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.

  • Mom24

    I’m sorry, I could not find any information about the giveaway. The recipe looks wonderful though, my thoughts are already turning to lightening up in January.

  • I’ve never tried chicken and dumpings but I keep seeing recipes pop up for it! Yours sounds like a winner, for sure!

  • Anonymous

    This recipe reminds me of my great grandma when she made chicken and dumplings. Of course it wasn’t quite as flavorful as this looks but still, a nice memory to have flood back this time of year!

  • A new ATK cookbook? Girlie, you know I’m down! I’m posting chicken & dumps next week – mine are not lighter, though. ;P

  • This looks amazing! I grew up on chicken and dumplings and love that you made yours from scratch and not a mix. Can’t wait to try this! Every recipe I’ve tried of yours has been great.

  • This looks great! I’m so glad to see the dumplings are from scratch and not a mix. Can’t wait to try it. All of your recipes that I’ve made have been great. Thanks!

  • Lacy

    I love new spins on traditional recipes!!!

  • I’ve never made chicken and dumplings because of how heavy it sounded. This recipe sounds delicious!

  • Anonymous

    Looks delicious although I’ve never had chicken & dumplings before!

  • Anne Lee

    I can’t wait to try this, it looks so good! I love that is a lighter version of the classic, especially with all of the holiday treats and heavy meals consumed this time of the year :)

  • Leah Marie Romero

    What is the purpose of covering the Dutch oven lid in a towel and then placing it on the pot? Does it help reduce the amount of moisture that collects on the lid and then drips back into the pot? How does this effect the cooking of the dumplings?

  • This looks so yummy! It’s drizzling some sort of odd, fine rain/snow mix right now and it makes me want to curl up with a big bowl of something warm and filling! This fits the mood perfectly!

  • MERCY my mouth is watering as i look at that picture and read the ingredients!! I need this on my table right now, and with the confidence that they’re lighter, I can eat till I’m quite full– guilt free :)

  • I have been wanting to make Chicken and Dumplings for quite some time. Since your recipes are my #1 go-to {they are always fantastic!} I am definitely going to make this recipe. Thanks Annie :)

  • I made this a few years ago, and had the same reaction as you – I didn’t ever eat chicken and dumplings growing up, but this one sure did make me nostalgic for some reason!

  • I totally agree, I have the book and love it. And Jason and I have *very* different views on what chicken & dumplings should look like. This is more like what my mom made growing up.

  • Brynne

    I’m making these right now – the kitchen smells delicious. Can’t wait to taste it!

  • SandraMiller

    We watch Test Kitchen every Sat! It is at our Andrew’s nap time!
    This is our favorite recipe from the show!
    I’m so in love with the fact that you blogged another amazing recipe, featured on ATK!! Yeah!

  • Vicki Bensinger

    I’m embarrassed to say that the only chicken and dumplings I’ve ever had was when I was younger and it was Sweet Sues out of a can. I remember it was really tasty but a homemade version would be sensational.

    I am definitely trying this recipe and can’t wait to share it with my family on a cold Sunday evening. The cookbook sounds wonderful. ATK is IMO the most reliable source.

  • DianeKay

    I LOVE this magazine. I started receiving it from the beginning. then things changed and now I just watch it on television. The cookbook sounds like something I should have – perhaps a birthday gift? I will try this recipe this week – comfort food to me.

  • Liz

    I’m also confused by the towel thing. Can you expand on what it does? And also, stupid question, does it go between the pot and the lid, or over the top of the lid? Thanks!

  • Sherlie Magaret

    Love Cook’s Illustrated, I get their bound book of issues every year and it is a wonderful read. My fav childhood dish is Hash made from leftover roast beef, potatoes and onions that are ground up together and cooked with broth and gravy to the consistence of oatmeal. We had a hand crank meat grider that I still use today to make it. In fact I made some last week, yummmm!!!! It is my ultimate comfort food.

  • Anonymous

    Since ATK created the recipe and not me, I’m not exactly sure of the rationale behind it. But since their recipes are so well-tested, I trust it. It goes between the pot and the lid.

  • Jenn

    Made this tonight and it was great! Perfect for my mom who is sick in bed right now. Thanks so much for sharing this :)

  • I love Cook’s Illustrated and all of their off shoots. This recipe looks amazing.

  • Probably a silly question, but can you freeze this? Or would that be not so good?

  • Anonymous

    Please see the FAQ page.

  • Erika

    Just finished eating dinner – this recipe was DELICIOUS!! We had to stop ourselves from eating the whole pot!

  • Natalie Arnold

    I made this last night. I skipped the chicken cooking part because I used precooked turkey I had frozen from leftovers. So I added it right after the veggie saute part, didn’t cook that in the broth but for maybe 10-15 min before adding dumpling/biscuit batter. It was a delicious one pot meal (and speedy)! My 3 year old who hates to eat a mod-podge bowl of food ate an entire bowl of it! She said she didn’t like it when I asked but ate and ate and ate. yeah right.

  • Shpedz

    Hi Annie,
    I love your site! When I tried to print this recipe out, it would only give the ingredient list and not the instructions. Is this the way it should be?
    =) deb

  • annieseats

    It should be fixed now. The print-friendly function made some changes so we had to make some changes to the site as well. Sorry about that.