Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Southern Style Chicken & Dumplings

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 ย 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!ย  I mean, come ON, if Cracker Barrel makes them like that… you KNOW it’s right! ๐Ÿ˜‰
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!


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


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

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45 Responses to “Southern Style Chicken & Dumplings”

  1. 1

    Cassie — October 16, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

    Homemade stock is the ONLY way to go. Love this, Tina!

  2. 2

    Mandy @ South Your Mouth — October 16, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition! You have NAILED IT, sista! My grandmother’s kitchen would be COVERED in wide, flat dumplins the day she’d make Chicken & Dumplins. I never got a chance to learn how to make them before she passed away and I think I’m going to use your recipe as a jumping off point

    Another thing common in the South is adding chopped boiled eggs to dishes like these which, I’m sure, harkens back to hard times (getting more protein in there on the cheap).

    Really enjoyed reading this and seeing your recipe. Peace and bacon grease!


  3. 3

    Nicole @ Lapetitebaker — October 17, 2012 @ 1:29 am

    I am ashamed to admit, I have never had chicken and dumplings. Growing up in a Jewish household, chicken soup is where it was at. Now that I live on my own, I can make whatever I want! And this recipe will be made. Cant wait to try it.

  4. 4

    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — October 17, 2012 @ 8:45 am

    Yum!! What a great soup!!! I just love this recipe and the dumplings are so perfect!!

  5. 5

    Heather K. — October 17, 2012 @ 8:46 am

    I’m a Mississippi girl, born and raised, and I love my chicken & dumplings! My aunt makes the best, and they look just like yours – flat dumplings, no veggies! ๐Ÿ™‚ She says the trick to keeping the dumplings from puffing up is to let the dough dry on the counter for 30 minutes or so after you’ve rolled it out. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. 6

    shelly (cookies and cups) — October 17, 2012 @ 8:57 am

    Chicken and dumplings is a favorite in our house…I never thought to use a crock pot bag! Great tip!

  7. 7

    Rachel Cooks — October 17, 2012 @ 9:23 am

    You have southern comfort food down to a T! This looks amazing.

  8. 8

    Bev @ Bev Cooks — October 17, 2012 @ 11:58 am

    Oh mommy.

  9. 9

    Chiha — October 17, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

    Oh Dearie Me! This looks amazing!! I just want to scarf it all up!! This is going directly to the top of my recipe pile!

  10. 10

    natalie@thesweetslife — October 17, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

    my husband’s grandma makes this for us whenever we visit—OBSESSED!

  11. 11

    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — October 17, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

    I LOVE the sound of that Crockpot chicken stock method!! Whenever I’ve made chicken stock, I usually boil it and it takes forever.

    I don’t think I’ve ever had chicken & dumplings (being a California girl and all), sooo I think this ~authentic~ recipe would be a perfect first try for me!!

  12. 12

    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — October 17, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

    Never thought of long flat dumplings, but I am in love with the idea! This looks amazing, can’t wait to try it!

  13. 13

    Debbie — October 17, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

    Just like my grandmother made….but I don’t think she used a crockpot

  14. 14

    Molly — October 17, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

    This is exactly how I remember my grandmother’s chicken & dumplings. No veggies, just the good stuff and these were the dumplings too!!! Love it! Thanks for the recipe (and the smiles) ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. 15

    Ali | Gimme Some Oven — October 17, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

    My TOTAL kind of comfort food. And holy moly — your photo is GORGEOUS! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. 16

    mom — October 18, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    These look amazing! The ultimate comfort food…Great photography too! I WANT chicken and dumplings now ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. 17

    Megan — October 18, 2012 @ 10:15 am

    Tina, what is that meshy looking stuff you’re using under the dumplings? I don’t think I have enough counter space…good thing I have a kitchen table!

