Chicken & Dumplings is one of my all time favorite comfort foods. I mean it’s like chicken noodle soup on crack, ya’ll!

There are SO many variations out there, so we need to have a little chat about chicken and dumplings. Supposedly, this dish originated in the South during the Great Depression, so let’s create it as the Southerners intended it to be:

  1. Use homemade Chicken Stock! This dish has very few components, so quality is KEY to a good Chicken n’ Dumplings!
  2. Pulled Chicken
  3. Flat noodle-like dumplings (not those weird round blobs)
  4. NO. VEGETABLES. (Seriously… get those daggum carrots and celery outta there!)

On Points #1 & #2: I like to let my Crockpot do the work for me! The NIGHT before I want to make chicken and dumplings, I stick a whole chicken in the Crockpot with carrots, celery, onion, and garlic – add 8 cups of water and some seasoning and turn that baby on low and go to bed.

When you wake up it’s DONE! Pull out the chicken and pull the meat off the bones, then strain the liquid gold through some cheese clothe and BAM – you’ve got your chicken AND your stock with minimal work!

A FEW TIPS: Use the Crockpot liner bags – Makes the clean-up a BREEZE! Oh, and if you don’t want you house to stink  of chicken broth – plug the Crockpot in outside on the porch – just make sure it’s under a covering in case it rains! (Thank you Nancy for theses tips!)

Okay, on to Point #3: Yes, I know dumplings are made in all different shapes and sizes, but for goodness sake… the flat puffy noodle like dumplings are where. it’s. at!  I mean, come ON, if Cracker Barrel makes them like that… you KNOW it’s right!
Last, but certainly not least, Point #4: Get those daggum carrots & celery out of your Chicken & Dumplings! Let’s be real for a minute, people eat their veggies on the side in the South (Greens, green beans, cabbage, black eyed peas…). Let’s keep it true to form. Chicken and Dumplings are just that… CHICKEN + DUMPLINGS. BAM.

Get it done folks!

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Southern Style Chicken & Dumplings

Yield: 4-6 servings

Hearty, Homey, and Comforting... Southern Style Chicken & Dumplings that'll hit the spot!

Ingredients:

For the Chicken Stock & Chicken:
1 whole fryer chicken
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 bay leaves
4 stalks celery, coarse chopped
6 carrots, coarse chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and coarse chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with the flat edge of a knife
8 cups water

For the Dumplings:
2 cups all-purpose flour (plus additional for rolling)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons salted butter
3/4 cup 2% milk

Directions:

For the Chicken Stock & Chicken:
Add all ingredients to a 7 quart Crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Allow to cool to touch. Remove chicken from Crockpot, pull meat off bones (discarding any skin/fat), shred into bite sized pieces, and set aside. Strain chicken stock through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheese clothe. Place into containers and refrigerate for a few hours so you can skim the fat off the top. You should have about 8 cups of stock.

For the Dumplings:
Add flour, baking powder, salt, and butter into the bowl of a food processor fitted with dough blade. Pulse until butter is incorporated and crumbly. Slowly pour milk into the flour and pulse until dough comes together. Transfer to a floured surface, sprinkle with additional flour, and roll dough out to 1/4" thickness. Using a pizza cutter (or sharp knife) cut dough into 1"x 2" pieces.

For the Chicken and Dumplings:
Bring 8 cups of chicken stock to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Add dumplings one at a time, stirring in between each one to be sure they don't stick together. Simmer for 10-12 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through. Take 1/3 cup of the stock and add to a bowl. Whisk in 2 heaping tablespoons of flour until combined into a smooth slurry. Add slurry back into boiling stock/dumpling mixture. Stir for an additional 1-2 minutes, until thickened. Add shredded chicken, stir, and serve!

Note: Season with Salt & Pepper to taste before serving!

Adapted From: Iowa Girl Eats