MARCH FEATURED RECIPE: CREAMY CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

Chicken and Dumplings have been a staple comfort food in my family for as long as I can remember. It’s a sacred dish, even whilst being one that’s open to interpretation. My mom has a VERY specific way of making her soup (no carrots) and dumplings (like soft sheets.) My Grannie, on the other hand, likes to use more veggies, and prefers her dumplings plump and fluffy.

Just take one look on Pinterest, and you can find dozens of different recipes and methods for achieving the best chicken and dumplings.

I have scoured the web, I’ve talked with my mom and grandmother extensively, I’ve tried and tested, and I’ve finally worked out my own take on chicken and dumplings. Turns out, I like my soup thicker…and creamy, with onions, celery, and carrots (sorry Mom.) I like fresh herbs in my recipe…and I like my dumplings fluffy like clouds…with a distinct taste and texture of their own.

My secret? Cornmeal and buttermilk. The former to add texture to the dough, and latter to bump up the flavor. The key is to make sure the batter isn’t too thick or too thin…and to steam the dumplings in the soup at the end until they cook all the way through and get nice and fluffy (like a bowl full of clouds, if I do say so myself).

Give this recipe a try. It’s perfect for a cold rainy day, or even a sunny one spent in isolation at home. Let me know what you think!

Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

The ultimate chicken soup for the soul — thick, creamy, and full of tender veggies, shredded chicken, and fluffy dumpling clouds. You’ll find yourself going back for seconds (and thirds) every time.
Total Time45 mins
Keyword: chicken, chicken soup, comfort food, dinner, dumplings, family dinner, soup
Servings: 6

Ingredients

Creamy Chicken Soup

  • 1 lb chicken thighs shredded*
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 3 celery stalks diced
  • 2 carrot sticks diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp dill chopped
  • 1 tsp rosemary chopped
  • 4 cups chicken both**
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • salt & pepper to taste

Dumplings

  • 1 cup all=purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup buttermilk***

Instructions

  • Melt butter over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour all over the mixture, and stir until everything is coated and combined. Let the mixture cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the dill and rosemary, and then slowly stir in the chicken broth. If you still need to thin your soup out a little, add some water, 1/2 cup at a time. It’s okay if it’s a little thin now, it will continue to thicken as it cooks. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Let soup simmer for 15 minutes, stir in the milk and half and half, and simmer for another 5 minutes while you make your dumplings.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, then stir in the buttermilk slowly, stirring until you get a sticky dough mixture. (You may not use all the liquid). You want the dough to be wet and sticky, but thick enough to form clumps.
  • With the soup still simmering, drop small spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture into the soup. (You don’t want them larger than a tablespoon).
  • Put the lid on the soup, and cook on low heat for another 15 minutes until the dumplings are cooked through. You can sample one and make sure its airy on the inside, not dense when you cut in.

Notes

*For this recipe, I usually boil chicken thighs for 30 minutes and then shred them with forks. You can definitely also just buy and shred a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store if you want to cut out that extra step. 
**If your soup still seems a little too thick after stirring in the chicken broth, add a cup or two of water. Remember that it’s going to continue to thicken as it cooks, so better to be safe than sorry. 
 
***If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own! Mix a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar with a cup of milk, let it sit for ten minutes, and BAM. Buttermilk. 
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