Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chicken & Dumplings – Stewed Chicken with Thyme Crème Fraiche "Dumplins"

I’m calling this chicken and “dumplings” for search engine purposes, but these came out so well that internally we going with chicken and “dumplins.” That’s right, if your dumplings really rock, you’re allowed to drop the “g.” It’s the highest honor one can bestow on this humble dish.

The wonderful thing about this dumpling recipe, besides its ease, is how truly versatile it is. I’m not even referring to the actual dumpling batter, which of course can be tweaked with various herb and/or dairy substitutions, but to the delivery system beneath these puffy pillows of pleasure.

These dumplings can be steamed over virtually any flavorful soup or stew-like substance. The rule of thumb is; if you can simmer it, you can cook a dumpling on it. However, as I mention in the video, the thinner the liquid, the easier and better the dumplings will steam.

If you do prefer a thicker stew, simply fortify your mixture with a standard roux before you add the picked chicken back in. We’ve made like a hundred rouxs, so I’ll assume you can cook 1/4 cup of butter together with a 1/4 cup of flour for a couple minutes without major incident. 

If this is your first batch of dumplings ever, then I'd recommend going with the soupy base you see here. Once you get the dumplin(g)s down, you can start to experiment with thicker, more interesting stews.

So, whether you go thick or thin, crème friache or buttermilk, thyme or rosemary, or any another other approved variation (FYI: all variations are pre-approved), I hope you give this classic American comfort food a try. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 large servings:
For the stewed chicken:
1 whole chicken (about 3.5-4 pounds)
1 onion, cubed
1 large celery rib, cubed
1 large carrot, cubed
1 bay leaf
3-4 springs of thyme
2 1/2 quarts cold water
salt, cayenne, and freshly ground black pepper to taste
*thicken mixture slightly with 2-3 tbsp chicken fat mixed with 2-3 tbsp flour
For dumplings:
1/2 cup crème fraiche
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tsp fresh chopped thyme leaves
2 cups self-rising flour
* If you don’t have SR flour (which does work better here) you can use 2 cups all-purpose flour sifted with 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon fine table salt.

View the complete recipe

69 comments:

Sand said...

Hey! Love dumplins!
When you were spooning out the dumplins at the end, I thought... HEY why not put the pan under a broiler for a few minutes at the end and get them BROWN!!???

Think it would work?

Donna said...

My kind of recipe .. I will definitely be trying this one :)

Pantalone said...

Hey Chef John! Another great recipe! And here's hoping you hook up with Nadia G. to make a little "bella figura" video! lol! Ciao!

Anonymous said...

Finally, a real dumplings recipe - I do this with beef stew as well! Thanks Chef!

Aikan said...

the way they look?
aaaaaaaaaaaa mouth watering!
*drools*

Annie said...

Am making this RIGHT NOW.. smells glorious... thanks John.

James Y said...

I want to make this right now, but I having just seen this, my chicken is still frozen. Do you think I could put a frozen chicken in the pot and boil it for two hours instead of one? Thanks Chef John!

Chef John said...

let it thaw!

Lauren said...

Google searches for 'jalapeno vinegar' totally went up after you posted this video, Chef John.

Chris K. said...

Thomas Keller has a chicken and dumplings recipe that is absurdly complicated. For example, one step requires the cook to construct a parchment paper pot lid for sweating the mire poix.

However, he makes the dumplings with a choux batter seasoned with Dijon mustard and chives, shaped into quenelles, then parboiled before incorporating into the soup/stew. They are remarkable: not quite biscuit consistency, nor starch-laden gut bombs.

I like your chicken fat roux. It really does add a nice, silky body to the soup.

BennuBird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BennuBird said...

Yummy, made it tonight for dinner and LOVE it, the best dumplins!

Also curious what brand whisk you have, I have gone through so many it's frustrating.

As Always, Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Chef John, you don't have to post this, but i just thought i'd remind you that we're still waiting for those braised lentils you promised us a while back (on the grilled tarragon yogurt chicken).
Lookin forward

Nils said...

Chef John my love, it's time for me to buy a dutch oven. May I ask what size you're using?

<3

Anonymous said...

Looks awesome! How do we make the jalapeno vinegar garnish?

Chef John said...

I believe that's 9 quart. But 7 is fine. Get the biggest you can. :)

Marie Savino said...

I am soooo making this but adapting it for my mini le crusset cast iron caserole dishes for a dinner party:) Thanks chef:)

Anonymous said...

This is really the way should be, clear soup / consomme with dumplings. In Germany, nobody makes a STEW with dumplings.

Anonymous said...

