Rich and Creamy Chicken and Dumplings is a comforting, hearty family dinner that has rightfully earned its spot on the Southern table. This recipe takes the intimidation factor out of the dish, and is made easy with drop dumplings — no rolling pins required!
In addition to a stovetop Chicken and Dumplings recipe loaded with chicken, extra dumplings, carrots, and celery, we’ll cover the foolproof method for perfect dumplings made from scratch, how to make your soup extra creamy, along with storage and freezing tips!
CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS – THE ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD
If you hail from anywhere in the Southern region of the United States, you are well aware of the famous soup, Creamy Chicken and Dumplings. It’s a classic meal often served up on crisp, cool fall evenings and chilly winter nights, and it just so happens to be one of my family’s favorite meals. So much so, that we don’t necessarily reserve it for the cold winter months. Creamy Chicken and Dumplings is served up year-round in the Anthony household, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Comfort is comfort, no matter what time of the year it is. Now, I’ll admit, the first time I set out to make Chicken and Dumplings, I was fairly intimidated. Southern grandmothers have had this recipe on lock for generations past, and my husband’s grandmother was no exception. There were high expectations when it came to chicken and dumplings in our home, and I wanted to meet every last one of them.
INSPIRED BY THE COMFORT FOOD KING
So I did what most home cooks do. I turned to the experts. More specifically, Mr. Rick Rodgers, the James Beard award-winning comfort food king. The Creamy Chicken and Dumplings you’ll find here were inspired by a recipe from his book, Comfort Food. The version featured drop dumplings, which took out the intimidation factor almost completely, and the end result most certainly did not disappoint. Mr. Rogers chicken and dumplings became a staple dinner in our home, but as the years went on, the recipe slowly evolved into my own creation.
My family would gobble this soup up so fast, there were rarely any leftovers. Therefore, the new recipe calls for more dumplings, more vegetables, and I just couldn’t resist, a little cream, making for a thick and hearty Creamy Chicken and Dumplings soup.
HOW TO MAKE CREAMY CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
Chicken and dumplings begin with a quick sauté of carrots, onions, and celery in a Dutch oven or a large pot that can be fitted with a lid. A lid is a necessity in a cooking vessel when it comes to these chicken and dumplings.
Once the vegetables have softened up, in goes the unsalted chicken broth, followed by cooked shredded chicken. You can bake your own chicken, using my tried-and-true recipe for chicken breasts baked in the oven, or you could simply buy a rotisserie chicken and shred up the breast meat.
Then, it’s time for a simmer. The simmer allows flavors to build and meld while you prepare your dumplings. The best recipes are all about building flavor.
HOW TO MAKE DUMPLINGS FROM SCRATCH…EASILY
Drop dumplings completely remove the intimidation factor from Creamy Chicken and Dumplings. To make dumplings easily, skip out on the rolling pin, and grab yourself a spoon (or a cookie scoop) instead.
To begin, you’ll mix together the dry ingredients: Flour, baking powder, and salt. Then, pour in whole milk, and stir just until it comes together. If the dough needs a little extra help to come together, you can knead it a few times in the bowl. However, take care not to overwork the dough, or your dumplings will not be light and fluffy.
That’s it, folks. Seriously. You just made homemade dumplings, and it could not have been any easier.
The dough comes together, and you’ll scoop it out into your simmering broth and cover it up. This allows for the dumplings to cook through, and you’ll simmer for 20 or so minutes until the dumplings are no longer doughy in the middle.
HOW TO MAKE CREAMY CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
I may be stating the obvious, but if you want to thicken up chicken and dumplings and make it extra decadent all at the same time, cream is the way to go. You’ll just pour in the cream, give it a stir.
STORAGE TIPS FOR CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
Chicken and Dumplings will keep well for up to four days in the refrigerator, but if you’d like to preserve the shelf life of your soup, you can easily freeze Chicken and Dumplings. To do this, allow the soup to cool, then carefully ladle the leftovers into a freezer safe, gallon-sized zip top bag. It’s beneficial to have a partner for this process, but certainly not necessary. Once you’ve sealed the bag, transfer it to the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months. For quick thawing, freeze the bag laying flat (I use a 9×13″ baking pan to lay my bag on).
It’s a good measure to thaw the chicken and dumplings in a container in the refrigerator overnight. This will help to prevent any possible leaks from making a mess in your refrigerator.
Creamy Chicken and Dumplings is a Southern staple that has stood the test of time from one generation to the next for very good reason — food just doesn’t get much more comforting than this. Or tastier, for that matter. Please, enjoy.
7 MORE COMFORT FOOD CLASSICS YOU’LL LOVE
- Creamy Tomato Soup is an easy, homemade tomato basil soup, featuring simple ingredients like canned, fire roasted tomatoes, chicken broth, and fresh herbs.
- Slow Cooker Roast Beef Sandwich is another family-friendly dinner option you can’t go wrong with! It’s made New Orleans Po’Boy Style with perfectly tender, slow cooker roast beef, served over crusty white bread with sandwich toppings piled high!
- Stovetop Taco Soup is kid-friendly and perfect for a quick weeknight dinner! It features taco-seasoned ground beef, kidney beans, tomatoes, corn and more.
- Fork-tender Pot Roast is savory dinnertime perfection, smothered in a rich brown gravy, this one just might be the most wanted comfort food dish of all!
- Broccoli and Cheese Soup is simple, homemade classic with steamed broccoli, and a creamy, cheesy base of freshly grated Cheddar and Colby Jack cheese.
- Homemade Chicken Pot Pie has a fully loaded, perfectly creamy filling made with real ingredients and no cans, all enclosed in a flaky, tender chicken pot pie crust!
- BBQ Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker is great for dinner sandwiches, nachos, enchiladas, and even salads! Equipped with perfectly tender shredded pork coated with an easy, flavorful sauce.
Creamy Chicken and Dumplings featuring a hearty soup loaded with chicken, extra dumplings, carrots, and celery.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large carrots peeled & sliced at a ¼” bias
- 3 stalks celery sliced at a ¼” bias
- Yellow Onion diced
- 2-3 cups cooked and shredded chicken breasts
- 7 1/2 cups unsalted chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, separated
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Place enameled cast iron Dutch oven, or large pot, over medium-high heat and the olive oil. Add carrots, celery, and onion and sauté until coated evenly in oil. Place lid over Dutch oven and allow to cook for 5-8 minutes, until carrots have slightly softened.
Add broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Shred the chicken and add to the pot.
For the dumplings, whisk together flour, baking powder, and 1 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir in milk until completely incorporated. Knead gently with your hands, if needed, to bring the dough together.
Drop a heaping tablespoon of dough into the broth one at a time. Delicately, stir the dumplings so all sides are moistened. Cover to simmer for 20 minutes, or until no longer doughy in the center.
Once dumplings have finished cooking, pour in heavy cream and season with 2 teaspoons Kosher salt and pepper. Allow to cool slightly, serve, and enjoy!