Homemade Chicken And Dumplings

This old-fashioned homemade chicken and dumplings take a family favorite to a new level.

Homemade chicken and dumplings in a dark bowl with a loaf of bread in the background.

Why You Will Love This

Everybody knows scratch-made is typically better than dumping something out of a can.

And while I recognize that convenience does have its place, this recipe does much better homemade without that much more work.

Light dumplings floating in a scratch-made broth with perfectly tender chicken will leave you pleased and delighted.

While this ultimate comfort food is scratch-made, it’s still a very easy recipe to follow.

With a handful of ingredients and some simple steps, you can whip up this comforting meal that warms the heart. Perfect for a cold night!

Browning the chicken first adds a great flavor to the overall dish. Using fresh vegetables brings authentic aromatics to the broth.

Homemade chicken and dumplings in a dark bowl.

And the dumplings … oh, the dumplings. Melt in your mouth, pillowy goodness that rounds out this classic steaming bowl of happiness.

This is not a dump-and-go recipe. There are some steps. But these steps are not laborious and make a much better dish. It is worth it.

So if you’re looking for that old fashioned chicken and dumplings comfort food experience, look no further.

Tender, homemade dumplings floating in thick, flavorful chicken broth. Chicken soup is good, but this is next level.

While this flavorful dish stands pretty good on its own, some freshly baked bread, such as crusty sourdough bread or no-knead dutch oven bread, would be great for cleaning the bowl.

If you wanted to go with a soup and salad meal, a spinach salad or an arugula fennel salad would be good options as well.

Ingredients

The Chicken And Stock

Chicken – We’re using chicken quarters (chicken legs and chicken thighs) for our recipe. The dark meat of the chicken packs more flavor than the white meat.

Aromatics – Carrots, celery, onion, garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns come together to make a very flavorful stock. Making your own chicken stock is always better, as you can control what goes into it.

The Soup Base

Soup base – More carrots, celery, and onion. All are cooked in butter with kosher salt and pepper with flour added to make a roux.

The Drop Dumplings

Dumplings – Flour, baking powder, butter, kosher salt, buttermilk, heavy cream, parsley, and green onion. All for a melt-in-your-mouth dumpling.

This simple dough makes a light, fluffy dumpling, not the dense, flat dumplings that you see sometimes.

How To Make Homemade Chicken And Dumplings

If using chicken quarters, break them down, so you have individual legs and thighs. Add the olive oil to a large pot or large dutch oven and heat to medium-high heat.

Chicken being browned in a dutch oven.
This is a perfect amount of chicken meat. A whole chicken is not required

Brown the chicken pieces on all sides.

When the chicken has been browned sufficiently, add the water, whole carrot, whole celery stalk, half of the onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, parsley, and peppercorns to the pot.

Chicken stock being cooked in a dutch oven.
The key to any flavorful chicken soup is homemade chicken stock.

Scrape the bottom of the pot, loosening the brown bits that may be stuck on the bottom of the pot.

Bring to a boil and cook uncovered until fully cooked. The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

This takes about 40-50 minutes or so, depending on how high the heat is.

Homemade chicken stock in a glass bowl.
No cream of chicken soup in this bowl of golden goodness.

When ready, remove the chicken and set aside. Strain the stock through a strainer into a large bowl.

Cooked, shredded chicken on a dark plate.
We prefer dark meat, but you can use chicken breasts instead if you like.

When the chicken is cooled enough to handle, remove the meat and discard the bones and skin. Set the chicken meat aside.

Return the stock back to the pot, add a tablespoon of kosher salt and set it to a low simmer.

Add the butter to a large skillet on medium heat. Add the chopped carrots, chopped celery, and the remaining onion. Cook until completely softened, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Season with kosher salt and pepper, and add 1/2 cup of flour to the skillet. Stir until the vegetables are completely coated.

Cooked vegetable roux being added to chicken stock.

Add the coated vegetables to the stock pot. Turn the heat to medium. Whisk the stock until it’s thickened and no lumps remain.

Continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Gently stir every few minutes.

Dumpling ingredients in stainless steel bowls.
This dumpling recipe, using simple ingredients recipe, is a clear winner.

While the soup is still cooking, it’s time to make the dumplings.

Add 1 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda, parsley, green onions, and kosher salt to a medium bowl. Whisk until combined well.

In another bowl, add buttermilk (whole milk works, too) and melted butter. Whisk to combine.

Dumpling dough in a stainless steel bowl.
Fresh herbs work better than dried ones.

Fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.

Adding cooked chicken to the chicken soup.
This right here is some awesome creamy chicken soup … but wait!

Add the shredded chicken and heavy cream to the soup and lower the heat to a gentle simmer.

Dropping dumpling dough into the chicken soup.
Just drop them in and watch them grow!

Drop tablespoon size pieces of the dumpling dough into the soup.

Cover the soup and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about ten more minutes.

Chicken and dumplings cooking in a dutch oven.
These dumplings are so tender!

Uncover and check to see if the dumplings are done. They should have grown large and probably have covered the entirety of your pot.

Chicken and dumplings in a dutch oven.

Serve and enjoy this easy chicken and dumplings.

