Without a doubt, the most requested recipe I had coming my way was Chicken & Dumplings. And seeing as I live with a Southerner who loves his Southern food, it’s shocking it took this long to do it.
Now this Southern staple is something that always confused this Yankee by name. When I hear the word “dumpling” I think of Chinese dumplings filled with meat (and it makes my tummy sing). I am the self-proclaimed dumpling king and can eat them every single day.
But SOUTHERN-style dumplings are more on a spectrum. Some are fluffy like matzo balls but the most common is a ribbon-like thick noodle that practically melts in your mouth – like a creamy, Southern-style Chicken Noodle Soup. And that is the exact type of Chicken & Dumplings I wanted to make.
It took me a few attempts to work out the proper consistency for the dumplings, but a few bags of flour and a bunch of butter later, I can officially say I that I’ve created a version of this classic dish to make Scarlett O’Hara forget her manners and lick her bowl clean and NEVER go hungry again!Folks, prepare yourselves for one of the greatest and best experiences of your culinary lives with this one. And it’s SO easy to make right in your Instant Pot too!
Here’s How I Made It! (scroll down for the fully-written recipe):
Begin with an onion (bonus if it has a ponytail)…
…and dice it up.
Take a few carrots…
…and dice those up too.
Then, how ’bout some celery?
…also diced and added to the carrots and onion to create a lovely holy trinity of veggies.
See those leafy tops in the celery bunch? Reserve them for later.
Now go to the Instant Pot and add in some BUTTA!
Give it heat and allow it to melt and bubble.
Toss in the veggies and let sauté for a few minutes.
Then add in some garlic…
…and sauté for another moment.
Now let’s add in some chicken broth.
Stir everything up in the pot nicely once added.
I feel like chicken tonight. Take a whole chicken and chop it up (or have the butcher at the market do it for you which is way easier).
Add all the chicken to the pot (skin, bones and all – this is what will give the broth a rich flavor).
Smooth the chicken out so it’s submerged in the broth.
Toss in some bay leaves, secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
While the chicken’s cooking, create a cornstarch slurry which we’ll use to thicken our broth a bit later. Take equal parts cornstarch…
…and mix together until nice and smooth. Set aside.
Once the chicken’s done pressure cooking and the lid’s removed, it’ll look (and smell) fabulous.
Remove the bay leaves and discard.
Then remove the chicken…
…and place in a bowl. It will be very hot so allow it to cool for a while as we move on.
Let’s add a few things to the broth such as sherry (this stuff is the best and you can leave it out if you absolutely refuse to use wine)…
…and seasoned salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, rubbed sage, thyme and dried parsley flakes.
Don’t forget the leafy tops from the celery stalk too!
Give everything a nice stir and just let it be while we focus on our DUMPLINGS!
These are so easy to make! Take a mixing bowl…
…add in some flour…
…baking powder (not to be confused with baking soda – totally different!)…
Then, in a microwave-safe bowl, add some milk…
Nuke it for a little until the butter melts in the milk and the milk is a bit warm.
Slowly pour the milk mixture into the flour and mix with a fork.
A dough will begin to form but be careful not to over-mix! Once it begins to form together in a clump, it’s done! (That was easy, right?)
Take some flour and dust a (clean) countertop with it.
…take the dough…
…and press it onto the surface, flattening it out a bit.
Now take a rolling pin that’s dusted with some flour…
…and roll the dough out…
…so it’s nice and thin like this!
Literally, we don’t want it any thicker than what you see here. 1/8″ is exactly what it should be. Any thicker, and it could impact the perfect Southern-style dumpling results!
Now it’s time to cut out our dumplings! Using a pizza cutter (great hack) or knife…
…slice strips vertically in the dough about 1″ apart…
…and then slice horizontally so that you are 2″ apart.
So when you’re done slicing, you’ll have mini rectangular strips, which are our dumplings! Dust them with additional flour so they won’t stick to each other…
…and place the uncooked dumplings on a plate and turn the pot back on.
Once it bubbles…
…stir in the cornstarch slurry.
Then, take the dumplings…
…and add them into the boiling broth one-by-one.
After adding about half, give it a stir to ensure they aren’t sticking to each other.
Add in all the other dumplings and give it another stir.
Lay the lid on top but DO NOT SECURE IT. Let it rest in an off-kilter fashion as we want some steam to escape. If the lid is secured, the boiling will likely make the pot come to pressure, even if the valve is in the “venting” position and we don’t want that.
Now let’s come back to our chicken which should have cooked down a bit. Remove the skin, cartilage and bones from each piece…
…and then rip the chicken up into large pieces by clean hand (if cool to the touch. If not, use a knife and fork)
When done, you’ll have a beautiful array of white and dark meat!
After the dumplings have boiled for a few minutes, remove the lid and kill the heat in the pot.
Add in the chicken meat…
…as well as some heavy cream.
Give it all one final stir…
…and marvel at how well it will all come together!
