Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings H

When I was growing up, one of my very favorite things that my mother would cook, was her amazing hearty, homey, comforting Chicken and Dumplings. My mother was from the South and I have to tell you… she had this one down. Her chicken broth was always homemade using a whole chicken that she cut up herself in a second flat…and her dumplings… well… her dumplings were absolutely to-die-for. Like none other. First of all, they were huge. Not some tiny square wannabes that appeared from time to time on your spoon. The ones she made were 2-3 inch rectangles that were bursting out of the bowl, beckoning you to come and sink your teeth into them. Not only were they incredibly flavorful… they were thick and dense and had a slight gooey-chew kind of thing goin’ on that literally made you swoon when you bit into them. What a treat it was when she made this dish! Every birthday that came around, I’d request it as my birthday meal… it didn’t matter that my birthday happened to fall in August in the sweltering heat of summer. I wanted it. She made it. And it tasted perfect to me.

I have to admit to this not being my mother’s written recipe, which believe it or not I can’t find, but one that I have adapted and made for years now because the end result is exact in taste and texture, as my mother’s. It’s simply heavenly. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


Sprinkle each serving with freshly ground black pepper…



Chicken and Dumplings

1 (2 1/2-lb.) whole chicken, cut up

2 1/2 tsp. salt, divided

3/4 tsp. black pepper, divided

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules

3 cups self-rising flour

1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning

1/3 cup shortening

2 tsp. bacon drippings

1 cup milk

Freshly ground black pepper

Cover chicken with water, and bring to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and next 3 ingredients; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Remove fat from broth; bring to a simmer.

Skin, bone, and tear chicken into fairly large bite-size pieces. Add chicken, bouillon, remaining 1 tsp. salt, adn remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper to broth. Return to simmer.

Combine flour and poultry seasoning in a bowl. Cut in shortening and bacon drippings with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add milk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness; cut into 2-3 inch pieces.

Bring broth mixture to a boil. Drop dumplings, a few at a time, into boiling broth, stirring gently. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring gently and often, for 25 minutes. Top each serving with freshly ground black pepper.

(adapted from Southern Living)

18 thoughts on “Chicken and Dumplings

  1. This must be the season for dumplings. I made ricotta & spinach dumplings (gnocci) and froze half the batch. Yesterday, I made Won Ton (dumplings) with chicken. I made a dipping sauce and then I made a chicken broth. Tonight I will have the Won Tons with the chicken broth (even though it may reach 90 degrees today!) Power to the dumplings! Don’t you hate it when you can’t find your mother’s recipes? My mother made a cheesecake to die for and I’ve never been able to find the recipe although I must have 10 cheesecake recipes at least!

  2. I tried this for dinner tonight- I’ve never made dumplings before! Only pot pies, and things like that. It turned out pretty good– I added some Mukimake for color, next time I’ll try good ol carrots? I ended up with wayyy too many dumplings for my pot, and had to pitch about 1/3 of my dough. I think I needed some more liquid in my pot??

    1. I’m so glad you tried it – thanks for letting me know! If you’re adding mukimame or other ingredients to the broth, yes, just make sure to use a big enough pot so that you can add more water initially with the chicken to make the broth. I hate that you had to throw some of the dumpling dough out, as they’re really meant to be the star or “heart” of this dish. But next time….! 🙂

  3. That looks amazing! I’ve never had that before, so I’ll have to give it a try.. I love comfort food! My favorite comfort food that my mom used to make was chicken pot pie, and I love that I’m able to carry on the “tradition” 😉

    1. Oooh… I love homemade chicken pot pie. That’s a comfort food of the finest! If you like that, you’ll love this as well. I’d be interested to see what you think if you make it! 🙂

      1. I will let you know how it turns out 😉 I will probably have to do some alterations to the recipe though, not because it doesn’t look amazing the way it is, but because we don’t have all the ingredients in Norway even though they are the most common thing ever in the US, such as shortening, self-rising flour etc. But after many years of relying on my American cookbooks, I have come up with good substitutions. So I’m sure your recipe will turn out great 🙂

  4. It’s been ages since I’ve enjoyed a good bowl of chicken and dumplings. Yours looks so very good, comfort in a bowl I’m pinning this for future reference. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    1. Thanks so much! Comfort in a bowl exactly. 🙂 My son and I were debating the other day if he had spring allergies or a cold and all we ended up agreeing upon was that he’d need chicken and dumplings to soothe his symptoms! Apparently it did the trick. 🙂

  5. I pinned this recipe… I’ll have to try it on my hubby & kiddos. My mother-in-law used to make the best chicken & dumplings (according to them–I’m a vegetarian). Looks good & not too difficult! 🙂 Thank you for sharing it.

    1. Oh good… thanks for pinning! Yes, I hope you give it a try. It really is so easy to make and the small effort is definitely worth it! Maybe it will bring back comforting memories for your husband as well. 🙂

  6. We share something in common….my mom cooked amazing chicken and dumplings too! I could not have written about it as you did. I love them too and have never even tried to make it. I never acquired my mom’s recipe either. So, maybe I can use this one! It looks so good!

    1. Oh that’s great! Yes, you really should give this a try. It’s a fabulous recipe and if you had it growing up, a very comforting and delicious result! 🙂

  7. I love chicken and dumplings, and I think the addition of bacon fat is just the right touch. The dumplings look substantial and that is just the way I like them!

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