If you’re looking for the best homemade recipe for Chicken and Dumplings, you’ve come to the right place. This thick and creamy chicken soup is loaded with so much cozy flavor, and it’s topped with perfectly cooked, light and airy dumplings.
Trust me when I say, this is the most flavorful recipe for Chicken and Dumplings! This recipe is made from scratch and uses techniques to ensure the juiciest chicken, most flavorful homemade soup, and airy, fluffy dumplings that steam to perfection.
What are Chicken and Dumplings
- Chicken and Dumplings start with a savory chicken soup with vegetables in a creamy broth.
- The soup is topped with uncooked dumplings that are then steamed on top.
- It’s a popular comfort food in the Southern US, and can vary in terms of how thick the soup is and what kind of dumplings are used.
What Kinds of Dumplings Are There
There are typically 3 different types that are used for Chicken and Dumplings:
- Drop- (What we use in this recipe.) These are dumplings where we simply scoop the dough up right from the bowl and drop them into the soup for steaming.
- Rolled- The dough for these are rolled out, cut into shapes, and cooked in the broth.
- Biscuit- Biscuit dough is cut into smaller pieces and added to the soup to cook. They can be homemade biscuits or refrigerated.
How to Make It
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and sear it in olive oil for 3 minutes per side. Set aside and let rest for 10 minutes, then dice and set aside.
Melt butter in the same pot and use a silicone spatula to clean the “fond” from the bottom of the pot. This will give lots of great flavor to the broth.
Add onions, carrots, and celery and stir to combine. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Cook for 1 more minute. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the chicken broth in small splashes, stirring continuously.
Add the half and half in small splashes, stirring continuously. Add the frozen peas. Simmer while you make the dumplings. Once the dumpling dough is ready, add the chicken back to the pot and stir to combine.
Add the dumpling dough to the soup. Cover tightly and bring to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes, do not lift the lid. Insert a toothpick to ensure the middle of the dumplings are set, then garnish with parsley and serve.
Can You Overcook Dumplings
- Yes, dumplings that are overcooked will begin to fall apart and disintegrate into the soup, so try to stick to the cooking time. I always use a timer.
My Secret for the Best Homemade Broth
Sear fresh chicken in the skillet first, for just 3 minutes per side:
- This adds “fond” (brown chicken remnants) to the pot which is deglazed with butter and used to transfer the best homemade flavor into the roux. (See process shots, the “brown” color in the pot= flavor.)
- The chicken is left to rest for 10 minutes before being diced and transferred back to the soup later to finish cooking through.
- The chicken isn’t tough/overcooked: It’s never brought to a full boil (this is what makes chicken tough). The diced/uncooked chicken is added to the soup just before the dumplings are added and are gently simmered for 15 minutes to allow them to finish cooking.
- Make sure the soup is simmering very gently while the biscuits are cooking. Place your ear next to the pot to gauge it. You want it to simmer just enough to steam the dumplings, while ensuring the bottom of the soup doesn’t burn.
- Don’t lift the lid while the dumplings cook, or they won’t properly steam.
- Flavor Enhancers: The Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder in this recipe are used as flavor enhancers and can’t be tasted outright.
- Using Leftover Chicken: Leftover chicken can be used for this recipe (instructions are provided in the recipe card below).
- Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Leftovers are a little bit thinner in consistency but the flavor is still great.
- Dumplings are always best if made fresh, but leftovers can be removed from the soup and stored in an airtight container. Reheat on a baking sheet at 350° for 5-7 minutes.
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Chicken and Dumplings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 lbs. bone-in skinless chicken breast or thighs, see notes
- Salt/Pepper, to taste
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 2 sticks celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/3 cup flour
- 4 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1 chicken bouillon, optional
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- ¾ cup frozen peas
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon EACH: dried basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, mustard powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground sage
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups cake flour, or regular flour, see notes
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¾ cup cold sour cream
- ¼ cup cold milk
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
Sear the chicken:
- Note: (Searing the chicken is optional, raw or cooked chicken can be added right to the broth in later steps. Searing first adds a lot of flavor to the soup pot which makes the broth more flavorful. It also adds color and texture to some of the chicken.)
- Season each side of the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a 4 ½-quart soup pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes per side, until a little bit of a brown color has developed. The middle will still be uncooked. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then dice into bite-sized pieces.
Make the Soup
- Combine the seasonings and set aside.
- Melt the butter in the same pot and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom of the pot. Add the diced onions, carrots, and celery and cook for 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and seasonings. Cook for 1 more minute.
- Add the flour and toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Add the chicken broth in small splashes, stirring continuously. Scrape up any remnants from the bottom of the pot as you do so. Add the half and half in the same manner. Add the chicken bouillon, if using.
- Add frozen peas. Bring to a gentle boil and let it simmer, uncovered, while you make the dumplings.
Make the Dumplings
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, garlic powder, and sugar in a medium bowl.
- Add the milk, sour cream, and melted butter. Use a folding motion to combine and form a dough, but don’t overmix or they will be dense.
- Add the chicken back to the soup along with any juices from the plate. Stir to combine and reduce heat to low. (If using leftover chicken, add it now.)
- Use a small cookie scoop and carefully place the dumplings over the soup in an even layer. Spoon a little liquid over each one.
- Cover tightly and increase heat slightly to bring it to a gentle simmer. Set a timer for 15 minutes, don’t lift the lid during this time, the dumplings need to steam.
- Open the lid and insert a toothpick into the middle of a dumpling to check for doneness. If it comes out clean, it’s ready. If not, cover and simmer for a few more minutes.
- Once the middle is set, garnish with parsley and serve!
- Chicken: Bone-in chicken breast or chicken thighs will add the most flavor to the broth. You can also use 2 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts or about 1.25 lbs.
- You can also use 3 cups cooked/leftover chicken. Add it just before the dumplings are added, (when the freshly seared chicken is added back to the soup).
- Flour: Cake flour endures a fluffier consistency, but regular flour may be used instead, (I have successfully used regular flour many times.)
- Flavor Enhancers: The mustard powder and Worcestershire sauce are flavor enhancers in this recipe and can’t be tasted outright.
- Sodium: To control the sodium in this recipe, you can omit the bouillon cube and use unsalted butter, and/or low or no sodium chicken broth.