This, my friends, is comfort food at its finest. It has all the taste of chicken pot pie without the effort (who has time to deal with a pie crust on a busy weeknight?). This version of Chicken and Dumplings is made from scratch… with just a couple of cheats to make it extra fast and easy.
Traditionally, chicken and dumplings is a somewhat labor-intensive process, involving boiling an entire chicken to make stock, waiting for it to cool, and de-boning it, not to mention making dumpling dough by rolling and flattening out biscuit dough, creating a floury mess in your kitchen.
But almost every “quick and easy” recipe for chicken and dumplings I’ve come across has taken unhealthy shortcuts, such as using condensed canned creamed soup and pre-made biscuit dough (both laden with processed ingredients).
This version is scratch-made, and you don’t have to worry about any processed ingredients in here besides white flour. Normally I try and use whole wheat flour for my recipes, but for something like chicken and dumplings, I don’t recommend it. First of all, you need to thicken the stew, and white flour works much better for thickening because it has a higher starch content. Second of all, the dumplings should be fluffy and soft and perfect. The density of whole wheat flour would make them a bit heavier.
In my recipe research for this one, I did come across some recipes that use a mixture of both whole wheat and white flour for the dumpling dough (like this one), so that might be worth a shot if you’re interested!
Here are the tricks to find that happy balance between a two-hour labor-intensive ordeal and dumping pre-made ingredients into a pot:
- Use already cooked chicken and pre-made chicken broth. I used leftover meat from roasted chicken thighs and I simmered the bones, skin, and veggie scraps in the slow cooker overnight to make broth. You can certainly use a rotisserie chicken and store-bought stock for this.
- Mix a simple biscuit dough and drop it directly in the broth with a small cookie scoop rather than rolling it/flattening it out. The dough will cook and expand directly in the stew and will be fluffy and delicious.
Have extra? Freeze the leftovers (or make a double batch on purpose and freeze one for later)….