Delicious Homemade Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Dear readers,

I am beyond delighted to share with you my favorite southern-style recipe of all time – Chicken and Dumplings! This comforting dish has been a staple in my family for generations, and I know it will bring warmth to your home and hearts.

As the weather gets cooler, what better way to celebrate the fall season than with a warm bowl of chicken and dumplings? The recipe is easy to make, and I guarantee that its rich flavors and fluffy dumplings will leave you feeling satisfied.

Behind every great chicken and dumpling dish is an even greater broth that serves as its foundation. In this recipe, I utilize tried and true techniques that have remained unchanged for centuries. By simmering a whole chicken in water with aromatic vegetables, seasonings like fresh thyme, rosemary, peppercorn, bay leaf, celery, carrots, onions for hours until the meat falls off the bone, we create rich flavor bases; resulting in tender chicken.

By making a few simple additions such as shortening or buttermilk to the dough in addition to baking powder, baking soda, flour, and salt makes biscuits rise high above the poaching liquid until they are perfectly light n’ fluffy. Not only are they delicious but also hearty enough for meal-worthy proportions.

So grab your apron, put on some music, and let’s begin cooking! Your home will be filled with the aroma of southern goodness. Trust me; this old-fashioned southern-style chicken dumpling recipe will become a regular at your dinner table for many years to come after you try it out.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chicken and Dumplings, Southern Style
Chicken and Dumplings, Southern Style

Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you why you are going to absolutely fall in love with this southern-style Chicken and Dumplings recipe. Imagine tender chicken breasts slowly simmered in a rich and creamy broth with freshly chopped vegetables such as celery, onion, and carrots. Picture yourself taking a spoonful of the steaming hot soup and biting into one of the homemade fluffy dumplings that will leave you begging for more. Can you just taste it?

But what makes this recipe truly special is its old-fashioned Southern charm that transports you back to simpler times when hearty meals were made with love and care. The ingredients used in this recipe are basic, yet they come together to create a dish that is both comforting and delicious.

And if that’s not enough to get you excited, let me also mention that this Chicken and Dumplings recipe is incredibly easy to make. You don’t need any special skills or equipment; just a large Dutch oven and some simple ingredients like flour, shortening, buttermilk, baking soda, salt, rosemary, thyme, peppercorn, bay leaf, and fresh thyme.

So whether you’re in need of some comfort food on a chilly evening or want to impress your guests at your next dinner party, this Southern-style Chicken and Dumplings recipe is guaranteed to leave everyone wanting more.

Ingredient List

“Sink your fork into our southern-style Chicken and Dumplings”

Take a look at the recipe ingredients you will need to make this mouthwatering southern-style chicken and dumplings dish.

Key Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 1 whole chicken
  • 2 quarts plus 1 cup water
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 springs fresh rosemary
  • 3-4 springs fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper

For the Dumplings:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

With these recipe ingredients in hand, you can make the best traditional and easy southern-style chicken and dumplings that your whole family will love!

The Recipe How-To

“A hearty bowl of comfort food”

Dutch Oven – The All-Purpose Pot

Preparing Chicken Dumplings is truly all about comfort and you can’t talk comfort food without mentioning a trusty old friend, the Dutch oven. This cooking pot is versatile, sturdy, and perfect for making soups, roasts, stews, and other one-pot dishes. In this recipe, we will be using it to make our chicken dumplings. Once you’ve gathered all of your ingredients together, it’s time to start preparing this southern-style delicacy!

  1. Chicken Broth – Perfectly Homemade

The first step in making Southern Chicken Dumplings is to prepare the chicken broth. To make broth at home, take a whole chicken and remove its giblets. Wash the chicken thoroughly and place it in a bowl with diced onions, diced carrots, and sliced celery. Add enough water to cover the chicken (about 2 quarts) and bring it to a boil. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 2-3 hours until the chicken is fully cooked.

  1. Straining and Shredding – The Art of Separation

After you have boiled the chicken for 2-3 hours or until it’s fully cooked through, carefully remove the chicken from the pot using tongs or a slotted spoon. Be sure not to break apart the meat as you remove it from the bones. Discard any remaining solids from your pot’s contents in a strainer over a mixing bowl to strain out anything that may have found its way into the broth.

Once you have successfully removed every solid from your broth container, let it cool down for around half an hour then remove any excess fat that floated on top of the strained mixture using either a spoon or by chilling it in the refrigerator so that any excess grease can be easily skimmed away.

Next, shred the chicken using either your fingers or a fork, removing any bones in the process. Speaking of the chicken meat, remember that all chicken parts can be used for this recipe, although chicken breasts are ideal for shredding.

