Chicken and Dumplings are the soul-warming comfort food of the South. These homemade dumplings are smothered in luscious chicken broth and surrounded by tender chicken for the best winter meal!
You can easily make these Southern-style dumplings with chicken any time of the year but they are the epitome of comfort food for those fall and winter evenings. The dish is full of flavor and easy to make in big batches if you have people coming around for a meal.
How do you avoid scorched dumplings?
The longer you simmer the recipe, the more the dumplings will absorb but watch out because if you leave them for too long, they can stick to the bottom of the pan and scorch, which spoils the flavor.
The trick is to test the dumplings every 10 minutes or so. As soon as you are happy with how cooked they are, turn off the heat and put them to one side. If you pop a lid on the pan, it will stay warm for a few hours.
- Bone-in chicken breasts with skin
- Chicken broth
- Chicken base
- Celery, and keep the tops!
- Parsley, dried or fresh
- All-purpose flour
- Rendered chicken fat — you’ll get this from your chicken as we simmer!
Rotisserie chicken can be substituted for raw chicken. Remove the meat from the carcass before cooking and only simmer the bones, skin, and any accumulated liquid in the bottom of the package.
How to Make Chicken and Dumplings
- Add your chicken, broth, and chicken base to a large soup pot and add enough water to cover the chicken. Bring it to a boil and simmer for about 2 hours, skimming chicken fat off the top every so often and saving it for later.
- Strain the broth and return it to the pot. You can add more water if it’s too salty or more chicken base if it’s too weak.
- To make the dumplings, you want to have about 8 tablespoons of chicken fat. If not, add some melted butter. Add your fat to the milk and beaten eggs.
- Make a well in the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add your egg mixture and stir. While this dough should be sticky, add broth if it’s too dry and flour if it’s too wet.
- Sprinkle a little flour on your countertop before adding the dough. Roll the dough into a 1/4-inch thick sheet and cut your dumplings. I like to use a pizza cutter to make it easier to cut.
- Bring the broth back to a boil and add the dumplings one at a time. Add the chicken and boil for about 7 minutes, stirring regularly to keep them from burning.
- Return the lid to your pot, turn off the heat, and let the dumplings sit in the warm broth and steam for about an hour.
These dumplings are rolled flat like the ones from Cracker Barrel. This is probably the hardest part but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be making this recipe all the time.
How do you increase the amount of gravy?
If everyone in your house loves loads of gravy, you might want to increase the amount that is produced in the recipe. To do this, increase the amount of gravy or broth you add at the start because the dumplings do absorb a lot.
Can you reheat homemade dumplings?
Homemade dumplings definitely taste best the day you make them when you create them from scratch. But you can reheat them, they just won’t taste quite as silky as they did the first time around.
To reheat them, pop some water or chicken broth in the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and add the dumplings to the pan. Separate them from the chicken so everything heats through, a wooden spoon is ideal for this. Don’t worry if the dumplings fall apart, this is normal.
MORE SOUTHERN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE!
- Chocolate Gravy
- Southern Sweet Sun tea
- Fruit Cobbler
- Red Beans and Rice
- Creamy Butter Beans
- Homemade Cornbread
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Chicken and Dumplings
- 6 chicken breasts with bones and skin can substitute 1 or 2 whole chickens
- 12 cups chicken broth
- Chicken base to taste
- 6 stalks celery leafy parts too, cut into big pieces
- 1 large onion quartered
- ¼ to ½ cup dried parsley or one bunch of fresh parsley
- 8 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling out dumplings
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup rendered chicken fat or butter if your chicken does not produce much fat
- 1 cup milk
- 6 eggs beaten
- Put chicken breasts, chicken broth, chicken base, celery, onion, and dried parsley into a pot and add enough water to completely cover the chicken. Bring it to a boil, then turn it down and simmer for about 2 hours. Skim any fat off the top as it comes up and reserve for later. If using a cooked rotisseries chicken, remove bones and skin and add to the pot, but reserve meat for later.
- Strain the broth and return it to the pot. If it is too salty, add water. If it is too weak, you can simmer it down more or add more chicken base.
- If the chicken had little fat on the top, add about 1/2 stick of butter to the fat. You want about 8 tablespoons of fat and/or butter. Add milk and beaten eggs.
- Place 8 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, add the egg mixture, and stir. If it seems too dry, add some broth from the pan. If it seems too wet, add flour a little at a time. It should be a little sticky. Sprinkle countertop with flour, place dough on counter, and add a little extra flour on top. Roll dough to ¼-inch thickness. Cut dumplings.
- Bring the broth back to boil, drop in the dumplings one at a time so they don’t stick to each other. Boil together for 5 to 10 minutes and stir often so they don’t stick to the bottom and burn. Then, put a lid on them and turn the heat off. Let them sit for about an hour.