Easy Chicken and Dumplings in Cast Iron

In Cast Iron Dutch Oven Recipes

Although some purists may feel like this recipe is dangerous and needs to be silenced, I think that canned biscuits work great for dumplings.

They make cooking chicken and dumplings out in the sticks simple and painless. Cleaning flour coated bowls isn’t easy out in the outdoors.

One day I might get around to adding directions for homemade dumplings, but this recipe ain’t for making chicken and dumplings at home. This is for cooking out in the boonies.

Chicken and Dumplings in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven

  • Prep Time:  10 Minutes
  • Cook Time:  1 Hour 15 Minutes
  • Serves:  6 people

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. chicken thighs (boneless and skinless) cubed
  • 1 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion – finely diced
  • 2/3 cup carrots – finely diced
  • 2/3 cup celery – finely diced
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cans biscuits (the cheap Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits. Don’t get the fancy layered kind, cheaper is better here)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

Equipment Needed at the Campsite:

  • 12″ Deep Cast Iron Dutch Oven (plus any additional accessories you like to use)
  • Charcoal (unless you’re using wood)
  • Small shovel or tongs (for moving hot coals around)
  • Extra pan or bowl (to put the chicken in when you temporarily remove it)
  • Ladle and stirring spoon

Related:  Learn More About the Dutch Oven Equipment We Use

Before You Leave Home

Cut your chicken thighs into one-half inch cubes and store in resealable bags. You can freeze them before your trip. Just make sure you give them enough time to thaw before you’re ready to cook.

Finely dice the celery, carrots and onion (a food processor comes in handy here). Throw them into a single resealable bag. You can also freeze these if you like.

Finally, throw your salt, pepper and thyme into a single resealable bag and you’re ready to go.

Making Your Chicken and Dumplings

If you froze your ingredients, be sure to give them enough time to thaw out before you start cooking.

If your using charcoal, go ahead and get it burning.

Once you’ve got some good, hot coals, set your dutch oven up for frying with about twelve briquettes underneath.

After your dutch oven has had enough time to heat up, pour in your vegetable oil. You’ll know its hot enough for cooking when you see it shimmering or a drop of water sizzles and pops when you drop it in.

Throw your chicken thighs in and brown on all sides. Once they are good and browned (they don’t need to be cooked all the way through) take them out, along with all the liquid, and set aside.

Browning chicken for chicken and dumplings

Throw your butter in your dutch oven. Once it melts, toss in your onion, celery and carrots.

Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions start to become translucent and the celery and carrots start to get soft. About five minutes.

Mirepoix for chicken and dumplings

Once your vegetable mix is ready, put the chicken with the drippings back in, along with the chicken broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and let that simmer for about twenty minutes.

Be sure to plan ahead. Since this takes a bit of time to cook, you’ll need to be certain that you have hot coals ready to go before you need them. Plan on replacing the coals under your dutch oven every fifteen to twenty minutes. Remember that it’ll take about ten minutes for your charcoal to sufficiently light, so you’ll need to have it burning before the coals under your dutch oven die down.

Cooking chicken and dumplings

While you’ve got that simmering, break out your canned biscuits and cut them into quarters.

Don't use expensive canned biscuits

After you’ve let it simmer for twenty minutes, add your milk, biscuits and the cream of chicken soup. Cover again and let simmer for an additional thirty minutes.

Simmering the chicken and dumplings

Halfway through this simmer, pull the lid off your dutch oven. The biscuits will be floating on top and probably stuck together. Use your ladle, or stirring spoon, and gently separate them and stir them back in.

Cover your dutch oven back up and continue to simmer.

That’s all there is to it.

This recipe will be one of the biggest hits around your campfire on a cool evening.

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Easy Chicken and Dumplings in Cast Iron
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 25 mins
 


Course: Main Course
Servings: 6 people
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs. chicken thighs - cubed
  • 1 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion - finely diced
  • 2/3 cups carrots - finely diced
  • 2/3 cups celery - finely diced
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cans biscuits - cheap Pillsbury brand
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
Extra Equipment Needed
  • 12" cast iron dutch oven
  • charcoal
  • small shovel or tongs
  • extra pan or bowl
  • ladle and stirring spoon
Instructions
Before You Leave Home
  1. Cut chicken thighs into 1/2 inch cubes.  Put into resealable bag.

  2. Finely dice the celery, carrots and onion. Put into resealable bag.

  3. Put salt, pepper and thyme into resealable bag.

At the Campsite
  1. Thaw out any frozen ingredients and light charcoal.

  2. Set up dutch oven for frying (12 briquettes)

  3. Add vegetable oil and brown chicken on all sides, not cooking all the way through.

  4. Remove chicken thighs and drippings from the dutch oven and set aside.

  5. Add butter, onion, celery and carrots. Cook until the onions become translucent and the celery and carrots become soft.

  6. Add your browned chicken back in, along with the chicken broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer for twenty minutes.

  7. Cut biscuits into quarters.

  8. Add milk, biscuits, and cream of chicken soup. Cover and let simmer for thirty minutes, opening the dutch oven at the halfway point to separate the biscuits and stir.

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