Let’s clear this up right off the
bat biscuit: This is not a recipe for chicken and dumplings.
No part of the instructions requires you to hover over the stovetop dolloping spoonfuls of sticky dough into a simmering pot bubbling with broth.
If at some point in your life you’ve witnessed your own grandma performing this delicious act, congratulations! I’d guess you’re probably from the south, and that’s where I currently reside. But my grandma hails from New Jersey, and boy, can she unwrap a parchment paper package of smoked salmon in no time at all…
Grandmas aside, all of this is to say the adventure you’re about to embark on (if you dare to keep reading) may be a chicken stew with biscuits, but it’s not a chicken and dumpling stew. Any confusion herein likely stems from wondering where exactly the biscuits go.
And isn’t pondering, “Where do the biscuits go?” one of life’s most perplexing conundrums? No? Just me?
At its core, this is a recipe for a rich, hearty, veggie-laden stew that’s served with buttery biscuits.
Whether you choose classic buttermilk made from scratch or popped out of a can, go a little crazy with your bad self and whip up some cheddar garlic biscuits from scratch, or even swing into the nearest fried chicken shop for your flaky sidecars, there’s no way to do this incorrectly.
Some days I like to plop my biscuits directly on top of the dish, while I prefer to place the carby counterparts on the side at other times. As pertains to the latter, they tend to reach their ultimate destiny when they’re used to swipe up the diced potatoes that have undoubtedly dropped off of my spoon and onto my shirt.
It’s the aromatic and fresh veggie and herb base that really brings down the house when it comes to this chicken stew. And the beauty is that it’s truly built from scratch, as the whole thing is composed in your Dutch oven, from the bird up.
Speaking of birds, if you’ve skipped ahead and skimmed the recipe, I can already feel you tapping on my shoulder wondering about the following: can I swap in pre-cooked chicken (maybe shredded, from a rotisserie bird) to make my life a little easier?
Here are my thoughts.
When you construct a dish in one pot, you’re building flavor. The first step of this recipe is to brown the chicken, and that serves two purposes.
One: all of those yummy, crispy brown bits coat the bottom of the Dutch oven and ultimately, add a layer of flavor to the entire dish.
And two: browning a protein and then allowing it to finish its cooking journey in liquid is the best way to guarantee a tender, moist result. Though you could certainly fold in fully cooked chicken along with the peas and herbs (to avoid overcooking them), think about the following –
That initial sear on the chicken helped all of its juices to become trapped inside. So when you chomp into the succulent morsels, you’ll sense that they’re not only perfectly juicy, but that they have collected all of the remaining flavors in the pot as well, since they simmered their way to the finish line in the broth.
Still wanna talk about pre-cooked chicken? Not to get too Forrest Gump on you, but that’s all I have to say about that.
Moving on to the veggies. Though I absolutely recommend using creamy little Yukon Gold potatoes and parsnips to add even more thickness to the stew, the final veg selection can include whatever you prefer.
I have a hard time imagining anything chicken stew-related coming together without the trusty trio of onions, celery, and carrots, but maybe that’s just me. Golden beets or even butternut squash can add some sweetness and color.
Mushrooms bring earthiness, and you can get as wild as you want with them – like subbing in shiitakes for a bite that’s especially meaty.
Hate peas? My dad does, too. Leave them out. It’s your stew, after all.
And remember, whether you drop the biscuits directly on top, serve them steaming hot inside a linen-lined basket, or wear them on your head, it’s whatever floats your boat.
Or, biscuit, in this case.Print
Flaky biscuits take this comforting chicken and veggie stew to the next level, while fresh parsley and thyme brighten everything up.
- 6–8 large biscuits (store-bought or homemade)
- 2 cups cubed chicken breast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided, plus more to taste
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more to taste
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced white button or cremini mushrooms, trimmed with stems on
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 parsnips, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2–4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2–4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2–4 tablespoons cold water
- Bake the biscuits, if you haven’t already.
- Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In a large Dutch oven, melt 1 tablespoon butter and heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown it on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the Dutch oven and reduce the heat to medium. Working in batches, saute the onions, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and celery for about 10-15 minutes total. Stir occasionally, and saute until the onions are soft and translucent, and the other veggies have some color. Season with the remaining salt and pepper.