Made this for dinner last night.
It ROCKED!

Thank you Chef John!

Jana said...

This recipe was spot on without being complicated! the dumplings were light and the stew was perfect with the quick roux. thanks again for a simplified delicious recipe!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the perfect dumplings - my dumplings have varied between light, and almost hockey pucks! Rolled and sliced dough are noodles AFAIK! And lastly, thank you for having color in your soup-stew - there's nothing less appetizing than single-colored chicken and dumplings, ewww!

Anonymous said...

I dont have a dutch oven yet. Can I just make this recipe with a regular big cooking pot? Big enough to hold a chicken and all the water of course.

Chef John said...

yes!! go for it! :)

Danielle Sample said...

mmmm I'm making this right now. My husband will be home in about 1/2 hour and I can't wait! I was going to post earlier and ask about using a rotisserie chicken and bouillon cubes (I didn't want to, but budget is tight and I wanted to make it TONIGHT). Anyway, I made it with the above mentioned, and the soup tastes great! I tasted the dough to the dumplings, and I"m sure they are going to be splendid! You may think I can't tell that way, but I've tasted many doughs in my day. Also, I have never made any kind of dumpling soup before. I used some different seasonings, just because I didn't have them on hand so I had to substitute. For example, sage for bay, and Franks Red hot for cayenne pepper. Also added a little garlic and no celery. Sorry I am rambling. It is just so exciting!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Chef John, I lost my job a couple months ago and now I am a stay at home engineer husband working on building the 'next big thing'. My wife supports us by working. When she comes home, I've greeted her with these dumplings, and in the past, ribs, split pea soup, jambalaya, etc. All from you. Thanks to you our relationship (and budget) is doing well in this uncertain time. For that I am grateful to you. Thank you for making me 'the total package'.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you! My mother and I have been looking for not just a good dumpling recipe/method, no luck -- they all failed in her opinion. This recipe, however, was magic. These were absolute perfection.
P. S. - She's 80 and a picky eater so this saves me a ton of problems getting her to eat something other than chocolate.

Also, I used a regular old pot, turned out great just watch the heat.

Emma Barron said...

Making this now - realised at the last minute that I didn't have any milk in the house (!?) so have doubled up on the culured butter milk I was using. Hopefully it comes out ok, it smells great!

Anonymous said...

hello .............the chicken and dumplins were delicious...love the sour cream addition one day I will share my moms kapustata reciepe...keep up the good work my friend Warren in Alva fl...

Anonymous said...

hey i am half way through maing this and realised i have no sour cream or yoghurt i only have whipping cream and milk. that ok or no?

Chef John said...

use half milk and half cream!

irksome1 said...

Dear Chef John,

I tried this out and really enjoyed the dumplings. Unfortunately, I really wanted the broth to be thicker. To that end, I considered thickening it with a blonde roux. I'm hesitating because you mentioned this might effect the way the dumplings steam. Could you expand on this concern? My thought is that it might take longer for the dumplings to steam properly and that, in that time, the broth could burn at the bottom. Am I right or ought I just do it your way? ;-)

Chef John said...

That's the worry, but give it a try! Just make sure to use a thick bottomed pot!

Asian catering Brisbane said...

They are wonderful! I always put a lot of herbs when making dumpligns,it gives nice look and very good aroma.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I make our Chicken and Dumplin's like this but add a little dill to the soup mix. Wonderful Wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I decided to make chicken and dumplins for dinner and came here only to find that the video is gone. Is this permanent or merely a temporary glitch?
jackie

Anonymous said...

Dear Chef John,

Would the simmering portion of this recipe be appropriate for cooking the chicken for use an another recipe? Let's say, for example, your Buffalo Chicken Dip.

Thanks!

Chef John said...

No because you are losing flavor from the meat into liquid.

Anonymous said...

I made this dish tonight and it was wonderful! I added one can of cream of chicken soup for flavor and fresh chopped chives to the dumplings. Great dish!

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

Don't we need to skim the scum off during that 1 hour?

Chef John said...

Yes, that's standard for any stock.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for responding re: scum. But in your video, you do not skim off the scum. You just simmer for an hour....?

Anonymous said...

your dumplings looked really good even though they were not suet ones which are the best think ill try this

Yoda said...

Hi, great dumplings! I did mine in too shallow a pot and the dumplings started to squash up against the lid, so I took the lid off and put the pot under the griller (broiler for my American friends), just until done, not brown, and they were still great, light and fluffy. Trying them again over a beef carbonnade (deep pot this time!)

Yoda said...

