‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond’s Chicken and Dumplings Is ‘Comfort Food Like No One’s Business’

Ree Drummond comes from a long line of cooks who have perfected the ideal comfort food recipe. As a mother of five, The Pioneer Woman star continues this tradition when nourishing her brood, including daughters Alex and Paige and sons Bryce, Todd, and Jamar. These family favorites nourish the body and souls of Drummond and her family. A longstanding favorite is Chicken and Dumplings, which the Food Network star calls “comfort food like no one’s business.”

Ree Drummond poses for a press photograph in a floral blouse.
Ree Drummond | The Food Network/Discovery Press

What are the origins of Chicken and Dumplings?

Chicken and Dumplings is a hearty soup that consists of a whole chicken cooked in water. Then, the resulting chicken broth cooks the dumplings and assorted vegetables.

The dish is typical of the Southern and Midwestern regions of the United States.

Chicken and dumplings reportedly originated during the Great Depression to use the bare minimum in kitchen staples to create a hearty and filling meal. Dumplings ingredients are flour, water, salt, shortening, and pepper, dropped into a simmering broth filled with shredded chicken.

Vegetables such as onion, carrots, and celery provide more nutrition and bulk to the meal.

How to make Ree Drummond’s Chicken and Dumplings

Another version of Ree Drummond’s Chicken and Dumplings is Chicken and Noodles, a rich and hearty stew.

Making this delicious and hearty soup is very easy.

Firstly, salt and pepper a whole cut-up chicken. Then dredge chicken pieces in flour before adding to a pot with melted butter. Add chicken pieces and brown before removing from pot.

Then add chopped onion, carrots, and celery, followed by Thyme and Tumeric spices. Add homemade chicken broth to the pot and stir to combine.

Simmer for at least a half-hour so the flavors can combine correctly.

While the soup is simmering, make the dumplings.

Drummond uses a combination of cornmeal and flour, including baking powder and salt. She adds half and half to create the dough.

Remove the chicken from the broth and take the meat off the bones. Return shredded meat to pot, and allow the broth to come to a boil before adding spoonfuls of dumplings.

Cook for 15 minutes until dumplings are tender.

Ree Drummond talks about her love for this comfort food classic

Drummond spoke of her love for this comfort food classic in an essay just beyond the recipe featured on her Pioneer Woman website.

“Chicken and dumplings. Mmmm. Let’s contemplate that for a moment,” Drummond began.

I love Chicken and Dumplings. Love it. I love Chicken and Noodles, too, and Chicken Spaghetti, and any dish that begins with cooking a chicken in a pot and throwing in some kind of noodle or dumpling. Comfort food to the max. Like, totally,” she explained.

The Food Network star then shared tips and tricks for creating a tender dumpling.

“Chicken and Dumplings can be a little challenging to get right; if you’re not careful, you can wind up with gloopy flour balls that wind up in a paste on the roof of your mouth. But in all my trial and error, I’ve found that dumpling recipes that include cornmeal along with the flour completely solve that problem, she shared.

The Pioneer Woman airs Saturdays at 10 a.m. EST on the Food Network.

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