- Return the chicken and its juices to the pan and then pour in the stock, using less if you want a thicker finished product. Turn the heat up to high, and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover the Dutch oven and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Uncover the Dutch oven and stir in the peas, parsley, and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, make a cornstarch slurry by whisking even amounts of the cornstarch and water until thoroughly combined, using 3 tablespoons of each for a thinner stew and 4 for a thicker consistency per 4 cups of stock. Turn the heat up to high and bring the stew back to a boil. Slowly pour the slurry into the stew in a thin stream, stirring constantly as you pour, and continue stirring until the broth has thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for a few more minutes, until you can no longer taste the cornstarch. Serve the immediately with the warm biscuits.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Stew
- Method: Baking/Stovetop
- Cuisine: Comfort Food
Keywords: chicken, stew, biscuits
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Make the Biscuits and Prep the Veggies
Bake the biscuits, if you haven’t already. Pre-baked biscuits can be warmed in the oven just before serving.
Chop the onion, slice the mushrooms, and dice the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and celery. Chop the parsley and thyme.
Step 2 – Prep and Sear the Chicken
Cut the chicken into bite-size cubes and season it with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. I prefer to use freshly ground for the best flavor.
In a large Dutch oven, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and warm up the olive oil over medium-high heat. The butter adds some richness, while the oil allows you to get a darker color on the outside of the chicken without the fat in the pan browning too quickly.
Add the chicken and brown it on all sides. This should take about 5 minutes total.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate. Reserve any remaining chicken juices that are in the pan as well, to add flavor to the stew when you add it back in.
Step 3 – Saute the Veggies
Add the remaining butter to the Dutch oven and reduce the heat to medium.
Adding a few handfuls of the vegetables at a time, either with each vegetable in its own batch or dividing a combination of all of the veggies into a few batches, saute the onions, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and celery.
Be sure to stir occasionally, and avoid overcrowding the pan with raw ingredients. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes total. You want the onions to be soft and translucent, and the other veggies should take on some golden-brown color.
Adding these in batches is important, since it will allow you to saute the vegetables instead of steaming them, helping them to gain some color and texture.
Season the vegetables with the remaining salt and pepper.
Step 4 – Add the Chicken, Stock, and Herbs
Return the chicken and all of its juices that have collected on the plate to the pan, and pour in the stock.
You can choose to use 2 to 4 cups of liquid here, depending on how thick you like your stew. Just make sure the vegetables are covered, so they will cook through. You’ll have another chance to thicken up the finished product in the next step as well.
Turn the heat to high, and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover the Dutch oven and simmer the stew until the potatoes are tender. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
Uncover the Dutch oven and stir in the peas, parsley, and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Step 5 – Thicken and Serve
In a small bowl, make a cornstarch slurry by whisking even amounts of the cornstarch and water together until thoroughly blended. Use 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and water for a thinner stew if you started with 4 cups of stock, or 4 tablespoons for a thicker consistency.
Turn the heat back up to high and bring the stew back to a boil. Stream the slurry into the stew, stirring constantly as you pour, and continue stirring for about 1 to 2 minutes until the broth has thickened.
The liquid has to be brought to a boil in order to activate the cornstarch, and you want to make sure you pour the slurry in slowly rather than adding it all at once.
As a general rule of thumb, I like to use about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch per cup of stock for a medium-thick stew that’s thick, but not overly viscous. Thicken yours to your desired consistency.
Simmer for several minutes, tasting to make sure any starchy flavor from the cornstarch has cooked out. Serve the stew with the warm biscuits.
The Birds and the Biscuits
The cornstarch slurry and starch-heavy veggies thicken the broth and elevate this dish, making it more of a stew than a soup (not to mention the cooking process, and the quantity of liquid that’s used…). But remember: the final consistency is entirely in your hands.
Or technically, your whisk.
This recipe is great to add to your meal prep list for the week. When preparing this dish as a make-ahead meal (since most comfort food tastes better the second day, after the flavors have melded), I always keep some extra stock on hand to thin out the broth if necessary.
BTW, you might as well take your time making a killer homemade slow cooker chicken stock to start, since you’re already planning on hanging out in the kitchen.
Craving even more comforting stews to keep you warm? Cozy up to these recipes next:
I gotta know – where did your biscuits end up? Bobbing on top of the broth, or straight into your hand for scooping up every last bite? Share your carb-related comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.
Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Lorna Kring on April 22, 2015. Last updated on November 11, 2021.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Fanny Slater
Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”