Chicken and Dumplings. What does that mean to you? There are about a million (okay, maybe more like 900,000) different interpretations of this comfort food. When I was growing up it was basically chicken soup with fluffy, cloud like biscuits cooked on top. In the south, it’s more often like chicken and gravy with thick noodle-like dumplings, and I’m sure your family has its own version. But for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been craving the rich gravy type with those deliciously thick noodles (oops, I mean dumplings)! And, because I always try to make my meals a little more well rounded, I made this Chicken and Dumplings with Vegetables.
To make these Chicken and Dumplings with Vegetables, I basically took my Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup recipe, thickened up the broth, added my own homemade noodle/dumpling things, and added in peas. I also used chicken broth in place of the water in my soup recipe to make sure everything was operating at maximum flavor. Because this recipe uses pre-made chicken broth, you can probably get away with using boneless chicken breasts instead of the split breasts (bone-in) that I used, but the bone-in is often cheaper and not really much more work.
This recipe does make a pretty big batch, but I’m not so sure how the flour thickened gravy will hold up to freezing and thawing, so I suggest halving the recipe if a smaller yield is needed. Simply cut all of the ingredients in half, while leaving cooking times the same.
Chicken and Dumplings with Vegetables
Chicken and Dumplings with Vegetables
This pot of Chicken and Dumplings with Vegetables is a classic comfort food packed with enough vegetables to count as a well rounded meal.
- 1 yellow onion $0.32
- 3 carrots $0.22
- 3 ribs celery $0.35
- 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.13
- 2 split chicken breasts*, about 2.5 lbs. total $6.47
- 6 cups chicken broth ** $0.78
- salt and pepper to taste $0.05
- 1 cup whole milk $0.38
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
- 1/2 cup frozen peas $0.19
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley $0.22
- 2 cups all-purpose flour $0.19
- 1/2 tsp baking powder $0.06
- 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
- 2 Tbsp butter $0.26
- 1 cup milk $0.38
Finely dice the onion, carrots, and celery. Add them all to a large soup pot with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.
Remove the skin from the split chicken breasts and then add the breasts and chicken broth to the pot. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow it to come to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, prepare the dumplings. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder, and stir until evenly combined. Add the butter and work it into the flour mixture until there are no large lumps of butter left.
Pour the milk into the dumpling mix and stir until a sticky ball of dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough 5 or 6 times, or until it is no longer sticky. Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes.
Roll the dough out until it's about 1/8" thick, adding flour as needed to keep it from sticking, then use a pizza cutter or knife to cut it into 1x2" rectangles. Place the cut dumplings back in the bowl until you're ready to use them. Make sure they're dusted with a light coating of flour to keep them from sticking to one another.
After the chicken breasts have simmered for 30 minutes, remove them to a cutting board. Let them cool slightly, then use two forks to remove the meat from the bone and shred it into bite-sized chunks.
While the chicken is out of the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high and wait until it returns to a boil. Once boiling, drop in the dumplings, one by one. Let them boil in the soup, stirring occasionally, until they're all floating (about 5 minutes).
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the 1 cup of milk and 2 Tbsp flour. Pour the mixture into the soup. Stir and cook the soup until it returns to a simmer, at which point it will thicken slightly.
Finally, return the shredded chicken to the thickened soup, along with the frozen peas, and chopped parsley. Turn the heat off, give it a taste, and add salt or pepper if needed. Serve hot.
*"Split" chicken breasts are bone-in and skin on. You can remove the skin, if preferred, but the bone is easier to remove after the chicken has cooked.
**I used Better Than Bouillon to make my broth. The end flavor of your Chicken and Dumplings will depend a lot on the flavor of broth you use.
Step by Step Photos
Finely dice one yellow onion, 3 carrots, and 3 ribs of celery. Add them to a large pot along with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are softened and translucent.
Add two split chicken breasts. A “split” breast is basically just a whole breast that has been split in two, but otherwise left intact, so with bones, rib meat, and skin. I removed the skin, but you can leave it on if you want the soup to have a little more fat, which can make it a bit more rich (you’ll remove it with the bones later).
Add 6 cups chicken broth. Ideally, the broth will totally cover the breasts. I’m using an unusually wide and shallow pot because it’s easier to see the contents in photography, but traditional soup pots are a bit more narrow and will allow the broth to more adequately cover the breasts. Cover the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and let it come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, begin the dumplings. Combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp baking powder in a bowl. Stir until they’re well combined, then add 2 Tbsp butter and work the butter into the flour until no lumps of butter remain (I use my hands, but you can use a pastry cutter if that’s easier).
Pour one cup milk into the dry ingredients…
Stir until a sticky ball of dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead 5-6 times, or just until the dough is no longer sticky. Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes. This helps it relax so it’s a bit easier to roll out.
Roll the dough out until it’s about 1/8″ thick, then use a pizza cutter or knife to cut it into 1×2″ rectangles. They don’t have to be perfect, just keep in mind that these little guys puff a little get get thicker as they cook, so make them a bit thinner and smaller than you’d think they should be. If there is still a bit of simmer time left on the chicken, you can place the cut dumplings back into the mixing bowl until you’re ready to add them to the soup. Just make sure they’re dusted with flour to keep them from sticking to one another.
After the chicken has simmered in the soup for 30 minutes, remove it to a cutting board and let it cool for a few minutes. Turn the heat until the pot up to medium-high and wait for the soup to come to a boil, then drop the dumplings in, one by one. Let them boil in the soup until they’re all floating (about 5 minutes). Also, use two forks to remove the chicken from the bones and shred it into bite-sized pieces.
Now it’s time to thicken the soup into something more like gravy. Whisk 2 Tbsp flour into 1 cup milk, then pour that mixture into the soup. Stir and bring it back up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken slightly. At simmering temp it may still seem a bit thin, but as it cools to just “hot” instead of “simmering” it will thicken a little more.
Finally, return the shredded chicken to the pot and add 1/2 cup frozen peas (no need to thaw) and about 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley.
Stir it all together, give it one final taste to adjust the salt and pepper, then serve! SO GOOD.