf ball size and I definitely recommend leaving them in for 18 minutes as mine were pretty doughy. I took it off the heat at 15 minutes because the bottom was starting to stick. Otherwise, SO delicious.
Can this recipe be made dairy-free?
This is the recipe I have been trying to find. Large FLUFFY dumplings. I’m heading out to the store for the ingredients. I CANNOT wait! Thanks for posting this wonderful recipe!
Oh boy, this stew is delicious, and I haven’t even made it to the dumpling phase yet – plan to reheat tomorrow and do dumplings then. However, I’m wondering why the process has us seasoning and browning the chicken with skin on, then removing the skin before simmering the chicken in step 2. That’s what I did, and it’s good, but I’m trying to understand the rationale for this step, rather than just simmering with skin on and then removing skin when remove the meat from bones. ??
My guess is that too much fat from the skin would get into the stew and it would have a greasy feeling. Plus, you can just eat the crispy skin like cracklins, so good.
It’s an extra layer of flavor. Although, to be completely honest, the last time I made this, the browned skins looked too lovely to waste so I baked them, sprinkled with salt, on a tray until brown and crispy like potato chips and we sprinkled them over. Yolo, right?
Amazing recipe!!!! Just, perfect.
I was quite surprised to see the comments from people saying they had never had chicken and dumplings – what a sad state of affairs! This was a staple in our home growing up, as well as in my grandparents’ homes. Unfortunately today it’s difficult to make this dish and have it taste the same as it did then. Chickens are bred to be leaner than in the past. Comparatively speaking, they have very little fat these days. We used what were called stewing hens to make this dish. They were older chickens and required a little longer cooking than do chickens today. They also had fat that was actually yellow. It imparted a wonderful and very different flavor than what we get today. Unfortunately, it seems impossible to get genuine stewing hens anymore. For those who are fat squeamish, you can always make the stew part first, refrigerate it overnight, and remove the solidified fat from the top. Then continue on to the dumplings. As any professional cook will tell you however, fat is where the flavor is. My mother would save the fat, and use it when she fried chicken livers, hearts and gizzards. I wax nostalgic.
I just bought the new “Everyday Cookbook”. I am wondering how to make the dumplings (Siberian Pelmeni) vegetarian… is there a way to replace the meat filling with a cheese or potato filling? I came here to look for ideas and thought it might help to just ask :)
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.
Not a question but, I’m a southern girl who loves to cook southern food. My husband was raised by a New England cook. Neither of us enjoys chicken and dumplings. Go figure. (I love matzo ball soup which is almost the same) Anyway, I showed him this recipe picture commenting don’t you wish…He said if the dumplings were stuffed with the chicken and veggies and cooked in the gravy it might be tasty. You should work on that.😜
I’m floored by the number of posters who’ve never had chicken and dumplings. Go and make now!!!! A southern staple that will warm your belly and your heart.
I saw this posted on the SK instagram feed and almost immediately ran to the grocery store in order to make this for dinner. It came together like a dream and made the house smell to die for. My *only* tweak would be to increase the liquid content slightly next time as I found there wasn’t quiiite enough of the gravy to dip my dumplings in. Perfect fall dish… can’t wait to make it again next weekend ;)
This was delicious. Based on personal preference and folks’ comments, I added both carrots and celery, used ~3lbs of boneless/skinless chicken thighs, and increased the broth from 4.5C to 6C. It’s also a very forgiving recipe…I forgot to add the flour, but whisked it with some of the broth in a different pot and that seemed to work just fine. Next time I’ll add more liquid…the additional veggies might have been responsible for soaking some of it up, but whatever the reason, it was so good that I wanted more.
Delicious but damn this takes a long time to make. Consider saving for a leisurely Sunday meal.
we made this and LOVED it. followed the recipe as written. The Leeks and the Tarragon add a wonderfully fresh flavor. This recipe is a little fussy but the result is so worth the effort
Will bring a batch to my mom to share.