    • Tina replied: — October 18th, 2012 @ 11:00 am

      It’s just a big pastry rolling mat – got it at TJ Maxx or Homegoods?? Would be a great little tool for ya… put it on your dining table and roll away! It rolls up like a poster and I tuck it under the sink! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. 18

    Anita at Hungry Couple — October 25, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

    Dumpling in a soup make me very, very happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. 19

    Jenna — January 10, 2013 @ 7:17 am

    is there any other cooking instrucions, i dont have a crock pot

  20. 20

    Kathy — January 27, 2013 @ 9:07 am

    Oh my, you have brought back some wonderful memories. This looks exactly like my mother’s chicken and dumplings. Seeing them remind me of how much I miss her. Thanks for posting this great recipe.

  21. 21

    Melody — January 30, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    I remember grandma making these, and noodles from the same recipe. She rolled out a HUGE batch at a time, and dried noodles at the same time she made dumplings. Dough EVERYWHERE! Thanks for the memories.

  22. 22

    Barbara — January 31, 2013 @ 9:34 am

    I have never heard of this type of chicken n dumplings. I make mine from scratch but I am always willing to try something else. Thanks!

  23. 23

    Karen — February 12, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

    I have been searching for a recipe for a while now. My grandma has passed and never left us a recipe. I can’t wait to make this so I’m making this today! They look just like grandma’s and this recipe will be a keeper for me & my children’s families. Thank you!! Peace

  24. 24

    Rosie — February 15, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

    Just made this, incredible, thanks for the great recipe.

  25. 25

    maggie — February 19, 2013 @ 5:25 pm

    in central PA this is our chicken pot pie. if you want to make your “dumplings” even easier, I use my grandmother’s old fashioned recipe where you portion it per person serving. for each person, you use one cup of flour, one egg, and half an eggshell of water. i throw a little salt over the dough when it’s all rolled out for a little extra flavor. easy peasy!

  26. 26

    karen — April 7, 2013 @ 8:50 pm

    My mother has made this favorite dish since I was a baby, and her mother before her.

    The Only difference is she lightly flours the rolled out dough, then rolls it up like a jelly roll, slices it and drops the wheels into the stock. We called the dish “Fat Noodles”

    Definitely the best!!

  27. 27

    Flo — June 4, 2013 @ 12:39 am

    I make this all the time, in my crockpot.. the only way to go! Instead of making my own dumplings, I use the frozen dumplings, Mrs. Traylors (I think is the name). They taste just like the handmade rolled dumplings my mom used to make from scratch, only not the mess or hassle. YUMMM!

  28. 28

    Flo — June 4, 2013 @ 12:41 am

    I also add 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 stick of butter before I add the dumplings in the stock. It makes it taste richer.

  29. 29

    Bridie — June 11, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! THIS is how MY family makes chicken and dumplings!! I always got so confused when I was younger and I would see what other people made huge puffy biscuity things. Apparently, this is a Southern thing and people in the West have no idea what chicken and dumplings are supposed to be like! Love it!

  30. 30

    Beth — June 11, 2013 @ 11:40 pm

    My mom makes these but we call it chicken and sliders. She uses only flour, some salt, and some of the chicken fat that is skimmed off the top of the broth (and some of the broth) to make her sliders. I love these flat, slightly chewy noodles, but my husband and kids are partial to fluffy dumplings.

  31. 31

    Betty ball — August 19, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

    Looks so good. My mother-law was known for her chicken n dumplings. She also added cream of chicken soup and hat boiled eggs. She never stirred her flat dumplings, but added one at a time. So good.

  32. 32

    peggy — September 14, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

    Thank you for this recipe! Just what I was looking for. I was raised with the fluffy pillow-type chewy dumplings which I love.. but I was looking for something different. I’ve started this today and will make the dumplings and throw them in the pot tomorrow for a quick cook- and walla! it will be ready. Thanks again!

  33. 33

    Heather — November 11, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

    I have tried so many recipes for dumplings. Some were mushy. Some tasted awful. You get the picture… This is the easiest and BEST recipe I have found!! Thank you very much! Already made them and they were eaten up so fast! Will make again and again. No modifications needed. Recipe was perfect the way it is!

  34. 34

    Elizabeth — November 20, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

    I have never made flat dumplings before so this is my first try, but i love the flavor of chicken and dumplings i grew up on the big fluffy balls and i just dont care for the consistency. So im trying these as i type this i have my chicken cooking. Hoping that it comes out good and that my “southern” husbands loves it

  35. 35

    Rose Richardson — December 9, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

    My Mom would make flat dumpling dough with boiling chicken broth instead of the milk. They were always tender and yummy. Ever hear of that method?

