Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

Adapted from Bon Appetit and Epicurious

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Chicken and dumplings that can be dressed up for company AND made ahead and pulled out of the oven piping hot and ready for the spotlight. It's hard to have just one bowl. If you have any leftovers (which I sometimes plan for so I have lunches to look forward to) know that it'll be less saucy the next day but the biscuits will be richer.

This dish has evolved from the original recipe and has landed on my short list of “recipes for company” because although it’s really two recipes and yes, there’s some prep time, it can be made almost entirely the day before. And serving up something homemade and unfussy AND this comforting feels so good!

Of course, you can make it in one cooking session as well. But if your plans involve a make-ahead that can still be pulled out of the oven steaming hot, here’s your game plan:

  • The day before, make the filling and toss it into the baking dish and into the fridge
  • The day before, mix up the batter and toss its bowl in the fridge
  • Clean kitchen
  • Before guests arrive, preheat the oven, pull filling out of fridge and place on counter in the already cleaned kitchen. Relax. (Relax!) 
  • When the oven is preheated, toss filling into the oven and pull out the topping bowl from the fridge. 
  • Round of hugs, get everyone settled, get drinks passed around. 
  • At this point, the topping can be spooned on top of the bubbly filling and tossed back into the oven for 25 minutes. 
  • Set a timer, and when it buzzes, pull out the piping hot dish and dinner is served! The only bowl to clean is from the biscuits.

The original recipe, from Adam Rapoport when he was at Bon Appetit, uses store-bought puff pastry for the topping. This is a fine choice. However, what I found after a few rounds of making this dish is that the sauce is so good, I wanted to eat it with a spoon and biscuits, rather than a spoon or puff pastry, seemed like a better choice.

The biscuits are also hacked from the original… they were Cheddar Scallion Drop Biscuits when I first met them and fell for their savory flavor. You can add cheddar and/or scallions to your batter or leave them out entirely. The mixture works well with so many ingredients so don’t be afraid to play with it! Have chives? Toss them in. Couple slices of bacon left from breakfast? Chop and add in. Or let them stand as perfect buttermilk biscuits on top of bubbly pot pie.


For the filling:

¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter

1 large shallot, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

⅓ cup Wondra or all-purpose flour, plus more for surface

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup whole milk

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 oz. carrots (about 6 small), peeled, chopped

4 cups coarsely chopped or shredded chicken meat (from 1 small rotisserie chicken)

1 large onion, chopped about 1½ cups

1½ cups frozen peas, thawed

¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Hot sauce

Worcestershire sauce

For the drop biscuits/dumpling topping:

2 1/4 cups / 270 grams all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup well-shaken buttermilk


For the topping:

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

Blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add buttermilk and stir until just combined.

Pop in the fridge.

Remove from fridge when filling goes in the oven (so the dough warms just enough to drop from your spoon).

For the filling:

Preheat oven to 450°. (Depending on your oven, you can do this midway through the making of the filling.)

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add shallot, chopped onion, and thyme and cook, stirring often, until shallot and onion are is translucent, and shallot is getting on to golden.

~ 5 minutes

Add ⅓ cup flour and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is pale golden.

~ 5 minutes

Whisk in broth ½-cupful at a time, incorporating completely before adding more.

Whisk in milk and season with salt and pepper. 

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking occasionally, until mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon.

~ 10 - 15 minutes

Add carrots and cook until just tender.

~ 5 minutes

Mix in chicken, peas, and parsley; season with hot sauce (if using), Worcestershire sauce.

Taste and adjust salt and pepper.

Transfer mixture to a shallow 2-qt. baking dish. 

Dollop biscuit dough over the top. 

(If you’re making ahead, cover the dish and allow to cool enough to not overwhelm your fridge and then toss in until you’re ready to bake. When baking from cold, toss the un-topped filling into a 400° oven for about 20 minutes to get it up temp and then top with the biscuits.)

Dollop biscuit dough over the top. 

Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any filling that may drip over) and bake until the dumplings are golden and the filling is bubbling.

~ 18 - 20 minutes


You can skip the biscuits and top with puff pastry

The biscuits can also be made as just, well, biscuits. Try them as Cheddar Chive Bacon Drop Biscuits.

See the Recipe Musings on how to make this dish ahead of time.

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Chicken and Dumplings
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