My boyfriend LOVED this. Thank God because many zip lock bags of it are in the freezer, ready for winter! I made no changes to the recipe (unusual for me). Thank you!
This is awesome. Reminds me of everything good about my moms chicken and dumplings, with none of the bland boiled chicken.
I made this vegetarian with 2 pounds of baby Bella mushrooms and a can of chickpeas, and it was delicious! I swapped olive oil for the butter and a tablespoon of flour with cornstarch since I knew it wouldn’t thicken much without the chicken fat, and it worked perfectly (just don’t let it come to a boil). I also upped the liquid to 5 cups of Imagine No-Chicken Chicken stock, which is a delicious vegetarian swap. Didn’t have tarragon, but used a mix of thyme, rosemary, and some leftover sage and it worked just fine. Perfect for leftovers, and not too unhealthy to boot. The dumplings were so simple and effective, I want to use them on MORE things!
Extremely good! Soul soothing, hearty, warming. Dumplings are an amazing texture, light and fluffy. This recipe is everything I could have hoped for.
This is worth the time to make, especially if you had a really good grocery store roasted chicken for starters. I pulled the meat off then simmered the carcass for the broth. Didn’t have leeks, which I will plan for next time. Made do with a large onion, added celery and a couple carrots.
We have thyme in the garden so snipped off several stems and dropped them whole in the broth. The leaves come off after a while and you can fish out the stems with the bay leaves. Because my chicken was already cooked, I added with the peas before dropping the dumplings into the simmering broth. Fluffy and a perfect addition to the broth. I made some golf ball sized, but preferred the smaller ones.
Next time I’ll add fresh parsley to the dumplings (dried was good but fresh would be better) and add more broth for them to soak up in the bowl. Add the missing leeks for the broth, and then… oh boy.
You list 6 tbls of flour in the stew potion of the recipe but don’t say what to do with it?
Hi it’s in step 2! I’m going to try this finally tonight!
Amazing! I had to use dried tarragon (reduced accordingly) as my grocer did not have fresh. Other than that I followed directions. Perfect dumpling to stew ratio. My family is raving…you made me look like a hero. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe.
Hmm just had similar at my sister’s and she made it with matzoh balls! It was so good. Must try this but I may keep the matzoh balls in lieu of dumplings :) Does this sound like a plan?
I’m not a fan of licorice-tasting herbs. What can I use in place of tarragon?
Thyme would be a nice alternative
I got a Le Creuset dutch oven for Christmas and this was my first recipe using it. I was so pleased at how this turned out! I made just a couple changes–used chicken breasts instead of thighs, carrots instead of leeks, and a splash of white wine in place of the sherry. This dish was amazing–heart, flavorful, and just right for a cold winter night! We never had dumplings before and now we’re hooked! Will definitely be making this again. Thanks Deb!
Very tasty! I’ve been on a lemon kick lately so I added a bit at the end and it really was lovely. So comforting, thanks!
Ok—I just added smoked paprika and hot sauce to the leftovers for extra punch. Yum! Love how adaptable this recipe is.
I made a vegan version of this that was absolutely delicious!! I also halved the recipe substituting in veggie broth, oat milk, vegan butter, and white beans for the chicken. I also added and big handful of spinach with the peas. I think next time I would also add mushrooms, potatoes, or another root vegetable to fill the soup a bit more than just the beans. I was very worried that about making this one vegan as the chicken version is one of my absolute favorite recipes, but I was very happy with the variation.
OMG this recipe is fantastic! We decided to go with this, rather than the traditional roasted turkey this year and I’m so glad we did!
Thanks for brightening our 2020 Thanksgiving feast!
I use the chicken stew part of this recipe for individual chicken pot pies. So delicious with Trader Joe’s puff pastry.
Okay after making this at least half a dozen times in the last 6 months, I have a few thoughts!
First, it is pure comfort and I cannot stress enough how delicious and hearty this dish is. Will continue to be one of my favourite SK recipes. However… I have never used the full 5lbs of chicken thighs recommended.. it seems like a crazy amount of chicken??? I generally use between 2.5 to 3 lbs and could even go down to 2 lbs in a pinch.
