Rustic Chicken & Dumplings

This is a classic and simple “comfort food” that is a huge favorite around our house. Chicken & Dumplings. Not something people usually have in the summer, but in Alaska, with high’s sometimes only the 50’s, I even made it in July!

Chicken & Dumplings

In a Dutch oven, start with 1 quart (4 cups) Chicken Broth.


Add 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken – breasts or thighs are fine.


Add 3 cups water.


Half a teaspoon each of Salt & Pepper.


A teaspoon of Thyme leaves.


And about the same of Sage. These are whole sage leaves, that I simply rub between my hands and drop into the pot.



Bring this all to a boil, reduce the heat to a medium-low, and cover. Cook for about 45 minutes. Then remove the chicken to a cutting board.


Now for the dumplings.

In a mixing bowl, start with 2 cups of Flour.


1/2 teaspoon Salt


1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda


Give those a stir, and then cut up 3 Tablespoons of cold butter.


With a pastry blender or fork (or a quick pulse of a food processor) cut the butter into the flour mixture, until there are no pieces larger than a pea.


Measure out 3/4 cup buttermilk.


**If you do not have buttermilk, simply measure out about 3/4 of a tablespoon of lemon juice into your measuring cup. (It doesn’t have to be exact.) Add enough whole milk to make 3/4 cup. Stir it together. Tada! Buttermilk substitute!

Mix this into the flour mixture.




When you have combined it as much as you can by stirring, turn it out onto the counter and give it a few quick kneads, just until it all stays together.


Bring your broth up to a rolling boil, and tear off chunks of the dough and drop them into the broth.


Give it all a stir, and reduce the heat back down to low.


Now at this point, you need to watch the liquid in your pot. If it gets too thick or starts to stick, add a little more liquid, either water or more chicken broth.

Your chicken should be cool enough to handle, so begin tearing it up and adding to back to the pot. Continue give everything occasional stirs, to make sure it doesn’t stick.


By the time you have finished shredding the chicken, the dumplings will be cooked (about 10 minutes.)

Once the chicken is heated back through, it is done!





Rustic Chicken & Dumplings
Try adding some diced carrots and onion in when you cook the chicken for another variation.
  • 1½ lb, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp rubbed sage leaves
  • ½ tsp each salt & pepper
For The Dumplings:
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tb cold butter, cut into pieces
  • ¾ c buttermilk
  1. In a Dutch oven, combine the broth, chicken, water, sage, thyme sald and pepper. Bring to a boil, turn down to medium-low heat and cover. Simmer about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked and tender. Remove chicken to a cutting board, and allow to cool enough to handle. In the meantime, make the dumplings.
  2. In a bowl, mix dry ingredients. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork, until there are no bits larger than a pea. Stir in the buttermilk. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface with your hands about 12 times. Bring the broth in the pot up to a rolling boil. Tear off chunks of dough, about the size of a hickory nut, and carefully drop into the boiling broth. Give the soup a stir, lower the heat to a simmer, stirring every couple minutes. Monitor the liquid at this point though, to make sure it doesn’t become too thick or stick. Add some more water or chicken broth if necessary. While the dumplings are cooking, tear up the chicken, discarding any fat. When all the chicken is done, carefully drop it back into the pot. Let cook for a few more minutes to heat the chicken back up. Dumplings cook fairly quickly, so by the time you are done tearing up the chicken, they will be cooked. Enjoy!

This post was originally shared on my old website July 2011

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