Instant Pot Chicken & Dumplings
Instant Pot Chicken & Dumplings
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!
- The Chicken:
- 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
- The Dumplings:
- 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
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 wonder, 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!
- 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!