My second thought is a two-parter… why go to all the effort of making beautiful crispy chicken skins only to take them off and discard? I don’t think it’s worth the time only to use the fat for the dumplings and have found no real flavour difference when substituting store-bought schmaltz or butter.
The other part to this is that if you do spend time getting the thighs nicely browned on both sides, it certainly doesn’t take an hour of simmering to cook them all the way through. I even find it takes less than half that.
Anyhow, I love this recipe but going forward will endeavour to make it simpler by skipping the browning and making the dumplings with whatever fat I’ve got on hand!
Thank you! This recipe is on my to-revisit/streamline list for the winter and your notes are helpful.
I hope you do! I’ve made it once before and it took me a little while, but today I was looking at the recipe again thinking “ooooooh I bet present Deb would definitely simplify this!”
I could not wait for Deb’s possible revisions, and made this tonight…YUM! My not-a-fan-of-chicken husband gave it a big thumbs up. Followed the recipe and learned a few things along the way:
Any chicken works.
Don’t be tempted to over-thicken the stew (I did).
Carrots are a great addition.
1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon works in place of fresh.
Half and half is way better than milk.
Adding buttermilk powder to the dumpling mix is awesome.
Thanks Deb…sooooo glad I made this before the spring thaw hits, because it is truly beautiful comfort food.
I just wanted to say, I have been making this recipe for at least 8 or 9 years. It is a favorite of the whole family, and makes enough for a big group, or generous leftovers (we’re a family of 4 good eaters and we always get at least another whole lunch out of it, sometimes another dinner). It takes time but it is so, so worth it, and it is forgiving of swaps if you don’t have fresh herbs, want to add different veggies, etc. Thank you, Deb!
This was so dang good. I used 3 lbs of boneless skinless thighs as that is what i had, used sauvignon blanc instead of dry sherry, as i don’t like tarragon i omitted and put in a cube of veggie bouillon to boost the flavor in it’s place, and lastly i had a spare carrot so i diced it and threw it in. A squeeze of fresh lemon when serving brought a perfect hit of brightness. The flavor profile of this dish is just YUM. The dumplings were fluffy and perfect, oh and since i didn’t really have any rendered chicken fat since my thighs were skinless, i used duck fat in the dumplings….yessssss. This is now in permanent rotation. Thank you!
OH, and i only simmered the boneless chicken thighsfor 45 minutes, then used kitchen shears to rough chop them right in the stew….then added and cooked the dumplings (slightly bigger than golf balls) for 20 min…perfectly cooked.
I made this last week for the first time in a year or two. Still delicious and worth the effort. This time around, rather than simmer the stew on the stove, I used the oven! It’s how I’ve been cooking my beans recently and it made this recipe much easier on a busy evening schedule. Baked it for an hour at 350F and it was perfect and ready for the dumplings step, which I did on the stovetop.
Made this last night and OMG, depth of flavor over the top — it’s a keeper and the sweet peas really add a nice dimension. However…… my dumplings did not double in size or rise … and I can’t figure out why. I am pretty accomplished in the kitchen and not used to fails on simple things like dumplings. Any thoughts, Deb?
I’ve made this recipe several times each winter for at least 12 years. It’s both perfect and forgiving. Skinless/boneless thighs or chicken breast both work, add carrots and celery if you want, add (pre-sautéed) mushrooms if you’re feeling mush-y, put in dried thyme and tarragon (no need for fresh, unless you want it) at the beginning or end…as long as you build the flavors with fat, spices, proteins and veg you can’t go wrong. In this household’s crowd of two, it’s always a pleaser.
So good. I provide companionship to a lady with mild dementia. I asked her what meal she missed the most since having to move in with family and she said chicken and dumplings. Now I am sure this recipe is miles away from the chicken and dumplings of her memory but she sure enjoyed it when I made it for her one evening when her family was away. I did make back up biscuits LOL but they were not necessary, the dumplings turned out great.