A bowl of chicken and dumplings with a loaf of bread in the background.
Look at that bowl of joy!

Grab some bowls and start ladling out this classic soup. It’s perfect anytime.

Tips And Variations

  • If you have leftovers, store those fluffy dumplings in a separate airtight container. They’re so tender that they will dissolve in that homemade broth.
  • Toss celery leaves (if you have them) in the pot when making the soup. They impart great flavor.
  • Feel free to use chicken breasts instead of thighs and legs.
  • You can use whole milk instead of buttermilk in the dumplings if you prefer.
  • Adding frozen peas right before adding the dumplings is always a good option.

FAQs

Are chicken and dumplings supposed to be thick or soupy?

This dish can be very thin or very thick, depending on preference. This recipe is a mix of the two. It uses a very small amount of roux which gives this soup a thicker consistency than a thin soup.

Can you freeze chicken and dumplings?

Yes. Separate the dumplings from the soup. Allow to cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight freezer-safe container. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. We recommend bringing it back to a simmer and making a batch of fresh dumplings.

How long will chicken and dumplings keep in the refrigerator?

Three to four days. This soup (like most) tastes even better the following day from cooking. Remember to store the dumplings separately from the soup.

Other Delicious Soup Recipes

Homemade chicken and dumplings in a dark bowl with a loaf of bread in the background.

Homemade Chicken And Dumplings Recipe

Tender chicken and melt-in-your-mouth dumplings swimming in a seasoned broth make this homemade chicken and dumplings an instant winner.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: carrot, celery, chicken, dumplings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 491kcal

Ingredients
 

The Chicken And Stock

  • 2 Chicken legs
  • 2 Chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 quart Water
  • 1 Carrot whole
  • 1 Celery stalk whole
  • 1/2 Onion medium, chopped
  • 3 Garlic clove smashed
  • 4 Thyme sprigs
  • 10 Parsley sprigs
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Peppercorns

The Soup Base

  • 3 Carrots chopped, 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 Celery stalks chopped, 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 Onion diced
  • 1/4 cup Butter, unsalted
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Flour

The Dumplings

  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 3 tbsp Butter, unsalted melted
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tbsp Parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp Green onion chopped

Other Ingredients

  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Flat leaf parsely garnish, optional.

Instructions

  • If using chicken quarters, break them down, so you have individual legs and thighs.
  • Add the olive oil to a large pot or large dutch oven and heat to medium-high heat.
    2 tbsp Olive oil
  • Brown the chicken pieces on all sides.
    2 Chicken legs, 2 Chicken thighs
  • Add the water, whole carrot, whole celery stalk, half of the onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, parsley, and peppercorns to the pot.
    3 quart Water, 1 Carrot, 1 Celery stalk, 1/2 Onion, 3 Garlic clove, 4 Thyme sprigs, 10 Parsley sprigs, 1 Bay leaf, 1 tsp Peppercorns
  • Bring to a boil and cook uncovered until fully cooked, about 40-50 minutes.
  • When ready, remove the chicken and set aside. Strain the stock through a strainer into a large bowl.
  • When the chicken is cooled enough to handle, remove the meat and discard the bones and skin. Set the chicken meat aside.
  • Return the stock back to the pot, add a tablespoon of kosher salt and set it to a low simmer.
    1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • Add the butter to a large skillet on medium heat. Add the chopped carrots, chopped celery, and the remaining onion. Cook until completely softened, about 10 to 15 minutes.
    3 Carrots, 3 Celery stalks, 1/4 cup Butter, unsalted, 1/2 Onion
  • Season with kosher salt and pepper, and add 1/2 cup of flour to the skillet. Stir until the vegetables are completely coated.
    1/2 cup Flour
  • Add the coated vegetables to the stock pot. Turn the heat to medium. Whisk the stock until it’s thickened and no lumps remain.
  • Continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Gently stir every few minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda, parsley, green onions, and kosher salt to a medium bowl. Whisk until combined well.
    1 Cup Flour, 2 tsp Baking powder, 1/4 tsp Baking soda, 2 tbsp Parsley, 2 tbsp Green onion, 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • In another bowl, add buttermilk (whole milk works, too) and melted butter. Whisk to combine.
    3 tbsp Butter, unsalted, 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • Fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.
  • Add the shredded chicken and heavy cream to the soup and lower the heat to a gentle simmer.
    1/2 cup Heavy cream
  • Drop tablespoon size pieces of the dumpling dough into the soup. Cover the soup and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about ten more minutes.
  • Uncover and check to see if the dumplings are done. They should have grown large and probably have covered the entirety of your pot.
  • Optionally, salt and pepper to taste and garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley.
    Salt and pepper, Flat leaf parsely

Notes

Storing
Freezing – Separate the dumplings from the soup. Allow to cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight freezer-safe container.
Refrigerating – Three to four days. This soup (like most) tastes even better the following day from cooking. Remember to store the dumplings separately from the soup.
Other
Taste and season the soup with salt and pepper to your preferred preference before adding the dumplings.

Nutrition

Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 1597mg | Potassium: 577mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 7544IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 3mg

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