  36. 36

    Shelby — January 25, 2014 @ 4:28 pm

    Found you today! Finally a true southern “chicken and dumplings” recipe. No eggs in the dough- no veggies in the broth- so simple and so good. To make it even easier, try self- rising flour with warm water(2 to 1). Also, please try this method using country ham. Chop the ham, boil in water, add the dumplings.
    Just as good, maybe better! This ham version has been my “New Year’s Day” main dish for many years. Please try it and let me know.

  37. 37

    Mary — February 10, 2014 @ 1:02 am

    I stood by as my mother made the dumplings but usually ran away when she went to the hot stove. She is 96 in Deep Dementia and never wrote down her recipe either, but I think she put each strip in a large black skillet with broth and some of the grease until done. I am going to try it soon! I can hardly wait. It will take me back to Tennessee to my first home. I don’t remember any vegs either just as the others said. If you are going to eat rich and comforting, then don’t ruin it! Thanks for your ideas and I will also try letting the dough dry.

  38. 38

    Lauren — March 18, 2014 @ 4:19 pm

    I grew up on the fluffy, biscuit type dumplings. It was full of veggies but the consistency of the dumplings wasn’t my favorite. I used this recipe mainly for making the dumplings. I make my own chicken stock pretty often so all I had to do was thaw the stock, sautรฉ some awesome produce, roast some chicken, and stir in the dumplings. My husband was elated. I know it’s not “kosher” to put veggies in southern style chicken and dumplings, but it made us happy to have a whole meal in one pot. I even subbed some of the butter in the dumplings with a little chicken fat. Also, the slurry was a great tip. It helped me make an awesome gravy.

  39. 39

    Lauren — August 16, 2014 @ 7:17 pm

    Ok so I made this recipe and WOW! Was almost just like my aunts make in Mississippi! The only difference is, they make theirs with a pastry topping and I didn’t attempt that with this one. This was also my first attempt at making scratch made dumplings and I think mine were a little thick and un-uniform. But all in all, this recipe is fantastic – my bf loves it too! Thank you!!

  40. 40

    wendy collier — September 18, 2014 @ 3:54 pm

    Just to let y’all know I make this way all the time I put my own spin on thing but comes out every time I make a huge pot of it for me n my husband n I’ll be lucky if I get two bowls of it n yes it’s suppose to feed a family of 8 n my fam always asks me to make it so I must be doing something right

  41. 41

    Barbara Smith — May 13, 2015 @ 11:53 am

    Looking good! The women in my husband’s family have all had mad skills as cooks and this was the dish his Aunt Corinne was famous for. I would add only one suggestion, and this is true of almost all Southern soups, stews and such. Make it the day before and refrigerate it. Then warm it up to serve. That extra day to mellow the flavors is really worth the wait. In our family, we just announce that the chicken and dumplings (or chicken spaghetti or gumbo or etoufee or whatever) is now going into the fridge to “think about itself!” Everyone nods, knowing exactly what this means for dinner tomorrow!

  42. 42

    Janet — May 15, 2015 @ 2:53 am

    I am from central PA so this is what we call Potpie…but since I now live in Texas I call it chicken and dumplings so my friends know what I am talking about. Old family recipe for the dumplings…same as yours but instead of butter I use Crisco shortening and instead of milk, I use cold water…hence the name pot “pie” since the dumplings are like a pie crust dough! We add sliced potatoes to the broth along with the chicken and the dumplings. Top with fresh chopped parsley for the last 10 minutes. Yum.

  43. 43

    Evelyn — May 20, 2015 @ 4:58 am

    This is as close to my families dumplings as I’ve seen. But we put egg in the dumplin dough. This is one of my favorite foods.

  44. 44

    June — November 24, 2015 @ 9:59 pm

    This is great! I have made this recipe several times and it’s always s hit. I grew up in NC and both my grandmother and momma called this Chicken and Pastry.

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