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This easy chicken and dumplings recipe only takes 30 minutes to make

Chicken and dumplings: Learn how to make this classic comfort food in about 30 minutes

Few dishes invoke such vivid feelings of charming Southern hospitality as much as chicken and dumplings does. The origin of this dish is debated, some claiming it was born in Germany, while others argue it was born out of frugal necessity here in the States during the Great Depression. But no matter its origin, this comforting dish soothes tired minds and hungry bodies in a way few dishes can. The epitome of comfort food, chicken and dumplings is a beloved meal that’s both easy to make and easy on the wallet.

Lindsay Parrill/The Manual

Dumplings can differ

Depending on where you live, dumplings in this dish can take on a few different forms. Many people prefer flatter, noodle-like dumplings. That version is delicious, but reminds us more of a chicken soup than a true chicken and dumplings dish. The most common dumpling is doughier and biscuit-like. These are steamed and risen within the same pot as the stew. This version is our favorite because it’s reminiscent of biscuits and gravy, which is actual heaven on earth. Plus it has vegetables and protein, so you know, it’s healthy. (Alright, not really. This is an indulgent dish, but it’s worth it, okay?)

Is the wine necessary?

No. But it’s worth it. If you’re uncomfortable cooking with wine, it can absolutely be left out of most dishes, including this one. However, cooking with wine adds a certain complexity to dishes that often elevates food to fine dining quality. Wine also acts similarly to salt in some ways, in that it actually elevates the flavors of the other ingredients in your recipe. It does this by dissolving fats, allowing other ingredients to show off their flavors.

Embrace the store-bought rotisserie chicken

Of course, the preparation of the chicken is debated as well. Purists will argue that the chicken must absolutely be cooked from scratch, otherwise your dish is inauthentic. Alright, look, if you have the time, that’s great. There’s something about making this dish entirely from scratch that’s satisfying. We get that. But we’ll let you in on a little secret — the results after taking the shortcut of a store-bought rotisserie chicken taste just as good. So, you know, save yourself some trouble and let Costco roast the damned bird.

Chicken and dumplings recipe

Lindsay Parrill/The Manual

This recipe is a favorite of my family when the weather starts to cool down. Using the chicken shortcut, it can be done in about 30 minutes, and tastes like it was simmering away all day long. This is truly the perfect rainy day meal.

Ingredients:

Stew

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4-5 carrots, chopped
  • 4-5 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 cup peas (frozen is fine, no need to thaw)
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 chicken boullion cube
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, picked
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dumplings

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Zest from one lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, saute onion, carrots, and celery in 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat until slightly caramelized. Add garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add flour to the pot and stir until flour is absorbed and the vegetables are coated. Cook for about one minute.
  3. Add wine to the pot and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add chicken stock, shredded chicken, bouillon cube, bay leaves, thyme, and red pepper flakes to the pot, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  5. While the stew is simmering, make the dumplings:
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
  7. Stir in milk and melted butter and mix until a sticky dough forms.
  8. To the stew, add lemon juice, milk, and frozen peas.
  9. Drop golfball-sized pieces of dough into the stew, cover, and continue to simmer another 10-15 minutes until dumplings have doubled in size.
  10. Serve with lots of buttery, crusty bread.

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Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
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