Southern style homemade gluten-free chicken and dumplings made with a homemade chicken stock is such a delish recipe!
One of my absolute favorite comfort foods is chicken and dumplings. I’ve also heard people call it chicken and pastry, but whatever name you call it by, if you’re referring to a dish consisting of pieces of dough boiled in a savory chicken broth with tender chunks of chicken, we’re probably talking about the same thing. It’s a dish I could eat any day of the week, any time of the year. It brings back happy childhood memories of my grandma busy cooking in the kitchen. Classic comfort food made even better with a homemade broth and from-scratch dumplings!
Whenever I make a stew or soup with a chicken broth base, I typically make my own stock by boiling a whole chicken with vegetables and herbs, for flavor. You can use any chicken pieces you prefer, as long as it’s bone-in chicken. The bones give the flavor. Along with the chicken, I toss in a few carrots, crushed garlic cloves, a whole onion, quartered, and some bay leaves. Don’t bother peeling the veggies because they will be discarded at the end anyway.
To make the dumplings, combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and cut in the butter, until the butter is well incorporated into the flour and the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Stir in the milk and mix until it forms a dough. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface until its about 1/4-thick. Use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into strips or squares, however you like your dumplings. The dumplings are seriously my favorite part of this dish! Mmmm..
After the chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove the chicken, vegetables, and bay leaves from the pot, reserving the broth. Place chicken aside to cool and discard all the remaining vegetables, etc. You can strain the broth through a sieve into another pot, if you’d like to get rid of the film and small vegetable pieces. Bring the broth back up to a boil and gently drop the dumplings, one at a time, into the hot broth. Find the “holes” in the broth to drop them into. They should sink to the bottom and then slowly pop back up to the surface. It is important that you don’t stir the dumplings. After you’ve finished dropping them in, reduce the temperature to medium-low and place a lid over the top to let them cook. Meanwhile, remove the chicken meat from the bones. You can add as much or as little chicken as you’d like. I typically use half of the chicken meat for the stew and reserve the other half for chicken salad or some other meal. I love getting two meals from one!
Make a slurry by combining some cornstarch or flour with milk. This adds a bit of thickness to the broth. Gently stir the slurry into the broth along with the chicken pieces. At this point I also like to add a cupful of peas, but it’s totally optional. Let everything simmer for a few more minutes, until the broth has thickened and the chicken and peas are thoroughly heated.
I like to top my bowl of chicken and dumplings with some freshly ground pepper and chopped parsley. Hope you enjoy it, friends!
- 3 quarts water
- whole chicken
- 2-3 large carrots, broken in chunks
- 1 whole onion, quartered
- 2-3 crushed garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- generous pinch of salt
- 2 cup brown rice flour*
- 1 cup tapioca starch/flour*
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum*
- 6 tbsp cold and unsalted butter (preferably organic and grass-fed) You can also use dairy free butter or palm shortening, if needed
- 1 cup milk (I use plain, unsweetened almond milk)
- 2 quarts chicken broth (should be what's left after boiling for an hour)
- 2 cups chopped chicken, use more or less, to taste
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup frozen peas, optional
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large stockpot, combine the chicken, vegetables, and herbs. Add in the water, set on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to boil for an hour or so, until the chicken is throughly cooked. Remove chicken and vegetable pieces and reserve broth. Discard veggies and herbs. Pull chicken meat from the bones and reserve for later.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum in a medium bowl. Use a fork or pastry cutter to cut in the butter. Add the milk, stirring just until a dough forms. Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface, until ¼-inch thick. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut dough into squares or strips.
- Place the reserved 2 quarts of chicken stock into a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Begin dropping the dumplings, one at a time into the hot broth. Try and avoid dropping them together, so they don't stick. They will sink to the bottom and then float to the top. Don't stir the dumplings at this time or they will break into pieces. Once you've added all of the dumplings, cover the pot and let cook for 8-10 minutes. While the dumplings are cooking, make a slurry which will thicken the broth by combining ½ cup milk and ¼ cup cornstarch (or all-purpose flour, if not gluten free.) When the dumplings are done, gently stir in the slurry, chopped chicken, and peas. Let simmer for 5 more minutes, until the broth has thickened and peas are thoroughly cooked.