If you have read my blog for any length of time, I don’t need to tell you how much I adore Cook’s Illustrated and the various publications from the good people at America’s Test Kitchen.  I already own three of their cookbooks and they get plenty of use.  When the ATK rep contacted me to see if I would be interested in doing another review and giveaway, it was a no-brainer.  I was even more excited when I learned more about exactly what this book was.

Their newest cookbook is called The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook: 2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America’s Most Trusted Food Magazine.  This is the kind of cookbook that becomes an immediate staple, and holds a massive amount of recipes, possibilities, and inspiration.  The categories include everything from appetizers and main dishes to beverages and desserts.  As someone already very familiar with ATK’s recipes, I recognized lots of my favorites while flipping through the pages, but I also saw tons of recipes that are new to me.  I’ve had the book on my shelf for about two months now and I have referred to it many times when I think, “What should I make with this?” or “I need a recipe for ___.”  And of course, knowing that every recipe has been extensively tested with the home cook in mind to ensure the best possible results means I know the recipes are reliable.  In short, it’s a great reference cookbook for anyone, whether they are already a fan of Cook’s Illustrated or simply a fan-to-be.  So, are you interested in owning this lovely cookbook?  Head on over to the giveaway page to enter!

With the huge number of recipes in the book, it was tough deciding what recipe to try first.  Eventually the cold, dreary weather nudged me toward something comforting.  Chicken and dumplings sounded like just the thing.  I think this is one of those dishes that most people have a recipe for that was passed down from their grandma or great grandma, but it’s not a dish we ever ate much while I was growing up.  Despite that, the moment I took my first bite of this meal, I felt nostalgic and at home.  I’ve tried some chicken and dumpling recipes in the past that were way off the mark, but this was exactly what I wanted.  A flavorful broth with chicken, tender veggies, topped with fluffy, rich dumplings.  I may have missed out on this as a kid but I’m really hoping someday this will be the recipe that Andrew and Caroline are making for their kids, and maybe it will make them think of me.
Full disclosure: Review and giveaway sponsored by America’s Test Kitchen.  Opinions are 100% mine.


  • 2½ lbs. bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped fine
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4‑inch pieces
  • 1 celery rib, chopped fine
  • ¼ cup dry sherry
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 1 lb. chicken wings
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cups (10 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, chilled
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and hot
  • 1 large egg white


  • 01

    For the stew: Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook until skin is crisp and well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken pieces and brown on second side, 5 to 7 minutes longer; transfer to large plate. Discard all but 1 teaspoon fat from pot.

  • 02

    Add onions, carrots, and celery to now-empty pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in sherry, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Stir in broth and thyme. Return chicken thighs, with any accumulated juices, to pot and add chicken wings. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until thigh meat offers no resistance when poked with tip of paring knife but still clings to bones, 45 to 55 minutes.

  • 03

    Remove pot from heat and transfer chicken to cutting board. Allow broth to settle 5 minutes, then skim fat from surface. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin from chicken. Using fingers or fork, pull meat from chicken thighs (and wings, if desired) and cut into 1‑inch pieces. Return meat to pot. (At this point, stew can be cooled to room temperature, then refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to simmer over medium-low heat before proceeding.)

  • 04

    For the dumplings: Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and melted butter in medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps; whisk in egg white. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl.

  • 05

    Return stew to simmer, stir in parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Using greased tablespoon measure (or #60 portion scoop), scoop level amount of batter and drop over top of stew, spacing about 1/4 inch apart (you should have about 24 dumplings). Wrap lid of Dutch oven with clean kitchen towel (keeping towel away from heat source) and cover pot. Simmer gently until dumplings have doubled in size and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 13 to 16 minutes. Serve immediately.