  1. Anything but Boring Dumplings – Different styles to choose from

Good-quality dumplings are one of the critical parts of this recipe. While there are many different ways to make dumplings like canned biscuits, biscuit dough, fluffy dumplings, rising flour, drop dumplings, barrel dumplings, and flat dumplings you can pick whichever style you’d like to use to make your dish perfect.

For this recipe, I suggest making our old style southern dumplings that are easy to prepare:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

  • Add 1/2 cup of shortening and mix until it forms small lumps throughout the mixture.

  • Incorporate 3/4 cup

Substitutions and Variations

“A taste of the south in every bite”

One of the pleasures of cooking is the ability to change and adjust a recipe according to our personal taste or dietary restrictions. With this Southern-style chicken and dumplings recipe, there are several substitutions and variations that can take the dish in different directions.

For those who want a shortcut in making the dumplings, canned biscuits can be used as a substitute for homemade biscuit dough. Similarly, some cooks prefer to use boneless chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken or chicken thighs. This modification will result in a leaner, less fatty version of chicken and dumplings.

To achieve really fluffy dumplings that almost appear to rise out of the pot, you can use self-rising flour instead of all-purpose flour. Alternatively, drop dumplings can be made by spooning the batter directly onto the surface of the simmering broth. This method creates a moist, tender dumpling with less structure than rolled or barrel dumplings.

Finally, for those looking to add bold flavor to their Southern-style chicken and dumplings, try seasoning it with additional herbs such as fresh rosemary or adding vegetables like sweet potatoes or kale to the pot. These changes will give your dish a unique twist while still staying true to its Southern roots. However you choose to customize your chicken and dumplings recipe, it’s sure to be a comforting and satisfying meal.

Serving and Pairing

“Mouthwatering morsels of chicken and dumplings”

Once your Southern-style chicken and dumplings are ready, it’s time to enjoy this delicious comfort food. The warm broth and tender chicken will warm you up on a chilly day, making it a perfect meal during autumn and winter seasons.

To serve, ladle some chicken, broth, and plenty of dumplings into a bowl. Garnish it with freshly chopped thyme for an aromatic touch. You can also top with some cracked black pepper for an extra kick.

As for pairing, Southern-style chicken and dumplings go well with a side of green beans or collard greens. Serve it with some cornbread or biscuits to soak up every drop of the flavorful broth.

For drinks, iced tea or lemonade is a perfect accompaniment to this hearty meal. For those opting for a little bit of indulgence, pair this dish with a glass of rich red wine like Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon.

No matter what your pairing preferences are, serving Southern-style chicken and dumplings is always a soulful and satisfying experience that will leave everyone at the table full and happy.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Homemade goodness in every spoonful”

As any seasoned cook can attest, having a dish that can be made in advance and stored for later use is a lifesaver. Southern-style chicken and dumplings is no exception, offering an easy-to-make meal that reheats like a dream. Here’s how to make this dish ahead of time, store it, and warm it up again when you’re ready to eat.

To make this dish ahead of time, prepare the entire recipe as instructed until it’s time to add the dumplings. After the chicken has been cooked and shredded, remove it from the pot and place it in an airtight container. Likewise, remove the liquid from your Dutch oven or pot and pour it into another container. When both components are at room temperature, cover them tightly and place them in the refrigerator for up to three days.

If you’re storing this dish for a longer period, try freezing it instead. Place your cooked chicken and dumplings into freezer-safe containers or resealable bags, then freeze for up to three months. For best results, ensure all excess air is removed from the bag or container before freezing.

When it’s time to reheat your chicken and dumplings, there are several options available. The easiest method involves transferring your refrigerated or frozen components back into a pot and heating them on low until they’re hot throughout. Alternatively, you can microwave individual servings in 30-second intervals until hot.

No matter which reheating method you choose, be sure to give your dumplings some extra love once they’re piping hot again. These tender bites of bread tend to soak up any excess liquid in the pot during storage and reheating. Fortunately, adding additional water or chicken broth will help restore them back to their original fluffy texture.

Overall, making this southern-style chicken and dumplings recipe ahead of time allows you to enjoy a delicious meal with minimal effort. So go ahead and cook up a big batch the next time you get the chance. Your taste buds will thank you for it!

Tips for Perfect Results

“Warm your soul with our chicken and dumplings recipe”

To ensure your chicken and dumplings turn out perfectly, I have compiled a few tips that will help you make the most of this classic Southern dish. With these pointers, you’ll have a hearty and comforting meal that’s sure to become a family favorite.

