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Healthy Chicken and Dumplings


Using skinless chickens, skimmed low-sodium chicken broth, and low-fat milk makes our Chicken and Dumplings more nutritious than the traditional variety but no less delicious.

  • Servings: 6

Photography: Quentin Bacon

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2002


For the Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (5 to 6)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 3 pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for cooking water
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • One 14 1/2-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-fat (1 percent) milk
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diagonally sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in 1-inch pieces

For the Dumplings

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in bits
  • 2/3 cup low-fat (1 percent) milk


  1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat; add thighs. Cook, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with breasts; cut breasts crosswise into thirds.

  2. Add butter to pot; when melted, add onion, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons flour in a bowl. Gradually whisk in milk, and whisk milk mixture into broth. Boil, whisking, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Return chicken to Dutch oven; remove from heat while you prepare the vegetables.

  3. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil; add salt. Add carrots and green beans; cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Stir into chicken mixture.

  4. Prepare dumpling dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add butter; cut into dry mixture with fingers until mealy. Pour in milk; stir with a fork until dough comes together. Return chicken mixture to a simmer, and drop dough by tablespoons on surface of stew. Cover; cook for 15 minutes without lifting lid. (The dumplings will puff up.) Serve.

Cook's Notes

If you want to make the dish in advance, prepare chicken and sauce through step two. Let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Re-warm gently before proceeding.

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