Chicken & Dumplings, Just Like Mom's

October 13, 2021
15 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Cook’s note: To check dumplings for doneness, they should be about 5 times larger and should cover the entire surface of stew. To be extra sure they are done, you can remove a dumpling and cut it in half to see if it’s cooked through; the interior should look like a soft dinner roll. If they’re not fully cooked, cover and cook for 2 minutes more. —Rick Martinez

Test Kitchen Notes

For more Sweet Heat with Rick Martinez, check out all of the videos in the series here. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Chicken & Dumplings, Just Like Mom's
  • 4 whole chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks), about 4 pounds total
  • 4 carrots, 1 whole, 3 chopped into ½-inch rounds
  • 4 celery stalks, 1 whole, 3 chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Parsley stems from ½ bunch (reserve the leaves for another use)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  1. In a large, wide pot (like a stockpot or a Dutch oven), bring the chicken, whole carrot, whole celery stalk, half of the onion, the garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley stems, bay leaves, peppercorns, and 3 quarts water to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 40 to 50 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let sit until cool enough to handle. Shred the meat from thighs and legs, discarding the skin, bones, and excess fat. Cover the meat with foil to keep warm; set aside.
  2. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard the solids. Wipe out the pot, pour the stock back in, and bring to a simmer. Stir in 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the salt.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-heat, heat ⅓ cup (5 tablespoons) of the butter. Cook the chopped carrot, chopped celery, and the remaining onion, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not completely tender; season with salt and pepper. Add ½ cup of the flour and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, until the vegetables are coated. Scrape the vegetable mixture into the simmering stock and whisk until liquid is thickened and no lumps remain, then continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and the remaining 1 cup of the flour. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk and remaining 3 tablespoons of the butter. Fold the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients just until the dough comes together (be careful not to overmix or the dumplings will be tough).
  5. Add the cream and reserved chicken to the stew and return to a simmer. Drop tablespoon-sized portions of the dough into the stew (don’t worry if they aren’t perfect, they will puff up as they cook). Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the peas over the top; cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Divide chicken stew and dumplings among bowls and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • MrsBeeton
  • So sett
    So sett
  • BE Koch
    BE Koch
  • annieb
Rick Martinez

Recipe by: Rick Martinez

Rick Martinez is currently living his dream—cooking, eating and enjoying the Mexican Pacific coast in Mazatlán. He is finishing his first cookbook, Under the Papaya Tree, food from the seven regions of Mexico and loved traveling the country so much, he decided to buy a house on the beach. He is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, New York Times and hosts live, weekly cooking classes for Food Network Kitchens. Earlier this year, he was nominated for a James Beard Award for “How to win the Cookie Swap” in Bon Appétit’s holiday issue.

11 Reviews

annieb February 26, 2023
I made this recipe into a vegetarian soup… subbed garbanzos and rice. It was a huge hit and very delicious. Made brown butter for dumplings too! Will make again :)
MrsBeeton January 31, 2023
This is a keeper. I made it once exactly as Rick says, and the next time (and the time after and the time after), I cheated with a rotisserie chicken. I shredded the meat (white and dark) and made stock with the carcass. And holy cow. Took about half an hour--perfect even for a weeknight dinner. But it's worth sharing with good friends on the weekend. They will LOVE you. This is comfort food as its very best. Thank you for this fabulous recipe.
Bbebo@1910 June 22, 2022
I found your recipe and prepared it just as written. I was the bomb. I don't even like peas and carrots but I could not get enough of it. My family raved about it. This is a tear the old one out and replace it with yours! Thanks so much for sharing!
So S. January 24, 2022
bicbar100 December 18, 2021
I'm not a big soup maker, but wow, this is amazing and so easy. The broth is sublime and the dumplings are little pillows of deliciousness. I didn't add the cream to the broth and it was not missed. The flour is enough to make the broth thick and creamy. I agree with others, the amount of dumplings could be increased although you might hit issues with room in the pot!
Katie November 22, 2021
This was amazing. The broth smelled amazing as it cooked, the flavors were fully developed, the dumplings were fluffy. The only change I made was using 8 bone-in thighs since I couldn't find leg quarters. I will definitely be adding this to the regular meal rotation.
Angela November 4, 2021
This was great. I made the stock and cooked the chicken last night, then reheated the stock while shredding the chicken. Plenty of work, but good return on investment. Tip for dumpling lovers: they never reheat as well anyway, so my mom always served generously and put away the leftover base without any dumplings, then made a full new batch when reheating leftovers.
Kari K. November 1, 2021
The dumplings alone are enough reason to dive into this one. Yummy. At some point, we ran out of dumplings and just enjoyed this as a chicken soup. But next time, I'll be doubling the dumpling situation in this recipe. Fall comfort awesomeness.
rox L. April 20, 2023
Kari, I would make the dumplings a 2nd time rather than doubling; they usually breakdown and are mushy as leftovers. You could have the dry ingredients in a 2nd bowl, cover and finish making when enjoying as another meal.
quack440 October 30, 2021
Delicious! I may try omitting the cream at the end next time, but made as-is this recipe is completely luscious and comforting.
BE K. October 15, 2021
Wonderful video, I can smell the deliciousness!