Turkey or Chicken 'n' Dumplings

The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

Turkey or Chicken 'n' Dumplings

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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  • Yield:Serves 4 to 6
  • Active time: 45 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour 15 minutes
  • Rated:


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 1/2 quarts (48 ounces) homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup leftover gravy (optional)
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped medium (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 medium ribs celery, chopped medium (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 pound leftover roast turkey or chicken, torn into rough bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups thawed frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 whole egg


  1. 1.

    Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium-high heat until melted. Add 3 tablespoons flour and cook, stirring constantly, until pale golden brown, about 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in broth. Add gravy, onions, carrots, and celery. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in turkey, peas, and half of parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

  2. 2.

    Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Combine remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, chives, remaining parsley, and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, eggs, and butter in a second bowl. Pour buttermilk mixture over flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a shaggy dough.

  3. 3.

    Return stew to a bare simmer. Using a tablespoon measure, drop dumpling dough in 1-inch balls over surface of stew. Cover and cook until dumplings have puffed and feel firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.