There's something deeply comforting about a bowl of Chicken and Dumplings, but who says comfort food can't be a culinary adventure? That's why I've given this American classic a Tuscan-inspired makeover. Picture tender chunks of chicken bathed in a rich, herb-infused broth featuring notes of sun-dried tomatoes, white wine, and fresh thyme. It's a journey to an Italian countryside, without ever leaving your kitchen.
But wait, the real showstopper in this dish is the rosemary dumplings. Soft, pillowy, and fragrant with freshly chopped rosemary, these dumplings elevate the dish from comforting to downright luxurious. Whether you're settling in for a cozy family dinner or want to impress guests at a special gathering, this Tuscan-Inspired Chicken and Dumplings recipe strikes the perfect balance between comfort and sophistication. Serve it up and watch the bowls empty in record time.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- Flavor Fusion: This isn't your ordinary Chicken and Dumplings; it's a delightful marriage of classic American comfort and Italian flair. The sun-dried tomatoes and fresh herbs bring a richness to the broth that'll make your taste buds dance.
- Rosemary Dumplings: Forget the usual plain dumplings; these are a fragrant upgrade. Fresh rosemary infuses each bite with an earthy, aromatic twist that's hard to resist.
- One-Pot Wonder: Convenience meets deliciousness in this one-pot recipe. From browning the chicken to simmering the stew and cooking the dumplings, everything happens in a single Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot. That means less cleaning and more savoring.
- Versatility: This dish fits any occasion, whether you're looking for a soul-warming meal on a cold evening or a sophisticated offering for dinner guests. It's as easy to portion for a smaller family meal as it is to scale up for a larger gathering.
How to Make Tuscan-Inspired Chicken and Dumplings
Prepare the Chicken Stew
- Heat the Oil: In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
- Brown the Chicken: Season the chicken chunks with salt and pepper. Add them to the pot and brown on all sides. Once browned, remove and set aside.
- Sauté the Veggies: In the same pot, add diced onions, carrots, celery, minced garlic, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Cook until the vegetables soften, approximately 5 minutes.
- Simmer the Stew: Return the browned chicken to the pot. Stir in fresh thyme leaves and chopped rosemary. Pour in the chicken broth and dry white wine. Bring everything to a simmer and let cook for about 20 minutes.
Make the Rosemary Dumplings
- Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary.
- Add Liquids: Pour in 1 cup of whole milk and 4 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter. Stir until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
Cook the Dumplings
- Drop the Dumplings: Use a spoon to drop dollops of the dumpling batter directly into the simmering stew.
- Cook Covered: Cover the pot with a lid and allow the dumplings to cook for about 15 minutes, or until they are firm and cooked through.
Finish and Serve
- Add Cream: Stir in ½ cup of heavy cream into the stew and let it simmer for another 2 minutes.
- Check Seasoning: Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve: Ladle generous portions into bowls, ensuring each serving has a good mix of chicken, vegetables, and dumplings. Enjoy your Tuscan-Inspired Chicken and Dumplings with Rosemary Dumplings!
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Tuscan-Inspired Chicken and Dumplings
Herb Freshness: Using fresh herbs really makes a difference in this recipe. If you absolutely must use dried herbs, remember that they are more concentrated in flavor. Use about a third of the amount the recipe calls for when substituting with dried herbs.
Wine Selection: Opt for a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc for the stew. The wine adds depth and a subtle acidity that elevates the flavors. If you prefer to cook without alcohol, chicken broth can be used as a substitute.
Dumpling Size: When dropping the dumpling dough into the stew, aim for consistency in size for even cooking. If you want smaller, bite-sized dumplings, reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.
Vegetable Prep: Dice the vegetables uniformly to ensure they cook at the same rate. If you like your vegetables with a bit more bite, you can add them a little later into the simmering process.
Storing, Freezing, and Reheating
- Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Keep in mind that the dumplings will continue to absorb the broth, so the stew may thicken over time.
- Freezing the Stew: It's best to freeze the chicken stew separately from the dumplings for optimal texture. Place the cooled stew in an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Freezing Dumplings: If you'd like to freeze the dumplings, it's a good idea to first freeze them individually on a baking sheet and then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. This helps maintain their shape and prevents them from sticking together. They can be frozen for up to 1 month.
- From the Fridge: Slowly reheat the chicken and dumplings on the stovetop over medium-low heat. You may need to add additional chicken broth or a splash of cream to restore its original consistency, as the dumplings will have absorbed some of the liquid.
- From the Freezer: If you've frozen the chicken stew and dumplings separately, it's best to thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Reheat the stew first on the stovetop, and once it's hot, add the dumplings. Allow the dumplings to cook in the hot stew until they are heated through, which may take about 10-15 minutes.
- Quick Thaw: If you're in a rush, you can also defrost the stew in a microwave-safe container using the defrost setting. For dumplings, it's best to thaw them at room temperature for a few hours before adding them to the reheated stew.
Tuscan-Inspired Chicken and Dumplings with Rosemary Dumplings
- Large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot
For the Chicken Stew:
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup heavy cream
For the Rosemary Dumplings:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- Heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chicken chunks, seasoning with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pot, add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the pot and add the thyme, rosemary, chicken broth, and white wine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
- While the stew is simmering, prepare the dumplings. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and chopped rosemary. Add the milk and melted butter, stirring just until the mixture comes together.
- Drop spoonfuls of the dumpling batter into the simmering stew. Cover and let the dumplings cook for about 15 minutes, or until they're firm and cooked through.
- Stir in the heavy cream into the stew and simmer for another 2 minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if needed.
- Ladle the stew into bowls, making sure each serving gets a generous helping of chicken, vegetables, and dumplings.
Tuscan-Inspired Chicken and Dumplings - FAQ
Absolutely! Bone-in chicken pieces like thighs or drumsticks can add even more flavor to the stew. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly, and remove the bones before serving.
While a store-bought mix can be a time-saver, making your own rosemary-infused dumplings really adds a special touch to this dish. If you do use store-bought mix, consider adding some chopped fresh rosemary to keep that Tuscan flair.
If you prefer not to cook with alcohol, you can substitute the dry white wine with additional chicken broth. For a little zing, you could also add a tablespoon of white wine vinegar or lemon juice.
You can prepare the chicken stew a day in advance and store it in the fridge. When you're ready to serve, heat the stew on the stovetop and then proceed with making and cooking the dumplings. This allows you to enjoy your gathering without spending all your time in the kitchen!
Make sure the stew is at a steady simmer and that the dumplings are similar in size for even cooking. If the pot is too crowded, the dumplings may not cook evenly. In this case, you may want to cook them in batches.