I’m thoroughly obsessed with this chicken and dumplings recipe. This is some serious comfort food and I’m all about comfort food. 😅 We’re talking tender chicken thighs cooked in a rich gravy with a medley of colorful vegetables and then topped with tender, fluffy, and flavorful dumplings. This recipe is so cozy that eating a bowl of these chicken and dumplings feels like being wrapped up in a big warm hug. And the best part? They’re made 100% from scratch. 🙌 Ugh, brb, I need to go make another batch because my mouth is WATERING.
What Are Chicken and Dumplings?
Chicken and dumplings can mean different things depending on where you live, but they’re always super cozy, filling, and comforting. While they usually always have tender chicken smothered in a savory gravy as their base, the dumplings can either be a thick noodle, or a pillowy biscuit steamed on top of the gravy. I love both versions, but today we’re making the pillowy cloud dumplings!
Ingredients for Chicken and Dumplings
Here’s what you’ll need to make these delicious chicken and dumplings:
- Chicken: I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs because they’re almost impossible to overcook and they always stay moist and tender, making this recipe foolproof. You can use chicken breast if you prefer, just be careful not to overcook the chicken.
- Vegetables: A mix of onion, garlic, carrot, and celery provides the flavor base for the gravy, as well as adds a ton of color and texture to the dish.
- Butter and Flour: A butter and flour roux is used to thicken the gravy and add a ton of rich flavor to the gravy.
- Herbs: Parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, and pepper create a classic chicken soup flavor profile that is extra warm and cozy.
- Chicken Broth and Milk: The gravy is made with a combination of broth and milk for tons of flavor and a creamy finish.
- Dumplings: The dumplings are made with a simple mix of flour, milk, melted butter, herbs, baking powder, salt, and sugar. They come together in minutes with very little mixing required!
How to Store the Leftovers
Leftover chicken and dumplings are SO delicious, so make sure to save some for lunch the next day! Simply divide the leftovers into single-serving containers and refrigerate. The gravy will get quite thick when refrigerated, but they’re still delicious! Chicken and dumplings will stay good in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.
You can also freeze the chicken and dumplings. Once chilled in the refrigerator, transfer the chicken and dumplings to the freezer and store for 2-3 months. To reheat the frozen chicken and dumplings either thaw in the refrigerator overnight before microwaving until hot, or use the defrost function on the microwave.
Tips for Fluffy Dumplings
- Make sure the dumpling batter is moist enough. It should be a soft, sticky, scoopable dough. If it’s too dry, the dumplings won’t be able to puff up as much.
- Make sure the gravy is simmering before adding the dumplings. The dumplings need the steam action from the simmering gravy to cook and fluff up.
- Keep the lid on the pot the entire time the dumplings are cooking (this holds in the steam and ensures they cook from all sides.
- Don’t make the dumplings too big. They’ll double in size as they cook and larger dumplings will take much longer to cook.
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken and Gravy
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 lb.) ($3.29)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.12)
- 1 yellow onion, diced ($0.32)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
- 2 stalks celery, diced ($0.50)
- 2 carrots, diced ($0.31)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour ($0.04)
- 4 Tbsp butter ($0.50)
- 1 tsp dried parsley ($0.10)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp dried sage ($0.05)
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
- 2 cups chicken broth ($0.34)
- 1 cup whole milk ($0.48)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
Chicken and Gravy
- Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken thighs and brown on each side. The chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point, just make sure they get very brown on the outside. Transfer the partially cooked chicken to a clean bowl.
- After removing the chicken from the skillet, add the diced onion and minced garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onions have softened. Stir to dissolve the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet as the onions cook.
- Add the diced carrot and celery to the skillet with the onion and garlic and continue to sauté for about five minutes more.
- Add the butter and flour to the skillet and stir until the butter has melted and created a paste with the flour that coats the vegetables. Continue to cook and stir this mixture for about two minutes.
- Add the parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, salt, pepper, chicken broth, and milk to the skillet. Turn the heat up to medium-high and continue to stir and cook until the mixture comes up to a simmer and thickens into a gravy.
- Dice the chicken and add it back to the skillet with the vegetables and gravy. Cover with a lid and let the chicken simmer in the gravy over medium heat while you prepare the dumplings.
- To prepare the dumplings, combine the flour, parsley, sugar, salt, baking powder, garlic powder, and pepper in a bowl.
- Pour the milk and melted butter into the flour mixture, then stir until a soft, scoopable batter is formed. Do not over stir.
- Remove the lid from the chicken and gravy and drop the dumpling batter onto the surface of the gravy in 2 tablespoon dollops. You should get about 12 dumplings.
- Make sure the gravy is still simmering, then place the lid back on the skillet and allow the dumplings to simmer for 15 minutes. Make sure they're simmering the entire time. After 15 minutes the dumplings should have doubled in size and will be fluffy and cooked in the center. Serve hot and enjoy!
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make Chicken and Dumplings
Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large deep skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add four boneless, skinless chicken breasts to the pan and allow them to brown very well on each side. The chicken doesn’t need to cook through at this point, just make sure it gets very brown. Remove the browned chicken to a clean cutting board and set aside.
Add two minced cloves of garlic and one diced yellow onion to the skillet and sauté over medium heat until the onions are softened. Add two diced carrots and two diced celery stalks and continue to sauté over medium for 2-3 minutes more.
Add four tablespoons of butter and ¼ cup of all-purpose flour to the skillet. Continue to stir and cook over medium heat. The butter will melt and combine with the flour to create a sort of paste that coats the vegetables. Continue to cook this mixture for about two minutes more.
Add 1 tsp dried parsley, ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried rosemary, ½ tsp dried sage, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, 2 cups chicken broth, and 1 cup milk to the skillet. Whisk the ingredients together, making sure to dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow this mixture to come back up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a gravy.
Once the mixture has thickened to a gravy, dice the chicken thighs and stir them back into the skillet. Cover with a lid and allow the chicken to simmer in the gravy while you prepare the dumplings.
To make the dumplings, stir together 1 cup all-purpose flour, ½ tsp salt, 1.5 tsp baking powder, ⅛ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp pepper, 1 tsp dried parsley, and ½ tsp sugar in a bowl. Melt 2 Tbsp butter and combine it with ½ cup milk. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture.
Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until it forms a soft, sticky dough. It should be soft enough that you can easily scoop it with a spoon.
Make sure the gravy is fully simmering, then drop the dumpling dough into the gravy in 2 Tbsp portions. The dumplings will expand quite a bit as they steam, so don’t worry that they don’t fully cover the surface.
Place the lid on the skillet and allow the dumplings to steam in the simmering gravy for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. Make sure the gravy is simmering the whole time. After 15 minutes they should be about double in size. Cut one open to make sure it’s fluffy all the way through.
Serve the chicken and dumplings hot and enjoy! (shown garnished with parsley for color)