Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

There’s something incredibly comforting about old-fashioned recipes that have stood the test of time. They evoke nostalgia and warmth, taking us back to simpler days when the kitchen was the heart of the home. One such classic that embodies this sentiment is Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings. It’s a dish that has been passed down through generations, and with every spoonful, you can taste the love and history that it holds. In this blog post, we’re going to take you on a culinary journey, exploring the rich flavors and heartwarming traditions behind this soul-soothing dish.


For the Chicken Stew:

  • 3 pounds of chicken, cut into pieces (whole or bone-in thighs work well)
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Dumplings:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter


Chicken Stew:

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and brown them in the pot. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
  2. In the same pot, add the chopped onions and garlic. Sauté until they become translucent and fragrant.
  3. Return the browned chicken to the pot and add the carrots, celery, thyme, and bay leaf.
  4. Pour in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and let it simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
  5. Stir in the frozen peas and let them cook for an additional 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


  1. While the stew is simmering, prepare the dumplings. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Add the milk and melted butter, stirring until just combined. Be careful not to overmix; the dough should be slightly sticky.
  3. Once the stew is ready, drop spoonfuls of dumpling dough into the simmering broth.
  4. Cover the pot and let the dumplings cook for about 15 minutes, or until they are cooked through and no longer doughy in the center.


One of the beauties of Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings is its versatility. You can customize it to suit your taste. Here are a few variations to consider:

  1. Herb-Infused Dumplings: Add fresh herbs like thyme, parsley, or chives to the dumpling dough for an extra burst of flavor.
  2. Creamy Chicken and Dumplings: Stir in a cup of heavy cream or half-and-half for a creamier stew.
  3. Vegetarian Option: Skip the chicken and use vegetable broth. Load up on your favorite veggies for a hearty vegetable dumpling stew.
  4. Spice It Up: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a dash of hot sauce if you prefer a bit of heat.


  • Use Bone-In Chicken: Using bone-in chicken pieces enhances the flavor of the stew. The bones add depth and richness to the broth.
  • Don’t Overwork the Dough: When making dumplings, remember not to overmix the dough. Overmixing can result in tough dumplings.
  • Adjust Seasoning: Taste the stew before serving and adjust the seasoning as needed. It’s all about achieving that perfect balance of flavors.
  • Reheating: Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings taste even better the next day. The flavors have time to meld, making it an ideal make-ahead meal.


Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings is more than just a meal; it’s a connection to the past, a warm embrace from the kitchen, and a celebration of tradition. The rich, hearty stew and tender, fluffy dumplings bring people together around the table, creating memories that last a lifetime. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with variations, this dish is sure to warm your heart and fill your home with the comforting aroma of nostalgia. So, next time you want to transport yourself to a simpler time, give Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings a try – it’s like a hug in a bowl, and it’s here to stay for generations to come.

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