Is there anything more hearty and comforting than a big bowl of chicken and dumplings? We don't think so.
The deep aroma that wafts through your kitchen while these simmer on the stove is one of the most richly satisfying scents you can experience. It's the very essence of going home.
And we've found a (shameful) twist that makes this dish even easier to prepare.
It's frozen biscuits.
Yup, frozen biscuits, cut up and thrown in at the last minute. It's a trick we learned from Zach's mom (who also turned us on to the Fajita Sweet Potatoes, actually). They're delicious and they plump up beautifully. And they couldn't be easier.
We don't feel too guilty about using frozen biscuits, though, because the rest of this recipe is as natural and slow-food as it gets. This isn't a terribly quick dish to prepare. Trust us -- by the time you're ready to add the dumplings, you'll be glad you can just toss in some pre-made biscuits.
One other slight twist here: We like to sear the chicken a little before getting started with everything else. We just think it gives the chicken a deeper, richer taste. We like to use bone-in chicken breasts or thighs, because we think they have a nice flavor. But if you don't want to pick the meat off the bones, you could use boneless breasts. We've also made this dish using leftover roast chicken, which works well.
So have some friends over this weekend for a nice, warming bowl of these homey chicken and dumplings.
(And let's just keep the part about the frozen biscuits to ourselves!)
Easy Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
The proportions in this recipe are very forgiving, so you can adapt them to your taste and the number of people you want to serve. This recipe will probably serve 6.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 chicken thighs, bone in (or 4 bone-in or boneless chicken breasts)
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 2 cups diced celery
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 tablespoon salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground pepper (plus more to taste)
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 4 frozen biscuits (such as Pillsbury Grands! Frozen Biscuits), thawed enough to cut into pieces
1. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat half of the olive oil (1/8 cup) in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken, turning the pieces so that all sides are slightly brown, about 3 to 4 minutes for each side. Remove the chicken pieces and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
2. Add the remaining 1/8 cup of olive oil to the pot, along with the onions. Saute the onions until they're soft, about 6 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, and white wine. Scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Saute, stirring frequently, for another 6 minutes.
3. Add the chicken back to the pot. Cover the meat and vegetables with chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 90 minutes. (This step is especially flexible. If your liquid is reducing too much, you may need to add more chicken stock. If the dish is too liquidy, turn up the heat and to reduce the stock more. The idea is to end up with a consistency of a very thick stew.) If the broth is not as thick as you would like, remove one cup of the broth into a measuring cup and whisk in 1 tablespoon of corn starch. Return the broth to the pot and stir.
5. Remove chicken pieces with tongs and allow them to cool. Debone the chicken and shred the meat into small pieces. Return to the pot.
6. Cut the frozen biscuits into thirds. Drop the pieces onto the top of the chicken and vegetable mixture. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes, until the dumplings are cooked through. Serve immediately.