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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.

Reviews Add a comment

  • mnssmith1
    30 MAY, 2015
    Warning! Dumpling ratios are incorrect on website. I have this recipe printed in a 2003 cookbook and it says 1 cup of all purpose flour, not 1/4 cup. That's all you need to change. This recipe is sooooo yummy though. I love the dark roux broth. It's a very unconventional Chicken and dumplings. I also shredded my chicken after browning it. My cookbook makes no mention of shredding the chicken but I wanted to be able to eat with a spoon.
  • MS10814024
    8 APR, 2008
    Whoops! I meant to place my comment in my own comment area of my collected recipes. However, I really do appreciate all of your comments.
  • MS10814024
    8 APR, 2008
    Llight. Check out the readers'' comments.
  • punkybunny300
    22 FEB, 2008
    I really liked this recipe though I also had a small problem with the dumplings which was fixed by just making them smaller. I think that next time I might use a dumpling made with regular flour and not cornmeal. The rest of the recipe is fabulous!
  • beavergee
    21 FEB, 2008
    Thanks for the nurtritional values.
  • MS10234696
    12 FEB, 2008
    Dumplings will fall apart if your broth isn't hot enough at the time you add them. Make them smaller and let the broth heat fully, then add the dumplings. That way the outside cooks quickly and they don't fall apart. Then turn the heat down and let them finish cooking slowly.
  • Mamabee
    2 FEB, 2008
    I really liked this recipe - the stew part is very good - but these dumplings do not work. I wanted cornmeal dumplings though, so I started over and altered the recipe a bit. I used 1/2 c. flour (instead of 1/4), 3 t. baking powder (instead of 2), and less milk, closer to 1/2 c. This was much more successful, but they took more than 15 minutes to cook.
  • merrysage
    25 JAN, 2008
    There's no law saying you can't buy ready made dumplings. There's an excellent brand here in England called Aunt Bessie's which I use all the time!
  • KatharineS
    18 JAN, 2008
    Tasted pretty good but the dough for the dumplings ended up being really watery. They ended up just breaking apart in the end. Also during the last step be careful it started to stick to the sides of the pot and started to burn.