Recipe :: Chicken and Buttermilk Chive Dumplings

Oct 3, 2012 by

Recently, my college pal Jenny posted pictures of some delish-looking chicken and dumplings she’d made for supper.  I’d never made dumplings before, but I’m really good at biscuits, and with this chill in the air and the leaves all turning colors and falling down, it seemed well worth my time to make an attempt yesterday.

Jenny was kind enough to send me the Martha Stewart recipe she’d used (Thanks, Jenny!).  In reading it I (of course) began searching for places to tweak and experiment.  First of all, I was sort of peeved to see that the recipe called for “cooked” chicken, and therefore didn’t give any instructions on how to prepare the bird, or factor its cooking into the recipe’s stated 45-minute prep time.  Secondly, I realized that the dumpling recipe looked a lot like my buttermilk biscuit recipe, only duller.  I knew I could improve it.  Finally, I just cannot get excited about parsley.  I reckoned there was some other kind of greenery I could throw into the dumplings to jazz them up.

I took a few risks and had no idea how this was going to turn out, but I’m happy to say that the results are delicious, and it’s one of those dishes that actually tastes better after sitting in the fridge all night.

There are some good veggies listed in the recipe below, but I also threw in half a bag of frozen mixed veggies we had in the freezer.  We like a lot of plants in our food around here.  I think just about any typical roast/casserole veggies would work in this (but I’d stay away from potatoes, tomatoes, or squashes).

It’s absolutely October perfect.

Come and get it!

Chicken and Buttermilk Chive Dumplings


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp very cold unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little more for your hands
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2.5 cups chicken (roughly three thighs or breasts)
  • 1/3 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk  (preferred) or whole milk
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives or green onions (green parts only)
  • Seasoning salt (your favorite — mine is Tony Chachere’s), or salt and pepper


  • Cut raw chicken into pieces roughly half the size of your palm.  Season with seasoning salt or salt and pepper.
  • Heat oil over medium heat in a large, deep pot or skillet.  The skillet should be large enough to hold all the pieces of chicken at the same time.  Cook chicken completely on both sides, until no longer pink inside.  Remove from skillet and place in a bowl.

Chicken times!

  • Add 3 tbsp of butter to the skillet while it’s still hot.  Once the butter is melted, add in the diced onion, celery, carrots, and any additional veggies (except the beans).  Cook veggies until until the onion is clear, about 5 minutes.

Veggie times!

  • Add 1/2 cup flour to the veggies and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute.  You can throw in a splash of olive oil (I did), to make this step a little bit smoother.
  • Add in the chicken broth, one cup at a time, bringing the mixture to a boil between each addition.  Stir constantly to insure that the gravy forms evenly.  Once all the broth has been added and the mixture has return to a boil, reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add in the chicken and green beans, and even out the mixture in the pan or skillet so it forms a relatively flat layer.  Continue to simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes while you make the dumplings.

This is when it starts to smell like heaven.

  • Mix together by hand (trust me): 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, buttermilk, and whipping cream.  If the mixture is so sticky that it sticks to the bottom of the bowl or your hands, add in about 2 tbsp more flour.  Chop the remaining 2 tbsp cold butter into pea-sized chunks and fold those in by hand as well, along with the green onions or chives.

Like a biscuit batter, without the shortening.

  • Once the chicken and veggies are done simmering, flour your hands and drop heaping spoonfuls of batter on top of the mixture in the skillet.  Remember, they’ll puff up a lot during cooking, so make the dumplings only about 3/4 the size you’d like them to end up.

So close now!

  • Cover and simmer over low heat for 12-15 minutes, until dumplings are cooked through.  They should be the consistency of soggy biscuits, but no longer like batter at all.

Serves 4-5, and they will be very grateful.

Can't be beat.


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