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!
The South lives on Chicken and Dumplings year-round, and I grew up watching my Southern grandmother make this perfect comfort food.
My grandmother was famous for her chicken and dumplings — at least I always believed she was. Then I grew up and realized that everyone’s grandma, mom, aunt, sister, and cousin had a recipe.
Unfortunately, there was no recipe for these. My grandmother would just toss things into a bowl and whip them up. I’ve recreated this recipe over years and years of practice. I hope your family loves it as much as mine!
The first time I made these chicken and dumplings, they were moon rocks. They were a little flavorless too and the broth base needed help. I went back to the drawing board and tried again, and again, and again.
This recipe makes about 12 servings so feel free to cut the ingredients in half!
- Bone-in chicken breasts with skin — you can also use whole raw or rotisserie chickens
- 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!
These are not the soft fluffy biscuit-type dumplings. I have heard people call this chicken and dumplings version “chicken and sliders” and also “chicken and noodles” when made by others.
How to Make Southern Chicken and Dumplings
- First, 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.
- Next, 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.
- Time to make 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.
- Then, make a well in the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add your egg mixture (A) and stir (B). While this dough should be sticky, add broth if it’s too dry (C) and flour if it’s too wet.
- Let’s roll! Sprinkle a little flour on your countertop before adding the dough. Roll the dough into a 1/4-inch thick sheet (D and E) and cut your dumplings (F). I like to use a pizza cutter!
- Finally, bring the broth back to a boil and add the dumplings one at a time (G). Add the chicken and boil for about 7 minutes (H), 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. (I)
That’s it! Rolling the dumplings is the hardest part, but once you get the technique down you’ll be making these chicken and dumplings monthly in the winter!
Tips and Tricks
If you like a lot of gravy or broth with your chicken and dumplings, then you will want to increase the amounts used in this recipe. The dumplings will absorb a whole lot of liquid. The longer you allow these to simmer, the softer they will get.
I do need to warn you though, if you let them sit for too long with the heat even the slightest bit too hot, they will scorch and stick to the bottom of the pan. Scorched dumplings will affect the flavor of the entire pan, and not for the better.
Ask me how I know…
It is best to test a dumpling every 10 minutes or so. The second you are happy with them, turn off the heat and set them aside. Put a lid on it and they will stay warm for a few hours.
How to Reheat
This makes a lot, I never learned how to make this for anything less than a small army! Feel free to cut this recipe in half.
I think these taste the best the day they are made. Leftovers tend to fall apart when I try to reheat them. But, it is possible to reheat them! Just don’t expect the same silkiness.
To reheat leftovers, I find the best way is to put some water or chicken broth in a pan and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to simmer and put your dumplings in the pan.
It is best to gently separate the chicken and dumplings with a wooden spoon. Be very gentle with the whole thing until it is heated through. The dumplings absorbed more liquid as they cooled and are now more likely to fall apart. It will taste good, but they will not be as pretty as the first day.
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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.