These dumplings are super light and fluffy, but still hold their shape and don’t disintegrate or get gummy when cooked.
Ingredients for servings
4 chicken legs, thigh and drumstick
1 leek, pale-green and white parts only
4 carrots, 1 whole, 3 chopped into rounds
4 celery stalks, 1 whole, 3 chopped into pieces
1 medium onion, chopped, divided
3 garlic cloves, smashed
4 sprigs thyme
parsley stems from 0.5 bunch
1 bay leaf
2 tsp whole peppercorns
100 g chicken fat (schmaltz) or butter, melted, divided
freshly ground black pepper
190 g all-purpose flour, divided
2 tsp baking powder
0.25 tsp baking soda
125 g cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
110 g cup heavy cream
chopped chives, for serving
Bring chicken, leek, whole carrot, whole celery stalk, half of onion, garlic, thyme, parsley stems, bay leaf, peppercorns, and 3L water to a simmer in a large wide pot. Cook, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, for 40–50 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a plate and let sit until cool enough to handle.
Shred meat from thighs and legs, discarding skin, bones, and excess fat. Cover meat with foil to keep warm; set aside.
Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Wipe out pot, pour stock back in, and bring to a simmer. Stir in 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp salt.
Heat 0.5 of the schmaltz in a large skillet over medium. Cook chopped carrot, chopped celery, and remaining onion, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but not completely tender, 8–10 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
Add 0.3333 of the flour and cook, stirring, until vegetables are coated, about 1 minute.
Scrape vegetable mixture into simmering stock and whisk until liquid is thickened and no lumps remain, then continue to cook until vegetables are tender, 10–15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk baking powder, baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 0.25 tsp pepper, and remaining flour in a medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk and remaining 3 tbsp schmaltz in a small bowl. Fold buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients just until dough comes together (be careful not to overmix or dumplings will be tough).
Add cream and reserved chicken to stew and return to a simmer. Drop tablespoon-sized portions of dough into the stew (don’t worry if they aren’t perfect, they will puff up as they cook).
Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 10 minutes. Uncover and check dumplings for doneness. They should be about 5 times larger and should cover entire surface of stew. To be extra sure, you can remove a dumpling and cut it in half to see if it’s cooked through; the interior should look like a soft dinner roll. If they’re not fully cooked, cover and cook 2 minutes more.
Divide chicken soup and dumplings among bowls, then top with chives.
Chicken soup, without dumplings, can be made 3 days ahead; cover and chill.