Lade some of this masterful Chicken & Dumplings into bowls…
…slide a spoon in there…
…and looks at this thing of beauty you’ve just created. The chicken is perfect, the dumplings are like wonderful, melt-in-your-mouth butter ribbons, and the broth is rich, chicken-y and creamy.
Give it a try…
…and you’ll lose your mind (in the best way possible)
If you have one on hand, call in an authentic Southerner and have then try it.
Look at them with great anticipation as they try it. And if they raise their eyebrows, it’s a very, very good sign!
If they smile after, it’s an even better one! Yankee made, Southern approved! And as God as our witness, we’ll never go hungry again!
THE BEST CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS EVER!
At the time of this post, Pressure Luck exclusively used Better Than Bouillon/Southeastern Mills for all soup bases and bouillon
- 4 tbsp of butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 stalks of celery, sliced into 1/4″ pieces (with leafy tops reserved)
- 1 tbsp of crushed garlic
- 6 cups of reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used 2 tbsp of Chicken Better Than Bouillon + 6 cups of water)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup of Sherry wine (if you leave it out, add in another 1/2 cup of broth)
- 1/2 tbsp of seasoned salt
- 1/2 tbsp of poultry seasoning (salt-free)
- 1/2 tbsp of black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp of rubbed sage
- 1 tsp of dried thyme
- 1 tsp of dried parsley
- Whole chicken (3-4 lbs), chopped into pieces with skin on
- 3 tbsp of cornstarch + 3 tbsp of water to form a slurry
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp of baking powder (NOT to be confused with baking soda!)
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2 tbsp (1/4 stick) of salted butter
- 1/2 cup of whole milk
- Hit “Sauté” on the Instant Pot and adjust so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. Add in the butter and once melted, add in the onion, carrots and celery and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer
- Then, pour in the broth and stir well. Add the chicken and make sure it’s all covered by the broth. Toss the in the bay leaves and secure the lid
- Hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 10 minutes
- When the chicken is done cooking, perform a quick release. Discard the bay leaves and remove the chicken from pot with tongs. Set chicken aside in a bowl to cool
- Add the sherry, seasoned salt, poultry seasoning, pepper, rubbed sage, thyme parsley, leafy tops from celery to the pot and stir well. Let the pot rest for the time being
- While the chicken’s cooling down, make the dumplings by mixing together all the dumpling ingredients. Begin by placing the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Then, place the butter and milk in a pyrex and microwave for 40 seconds. Pour the milk/butter mixture into the flour and lightly mix with a fork until totally blended so a warm dough forms. (NOTE: Don’t overdo the mixing as it can make for a tough dumpling). From there, let your hands take over and lightly knead the dough. Then, on a clean surface covered with flour, take a flour-coated rolling pin and roll the dough to be 1/8″ thick max (it’s very important that it’s no thicker than 1/8″ so it cooks properly). Then, using a pizza cutter or knife, slice the into the dough vertically into strips about 1” wide and then slice horizontally about 2” wide, forming little rectangular strips. Dust with additional flour so they don’t stick to each other
- Now give the pot some heat again by hitting “Sauté” and adjust so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. Once it bubbles, stir in the cornstarch slurry followed by adding the dumpling strips one-by-one and then give them a good stir making sure none are sticking to each other. Then, allow them to simmer for 10 minutes WITH THE LID ON THE POT (NOTE: Make sure the lid is not sealed but rather resting slightly off-kilter on the pot as it may come to pressure otherwise due to the boiling – even with the valve in “venting” position. This way, steam will escape on the sides when it’s in this position and that’s perfectly fine. You may also use a glass lid to fit the 6qt or 8qt)
- After 10 minutes of the dumplings boiling in the pot, hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” so the bubbles die down
- The chicken should now be relatively should be cool enough to handle. Pick the bones clean of all the meat, discarding the bones, skin, and cartilage. Rip the chicken by hand into robust pieces and add to the pot
- Add in the heavy cream and give everything a final stir until well combined
- Ladle into bowls and enjoy!
There are SO many different ways to make “dumplings” but I find that ribbon-style seems to be the favorite. It’s almost like a really robust, home-made noodle that practically melts in your mouth. However, others like big, fluffy dumplings similar to matzo balls. However, this recipe is going to give you the wonderful, classic Southern ribbon-style!
“But Jeff, why aren’t we pressure cooking the dumplings?!” Great question. Because they’ll become a clumpy hot mess if you do and will become overdone. These dumplings are delicate and must be cooked properly. The pressure cooking process is left to the chicken creating the most flavorful broth base ever. Besides, the chicken must have time to cool before it’s removed from the bones and this allows perfect timing for our dumplings to boil in the pot on Sauté and then allow the chicken meat to be picked off and added just before serving.
If you MUST use canned biscuits, feel free and just add them in with the chicken when pressure cooking. But I’m telling you now, it’s not going to be a fraction of as good as the simple, homemade, rolled-out method. You want amazing Chicken & Dumplings? Do it this way!
Want to leave out the dumplings completely to cut back on some carbs? No problem. After adding in the cornstarch slurry, only boil for a minute and then kill the heat and add in the chicken and cream. You’ll have the most amazing, creamy Chicken Soup instead!