Chef John's Chicken and Dumplings


Not only is this American classic American and classic, it is also one of the most comforting things you'll ever eat and the great thing about this dumpling recipe is that it will work on just about any soup or stew!

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
4 servings

The wonderful thing about this dumpling recipe, besides its ease, is how truly versatile it is. I'm not even referring to the actual dumpling batter, which of course can be tweaked with various herb and/or dairy substitutions. Instead, I'm talking about the delivery system beneath these puffy pillows of pleasure.

These dumplings can be steamed over virtually any flavorful soup or stew-like substance. The rule of thumb: If you can simmer it, you can cook a dumpling on it. But the thinner the liquid, the easier and better the dumplings will steam.

If you prefer a thicker stew, simply fortify your mixture with a standard roux before you add the picked chicken back in. We've made like a hundred rouxs, so I'll assume you can cook 1/4 cup of butter together with a 1/4 cup of flour for a couple minutes without major incident.

If this is your first batch of dumplings ever, then I'd recommend going with the soupy base you see here. Once you get the dumplings down, you can start to experiment with thicker and more interesting stews.

So, whether you go thick or thin, crème fraiche or buttermilk, thyme or rosemary, or any other approved variation, I hope you give this classic American comfort food a try. Enjoy!

Chef John's Chicken and Dumplings
Chef John's Chicken and Dumplings. Allrecipes Magazine

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  • 1 (3 to 3 1/2 pound) whole chicken

  • 2 ½ quarts cold water

  • 1 large carrot, cubed

  • 1 stalk celery, chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or as needed

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste

  • ½ cup creme fraiche

  • ½ cup milk

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 cups self-rising flour

  • 4 sprigs thyme, for garnish


  1. Place chicken in a Dutch oven. Add water, carrot, celery, onion, 3 sprigs of thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour. Remove chicken from dutch oven and transfer to a bowl; set aside to cool.

  2. Increase heat and bring the stock to a simmer. Skim off any chicken fat that appears on top of the stock and reserve in a bowl. Combine 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved fat with flour in a small bowl; stir to make a paste, adding more flour if needed. Add the chicken fat and flour mixture to the stock. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

  3. Remove chicken meat from the carcass and add to the stock. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Continue simmering for 10 to 15 minutes.

  4. Whisk creme fraiche, milk, 2 teaspoons of thyme leaves, and eggs together in a large bowl. Stir in self-rising flour until almost entirely incorporated; do not overmix.

  5. Scoop large dollops of dumpling mixture on top of the chicken stock. Increase heat slightly to medium-high. Cover and simmer until dumplings appear light and fluffy, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve garnish with thyme sprigs.

Chef's Note:

If you don't have self-rising flour (which does work better here) you can use 2 cups all-purpose flour sifted with 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon fine table salt.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

750 Calories
37g Fat
60g Carbs
44g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 750
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 37g 47%
Saturated Fat 14g 72%
Cholesterol 217mg 72%
Sodium 1012mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 60g 22%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 44g
Vitamin C 8mg 38%
Calcium 320mg 25%
Iron 6mg 31%
Potassium 553mg 12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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