Hi, great dumplings! I did mine in too shallow a pot and the dumplings started to squash up against the lid, so I took the lid off and put the pot under the griller (broiler for my American friends), just until done, not brown, and they were still great, light and fluffy. Trying them again over a beef carbonnade (deep pot this time!)

Mark Anderson said...

Loved the dumplings. Put them atop some turkey soup I had in the freezer. Man, they were good! Can't wait to make some more

MzLoretta said...

This has become one of our faves. Last time we cut the dumpling recipe in half and it worked well. We also added the juice of half a lemon and garlic cloves.

The self rising flour does the trick!

Cyndee Reynolds said...

Chef John may I please have the recipe for the Jalapeno Vinegar? Thank you.

Chef John said...

It's just the liquid from our pickled jalepenos video! Check it out.

RenéeT said...

We tried this tonight. Made our usual chicken soup and added in the dumplings onto. I really liked it. thanks

angela said...

Hey Chef John! I am a new follwer to your videos and I have to say .. I have not been disapointed with any of the recipes I have tried so far. I'm attemping this one now and I have my fingers crossed it'll turn out the way it's suppose to.

My concern:
I don't have a large enough dutch oven to hold all the liquid. So what I'm planning on doing is adding the extra amount of water after taking out the chicken (to shred). Do you think that will be ok, or will it somehow change the outcome of the dish?

Chef John said...

Sounds like a great plan to me!! Good thinking! Enjoy and thanks!

patricia mchaney said...

Hello Chef John
I've just found your site looking for a dumpling recipe. I am excited about making this dish but I do not have fresh thyme. Can I use dried thyme?

patricia mchaney said...

Hello Chef John
I've just found your site today. I am excited about making this dish. However, I do not have fresh thyme. Any suggestions? thnaks

Chef John said...

Just use a little dried then.

Greg said...

Of course I made a few additions of mushrooms and garlic. The Creme Fraiche gave the dumplings great taste and texture. The family loved this dinner.

Paul E said...

Chef... this chicken dumpling soup is ridiculously good... i added a bit of cream in the end to rich it up

Heather Ripplinger said...

If you have a bigger chicken (5.33 pounds to be exact) do I need to simmer the whole chicken longer than the one hour, or not?

Heather Ripplinger said...

If you have a bigger chicken (5.33 pounds to be exact) do you need to the whole chicken longer than an hour or not?

Chef John said...

Yes, I would give it another 30 minutes or so. Enjoy excavation point

Candace Rose Franco said...

So yummy and easy! I'm living in South Korea, so it can be hard to find very specific ingredients, but this recipe was super simple. I would say it was just like Mom used to make, but it was much better!!!

Chef John said...

Check end of ingredients! That's why I put an "*" ;)

Jerry Drzewiecki said...

Chef John,
I'll be trying this soon and would like to pair your dumpling recipe with your Goulash recipe. Do you think that would work?. Thanks.

Justin McKenzie said...

I made this last night. As the weather was rainy/crappy all day, and the wife had a hard day at work, I thought it the perfect day to try some comfort food. It came out amazing! I had to vary the dumplings slightly as I didn't have any SR flour, but they still came out great.

Thank you Chef John! I'm learning so much from you. Not just the recipes, but also tips and techniques.

Angel Cruz said...

Hello I'm new to this and am trying this for the first time...my boyfriend is a chef so it's a little intimidating to cook for him but I love to cook...I looked up so many recipes and yours seemed the simplest and the best so far cooking chicken...One question what is creme fresh? Lol hope I spelled it right haha...Thank you again looking forward to trying more of your recipes...

Angel

Alicia said...

I try a new recipe every Sunday for my families dinner. This week I made your White Bean Chicken Chili with the breast meat, they all loved it. This is the next recipe I am trying, my son loves chicken and dumplings and I've been searching high and low for an easy yet delicious recipe. I think this one will do!

wirving said...

I really want to try this recipe, but I don't think my boyfriend and I could eat all the dumplings in one sitting. Do they store okay in the fridge on top of the soup or does it get soggy?

Chef John said...

They kind of stay the same, which is pretty soggy to begin with since they are in the same. ;)

dharmabeats2 said...

Just made this. I was thinking the dumplings would be amazing and the soup would be kind of meh. Totally the opposite! The soup was out of this world! I guess it's because I'm from the South but I found the dumplings to be a little off. Down here, we make dumplings that look really slimy and gross -I know I'm selling this dish really well- but they taste amazing and have a nice, dense texture. It was fun to try these though!

Sherlie said...

I made this for dinner tonight and it was absolutely delicious. thank you for the recipe and the video. I enjoy your videos immensely.