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Chicken and dumplings is a classic comfort food which brings huge smiles to my three girls. ☺ There are two ways you can make the dumplings: the thin noodle or the drop-style billowy cloud dumplings. I grew up eating the drop style dumplings, but my girls just love the thick noodle dumplings they serve at Cracker Barrel. It’s their favorite dish to order when they go there, so I’m outnumbered – the thin noodles rule out over the billowy clouds.
Both Bookworm Beth 📚🐛and Baker Emma 🍞prefer their noodles on the thick and chewy side, so feel free to make yours a bit thinner. They also prefer to have lots of dumplings in their bowl, so the recipe for the dough makes a lot. It’s a good idea to make the dough for the dumplings the night before since it requires two hours of chilling time.
Overall, this chicken and dumpling recipe is easy, since it requires no pre-browning of the chicken or sauteing any of the veggies. The broth is full of flavor from the veggies, bay leaf, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper, and the heavy cream makes creamy and gives it a nice color. This recipe is comforting and filling since it has over 6 cups of chicken, so it’s sure to please the meat lovers in your house.Print
Chicken and dumplings from scratch is a timeless recipe featuring homemade noodle dumplings and shredded chicken simmering in a broth flavored with spices and heavy cream.
For the Dumplings
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/3 cup whole milk, chilled
For the Broth
- 4 1/2 pound whole chicken
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut in 2 inch pieces
- 3 celery stalks, cut in 2 inch pieces
- 1 yellow onion, halved with skin on
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sprigs fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
For the Garnish
- 4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Freshly cracked black pepper
Making the Dumpling Dough (15 minutes + 2 hours chilling)
- Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl and stir with your hand until combined.
- Add the eggs, butter, and half of the milk and mix with your hand to bring the dough together. Gradually add more milk as you crush and knead the dough in the bowl. All the flour should be picked up, and a soft, barely sticky dough should have formed.
- Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and somewhat stretchy, about 5-10 minutes. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Making the Broth (30 minutes + 1 hour 10 minutes cooking)
- Wash the chicken and pat it dry. Using a sharp knife, remove the wings and legs. This can be done in advance. Season the chicken with the kosher salt.
- In a large dutch oven, pour in the chicken stock and filtered water, then add the celery, carrots, and onion with the skin still on. Also throw in the bay leaf, dried thyme, salt, and 3 sprigs of fresh parsley.
- Bring the stock to a boil. Add the chicken pieces, starting with the legs and wings, then place the chicken breasts on top with the skin side down. Reduce heat to a simmer and put the lid askew.
- Cook the chicken for 40 minutes, then remove just the chicken breasts. Place on a plate and allow them to fully cool before removing the skin and breaking it into chunks.
- Continue cooking the rest of chicken for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove all the chicken and vegetables. Place the chicken on one plate and the veggies on another. Let the chicken cool, remove the skin, and tear into chunks. Keep the bones for chicken soup or discard. You can choose to keep all the veggies and serve on the side, chop them up smaller and serve with the dumplings, or you may discard them.
- Strain the chicken broth by putting a paper towel in a fine mesh strainer. Return the broth to the dutch oven and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer before adding the dumplings.
Cooking the Dumplings (10 minutes + 22 minutes cooking)
- Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick or desired thickness. Try to get it in a rectangle.
- Cut the dough into 1″ by 2 1/2″ pieces with a pizza cutter.
- Add the dumplings to the simmering broth, cooking 10-20 minutes depending upon how thick they are. If the dumplings are thin, gently shake the pot instead of stirring to prevent them from breaking. Add the chicken chunks, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and gently stir in the heavy cream. Serve warm.
Serving the Soup
- Wash then chop 4 tablespoons of fresh parsley. Sprinkle on top of each individual serving.
- Leaving the skin on the onion adds extra color to the chicken stock.
- It’s best to make the dumpling dough the night before or the morning of the day you want to serve your chicken and dumplings.
- If you are looking for other garnish ideas, try three hard boiled eggs that have been peeled and sliced. You can serve three slices with each serving.
- You can also chop up the cooked carrot from the stock into bite size pieces and serve it as a garnish.
- Adding peas to your broth is another option.