Chicken with Sourdough Dumplings

From Julie Van Rosendaal

2016 Sep/Oct

Sourdough starter makes a plump, fluffy, tangy dumpling that’s divine atop chicken stew – or try it on simmering fruit for a sourdough slump.


  • 6 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper
  • canola or olive oil, for cooking butter, for cooking (optional)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2-4 T. sherry (optional)
  • T.all-purpose flour
  • c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 t. fresh thyme leaves (or a few sprigs)
  • 1 c. frozen green peas
  • 1/4 c. half & half or heavy cream
  • Dumplings:
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 c. sourdough starter
  • 2 T. canola or olive oil
  • 1 large egg


Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the chicken until golden on both sides, working in batches so that you don’t crowd the pan. Transfer the chicken to a plate, add a bit more oil (and a bit of butter, if you like) and sauté the onion until soft. Add the sherry and cook for a minute, scraping up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan (alternatively, you could use a bit of the broth to do this), then add the flour and stir to coat the onions. Add the broth and thyme, then return the chicken to the pot and bring to a simmer; cover and cook over low heat for about an hour.
Meanwhile, stir together the dumpling ingredients. Take the lid off the pot (if you like, remove the bones and shred the chicken), add the peas and cream and bring back to a simmer. Drop walnut- to golf-ball-sized dumplings over the top of the stew, leaving some space for them to expand. Cover and cook until the dumplings have doubled in size, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 4 to 6.