I’ve got the perfect recipe to get you through the last stretch of cold weather this season…old fashioned chicken and dumplings! This super simple version of chicken and dumplings is a family favorite and I called my dad three times in the process of making them to make sure that I followed his method to a T.
I made my first pot of these chicken and dumplings last week for a friend who had an outpatient surgery. They were so good that I made another batch this week just so that I could share the recipe with you guys. It’s a wonderful comfort food recipe to have in your recipe repertoire and a great choice for a sick day meal.
OLD FASHIONED CHICKEN AND DUMPLING INGREDIENTS
Like I said, this recipe is super simple and only has five main ingredients.
- Chicken thighs. I’ve used boneless, skinless chicken thighs and skinless bone-in chicken thighs. Both worked great. I prefer dark meat but if white meat is your thing you could totally swap in chicken breasts here.
- Low-sodium chicken broth. You will cook the chicken in the broth to make the base broth for the dish. I prefer to use low-sodium chicken broth and to add my own seasoning as desired.
- Frozen dumplings. While I oftentimes enjoy making pastry-like items from scratch, I highly recommend taking the shortcut and using frozen pre-made dumplings in this recipe. It cuts way down on prep time and they taste really great and have a nice texture. I used the Mary Hill brand but you may find other brands in your local store.
- Carrots. Chopped carrots simmer with the dumplings.
- Celery. Chopped celery simmer with the dumplings as well.
CHICKEN AND DUMPLING COOKING TECHNIQUE
The chicken thighs are simmered in the chicken broth until the chicken is fork tender and shreddable. I season the chicken with salt and pepper before pouring the broth over it. This only takes 12-15 minutes for boneless thighs and 20-25 for bone-in. Be careful not to overcook the chicken as it will become rubbery!
You want to pull the chicken when it’s at an internal temperature of about 165 degrees. Let the chicken rest in a bowl for 15-20 minutes before shredding so that it can cool down and to keep the moisture locked in. You won’t need it until after the dumplings finish cooking anyway!
While the chicken is cooking, clean and chop your veggies. I like to cut the carrots into small coins and the celery into thin slices. Onion is totally optional. I tried adding it to the most recent pot of chicken and dumplings that I made and to be honest, it didn’t make a big difference in flavor and the dish was just as good with only carrots and celery. I used one small diced sweet onion.
Let’s talk frozen dumplings. The first time I made this dish I had to look all over the frozen aisle to locate them. It probably took me 10-15 minutes before finally finding the dumplings with the ravioli and pierogis. I’ve since seen them in different locations in different stores so don’t give up if you can’t find them right away! They are thin and come in sheets.
You peel the dumplings away and gently place them into the simmering chicken stock that you removed your chicken from. Give it all a gentle stir and then add in the carrots and celery. You cover this and cook it all together for about 35 minutes. It’s important to note that you may need to add a little more water or broth as this all cooks if it seems like your cooking liquid has really cooked down and things are crowded. I usually add it about a cup at a time.
Finally, add the shredded chicken back into the pot, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
The flavor profile of these chicken and dumplings is super similar to chicken noodle soup but the dumplings offer such a nice texture variation to traditional noodles. I love this dish and hope that you do too. It’s simple, hearty and comforting and sure to become a long-time family favorite.
OLD FASHIONED CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS RECIPEPrint
A recipe for super simple old fashioned chicken and dumplings. A perfect comfort food meal for cold weather or a sick day!
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs or boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 thighs or 2–3 breasts)
32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
6 ounces (half of a 12 ounce package) frozen dumplings
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small coins
2 celery stalks, cut into thin slices
Water, as needed
Salt and pepper to taste
- Place chicken in a medium pot, season with salt and pepper and cover with 32 ounces of chicken broth. Simmer until internal temperature is 165 degrees and chicken is fork tender. This will take about 10-20 minutes depending on the size of your thighs/breasts. If you are using bone-in chicken it will take a little longer. Be careful not to overcook so that the chicken doesn’t become rubbery. Once it’s finished cooking, remove from cooking liquid and place in a bowl to cool and lock in juices before shredding. Save your cooking liquid!
- Return cooking liquid back to a simmer and gently place dumplings into the chicken stock one at a time. You’ll use about half of a 12-ounce package. Gently stir and add in vegetables. If the liquid cooked down quite a bit while chicken was simmering, you may want to add a cup or two of water to the pot if the veggies and dumplings seem crowded.
- Cover and simmer for about 35 minutes, stirring gently occasionally.
- Once dumplings and veggies are soft and cooked through, stir in shredded chicken.
- Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.
- You may have to search for the dumplings in the frozen aisle. Check in multiple places like with the ravioli and pirogies, in the bread section, with the frozen pastry dough, etc.
- You can add extra veggies like chopped onion. I’ve also thought about adding sliced mushrooms but haven’t tried that yet. I’ll report back if I do!
- It may be necessary to add extra cooking liquid as the dumplings cook. Just add a little water as needed. This is a forgiving recipe! You want the texture to be pretty thick but still brothy.
- You also might need to add extra broth or water when reheating leftovers.
OLD FASHIONED CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS PINNABLE
Have you ever made chicken and dumplings at home?
Do you prefer more of a biscuit topping or the dumpling noodles in your chicken and dumplings?
Current favorite comfort food meal?