Allow me to introduce you to the ultimate Southern comfort food: chicken and dumplings. Alright, to be fair, you’ve probably already heard of and eaten chicken and dumplings before. If not, you really need to make this tonight. Like right now. Just jump down to the recipe. You will thank me later.
But, even if you have had chicken and dumplings before I guarantee you have not had them like this. A little Cajun seasoning and a whole lot of butter go in to this recipe to make it irresistible. And amazingly delicious. And just don’t count your calorie intake for today, mkay? It will all be worth it once you take that first buttery, slightly spicy, mouth-watering bite.
TBH I have never been a big fan of chicken noodle soup. First of all, celery is pretty much a waste of a vegetable IMO, except at Thanksgiving when it has to go into cornbread dressing. Other than that it could not exist and my life would not change at all. And I know what I said about carrots and that I have carrots in this recipe, but honestly they don’t really bother me here. They actually taste delicious in this stew. Must be the butter…
Plus, I guess I always just associate chicken noodle soup with that gelatinous stuff that gets dumped out of a can and has a weird smell and over-cooked noodles? Gross.
If I’m sick I would much rather have a bowl of homemade chicken and dumplings. You get all the same benefits as the chicken noodle soup (broth, chicken, garlic, carbs) minus the ick factor.
A couple of notes for this recipe and some meal prep/make ahead ideas:
- I like chicken thighs in this recipe because a little extra fat is always yummy in soups/stews (especially in the dead of winter), but you can absolutely sub in chicken breasts. I have several times and it is just as delicious. If you do sub in chicken breasts I would consider just cooking them in the slow cooker with the Cajun seasoning to keep them from drying out too much
- Store bough chicken broth works great in this recipe, but homemade broth just takes it over the top. I have done both because let’s be honest, life can really get in the way of being Martha Stewart all the time, but if you have some homemade broth you have been saving for a special occasion, this is it
- If you really are watching your calories you can leave out the stick of butter. I understand. But if you have any wiggle room in your diet you will not regret it. I mean honestly, when is butter ever a bad idea?
- That said, I have tried shortening and butter in the dumplings and I honestly like them better with shortening. They seem to hold up better in the long run, but you can definitely use butter if you don’t have shortening
- Finally, you can use gluten free flour in place of the regular flour. Your chicken and dumplings won’t thicken up quite as much, so you may want to reduce the broth to about 5 or 6 cups at first and then add more once your dumplings are cooked and you see how thick the broth gets, but it is doable and still tasty
- To meal prep this dish you can cook and shred the chicken and dice up the veggies on the weekend and store in the fridge for up to 1 week (I would store the onion and garlic separate from the carrots, otherwise the onion flavor will totally take over
- You can absolutely make this ahead and reheat it – this is one of those dishes that gets better and better the more it sits. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months
Chicken and Dumplings
- 12 chicken thighs boneless & skinless
- 1 T Cajun seasoning
- 2 T EVOO
- 1 c onion chopped
- 1 c carrots chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 c chicken broth
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/2 c butter
- white pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- 1 c water
- 2 c flour
- 2 t baking powder
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/4 c shortening
- 1 T Greek yogurt
- Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Place the chicken thighs in a large pan and sprinkl Cajun seasoning over them. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until done. Shred meat and set aside.NOTE: If prepping ahead, bake the chicken and shred. Cool and place in a ziploc bag and save for up to 1 week in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer.
- In a large pot heat the EVOO over medium heat. Sautee onions and carrots. Add bay leaves and chicken broth. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in shortening and Greek yogurt. Add in water 1/4 c. at a time until a sticky dough forms.
- Heat broth mixture on high to bring to a gentle boil. Turn heat down just enough to keep the broth slightly boiling. Drop in dumpling dough 1 tablespoon at a time until all dough is in the broth. Stir gently.
- Cook dumplings for about 3 to 5 more minutes once all the dough has been dropped in. Slowly stir in shredded chicken, lemon juice, butter and salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is heated through and butter has melted. Serve and enjoy!
- NOTE: You can make this ahead of time and freeze! Make the chicken and dumplings and set aside to cool completely. Place in a ziploc bag, lay flat and freeze. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
Buttery and delicious!
If you make these chicken and dumplings…
Please share your results & leave a comment below and post a photo on Instagram with #braisedinakitch