Welcome to comfort city.
With the polar vortex arriving later this week, we’re going into lockdown mode, and I don’t mind one bit.
This time of year is tough. I stand by my declaration that January is the most depressing month of the year, but I DO love the cozy vibes it carries forward from the holidays. It’s literally the only thing I like about this time of year. We eat a lot of soups, stews, and hearty dishes as a way to cope, but also because the weather dictates it!
And these chicken and dumplings are no exception.
These are in our regular rotation and have been for a few years now. My friend Jessica shared a version of this a few years back, and I think I went to the store immediately and bought all the ingredients to make it that same night. It just looked and sounded SO cozy. My cold, dead January self needed it.
It was the dish that made us fall madly in love with chicken and dumplings.
Neither Dan nor I had grown up eating chicken and dumplings. It always sounded good, but it wasn’t something I felt compelled to make. Know what I mean? I think we all have dishes like that. It was always something that I knew I would like but had zero desire to make. UNTIL Jess shared that recipe!
As I’ve said, I make this multiple times a winter and it is a regular staple in the dinner rotation. Every time I make it, Dan and I marvel at how good it is, like we forgot since the last time we ate it. It’s a fun discovery all over again. Over the years, I’ve tweaked and adjusted the recipe, and I can now confidently share it with you and declare it to be our favorite version. It is the bomb (people don’t still say that, do they?).
Rich, flavorful broth is loaded with veggies, tender shredded chicken, herbs, and a teensy hit of spice from fresh turmeric. The turmeric was a later addition to this recipe, and now I don’t think I’ll ever make it without it again. It adds a warmth and depth that I adore. The broth part of this dish is so rich and flavorful, that you could just eat it as a regular chicken soup. It’s fantastic.
But, the addition of super fluffy and soft dumplings is really what takes this dish home. I like to add a little bit of Greek yogurt to the dumplings because I think it keeps them fluffier and lighter and also adds just a touch of tangy flavor, which I love. It almost brightens the dish up a bit, if that makes sense. And the dumplings themselves couldn’t be easier to mix up. I bet you have all the ingredients on hand already.
After the soup base as cooked and simmered and gotten wonderfully delicious, you drop in the dumpling dough in dollops all over the surface of the broth. You poach them until they are fluffy as clouds and melt-in-your-mouth tender. And then you’re ready to serve!
This is the ultimate comfort food dish for me, and Dan agrees. We devoured a pot of this last week, and I don’t think either one of us had any regrets.
Like I said, it’s comfort city.
For the Base:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
- 1 large onion, diced (roughly 1½ cups)
- 2 carrots, sliced (roughly 1 cup)
- 2 celery stalks, diced (roughly 1 cup)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 2 teaspoons fresh turmeric, grated (or you can sub with 1 teaspoon dried)
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken bone broth (or regular broth)
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup half-and-half (or milk/cream)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley or chives, for serving
For the Dumplings:
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, stemmed and finely chopped
For the Base:
- In a large pot, heat the oil and butter together over medium-high heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Add the chicken thighs to the pan and cook for 5 minutes per side, or until a golden crust develops and the chicken cooks through. While the chicken is cooking, chop all your veggies.
- Remove the chicken from the pan, place on a plate, and set aside.
- Lower the heat to medium and add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, turmeric, and red pepper flakes to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until the veggies are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the flour to the pan and stir until all the veggies are evenly coated in the flour. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, or until the flour starts to turn golden brown.
- Slowly stream in the chicken stock, stirring constantly and scraping up anything on the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer. Meanwhile, shred your chicken and add it back to the pot once the broth is simmering.
- Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point, you can mix up your dumpling dough.
- Add in the half-and-half, corn, and peas and stir to combine. Season the mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper. Discard the thyme sprigs.
For the Dumplings:
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, and yogurt in a large measuring cup. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.
- Once the chicken base has thickened up some, carefully dollop large spoonfuls of the dumpling dough all over the surface of the chicken base.
- Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover, flip the dumplings over, and cook uncovered for another 5 minutes.
- The dish is ready when the dumplings are puffed and cooked through and the base has thickened up and is creamy.
- Serve hot and garnished with fresh parsley or chives.
Lightly adapted from here.