Why This Recipe Works: The best chicken and dumplings boasts dumplings that are light and tender yet substantial in a brothy stew full of concentrated chicken flavor. For a gluten-free version of this comfort food classic, we started by developing a flavorful chicken and vegetable stew that was simple enough to make on a weeknight.
Right off the bat we found that boneless, skinless chicken thighs were the perfect choice here because they require very little prep and are nearly impossible to overcook. After browning them, we set them aside and focused on building the stew, first sautéing chopped carrots, onions, and celery. To thicken the stew, we added 2 tablespoons of our all-purpose gluten-free flour blend and then deglazed the pan with a little sherry, which added bright flavor. After adding some chicken broth and the reserved chicken thighs, we let the stew simmer until the chicken was tender and ready to shred.
Turning our attention now to the gluten-free dumplings, we first swapped in our flour blend in the usual mixture of flour, milk, melted butter, and a hefty dose of baking powder, but these dumplings simply melted into the stew. We tried adding a little xanthan gum for binding, and while these dumplings retained their shape better, they sank into the stew and had a texture that was more akin to gnocchi than to biscuits.
Switching from whole milk to low-fat lightened up the batter and got us closer, but our stew still could not support the starchier dumplings. For a thicker stew, we cut back the broth to 3 cups and added more chopped carrots and celery so the dumplings could rest on a raft of chicken and vegetables while they simmered. They cooked through properly, yielding moist, tender dumplings that soaked up the sauce perfectly.
Chicken and Dumplings
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4‑inch pieces
2 celery ribs, chopped fine
1 onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
2 tablespoons ATK All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1/4 cup dry sherry
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
9 ounces (2 cups) ATK All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon 1 or 2 percent low-fat milk
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. FOR THE STEW: Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken and brown well on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to plate.
2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, carrots, celery, onion, and thyme to fat left in pot and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until vegetables are well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in flour blend and cook for 1 minute. Stir in sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Whisk in broth, smoothing out any lumps. Stir in browned chicken and any accumulated juices, and bring to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until chicken registers 175 degrees, about 15 minutes.
3. Remove pot from heat. Transfer chicken to cutting board, let cool, then shred into 1-inch pieces with 2 forks. Let broth settle for 5 minutes, then skim fat from surface. Stir in shredded meat, peas, and parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. FOR THE DUMPLINGS: Whisk flour blend, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum together in large bowl. Microwave milk, water, and butter in separate bowl until just warm, about 1 minute. Using rubber spatula, stir warmed milk mixture into flour mixture until incorporated and no flour pockets remain; mixture will begin to bubble immediately.
5. Return stew to vigorous simmer over medium heat. Using greased tablespoon measure, spoon portions of dumpling batter evenly over top of stew; you should have about 24 dumplings.
Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer vigorously until dumplings have doubled in size and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Serve.
Variation: Dairy-Free Chicken and Dumplings
In dumplings, substitute soy milk for milk and Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks for butter.
G-F Testing Lab
Flour Substitution: King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour 9 ounces = 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons; Betty Crocker All-Purpose Gluten Free Rice Blend 9 ounces = 1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup
Dumplings made with King Arthur will be slightly gummy and dense; dumplings made with Betty Crocker will taste quite rubbery.
Xanthan Gum: The xanthan can be omitted but the dumplings will be more crumbly and will not hold together well.
Baking Powder: Not all brands of baking powder are gluten-free.
➜ View more kitchen-tested gluten-free recipes