Firstly, when making your dumplings from scratch, make sure not to overwork the dough. Overmixing can result in tough and chewy dumplings rather than light and fluffy ones. So, when you add the wet ingredients to the dry, stir everything together just until it comes together in a shaggy mass. Resist the urge to keep stirring until the dough is completely smooth.

When shaping your dumplings, try using two spoons rather than your hands. This will help prevent the dough from getting too warm and sticky as you work with it. Scoop up a small amount of batter with one spoon and use the other spoon to push it off into the pot. Don’t worry if they don’t look perfect; rustic-looking dumplings are part of what makes this dish so comforting.

Next, make sure to season each component of the dish well. This means seasoning both your chicken broth and your vegetable mixture before adding the dumplings. Taste as you go and adjust each element accordingly. Additionally, don’t be shy with herbs like thyme and rosemary – these aromatic herbs add depth and flavor to the dish.

To ensure tender chicken in your chicken and dumplings, use bone-in chicken breasts instead of boneless ones. The bones will help keep the meat moist as it cooks in the broth, resulting in more flavorful chicken. Also, remove the skin before cooking since it’ll release too much fat into the broth.

Finally, resist the temptation to lift the lid on your pot too often while cooking your dumplings. Each time you open it, you let heat escape, which can increase your cooking time by up to 10 minutes. Trust the process and let the dumplings steam and cook without interruptions.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be sure to make a delicious pot of Southern-style chicken and dumplings that is sure to comfort anyone who tastes it.


As you prepare to create this southern-style Chicken and Dumplings recipe, you may have some questions that arise throughout the process. To help guide you through any uncertainties, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers. From ingredients to cooking times and how to make substitutions, our FAQ section has got you covered. So, let’s dive in and see if we can help put your mind at ease as you prepare this delicious dish!

What is the difference between Southern and northern chicken and dumplings?

There are two different types of dumplings commonly found in American cuisine. The first kind, which I refer to as southern dumplings, are made using shortening and are cooked by simmering them in a flavorful broth. The second type, which I will call northern dumplings for the sake of distinguishing them, use butter in their dough and are cooked by steaming them on top of the pot.

What are Southern dumplings made of?

In this recipe, we’ll be preparing a classic dish that is well-known in Southern and Midwestern regions of the United States. This flavorful dish goes by several names, including chicken and dumplings, chicken and pastry, chicken and sliders, and chicken and slicks. So, let’s get started and cook up some delicious chicken and dumplings!

What do they call chicken and dumplings in the South?

Different regions in the Southern United States use varying names for the same dish. For example, in Eastern North Carolina, the dish is known as “chicken and pastry,” whereas in other cities across the South, the dumplings in the dish are called “slicks” or “slickers.”

Is chicken and dumplings a Southern meal?

One of the most beloved Southern soups is chicken and dumplings. This comforting dish is made by cooking succulent chicken pieces and vegetables, such as onions and celery, in a flavorful broth. Soft, doughy dumplings are then added to the broth to complete this satisfying soup.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, chicken and dumplings, southern style is a dish that is filled with flavor, heart, and soul. By using fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary, a good quality chicken broth, and fluffy dumplings made from scratch, you can create a dish that brings comfort to the table. This recipe is versatile and easy to customize it to your taste buds. By adding more vegetables or switching up the herbs, you can make it uniquely yours.

In the end, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a bowl of old fashioned southern chicken and dumplings. It’s easy to make but has a taste that’ll leave everyone wanting more. Whether you’re in need of some comfort food or just looking for new flavors to explore, this recipe is sure to please! So go ahead and give it a try; we’re confident that you’ll fall in love with it just as we have.

Chicken and Dumplings, Southern Style

Chicken and Dumplings, Southern Style Recipe

A Southern Classic. Enough said.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 633.5 kcal


  • 1 (3 lb) chicken
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, quartered
  • 1 stalk celery, quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper


  • Place chicken in a heavy 5 quart stockpot with water to cover.
  • Add the onion, carrot, celery, bay, peppercorns, salt, thyme and rosemary.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Skim scum if needed.
  • Remove chicken and set aside to cool.
  • Remove meat and return bones to pot.
  • Simmer for 1 hour more.
  • Strain well and remove any fat you can.
  • Dumplings------------------.
  • Combine flour, soda, salt.
  • Cut in shortening until flour resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Add the stock, buttermilk and thyme.
  • Stir to make a stiff dough-and it will be stiff.
  • Turn out onto a floured board and knead gently 6 times.
  • Wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour.
  • Bring strained broth to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
  • Roll out the chilled dough to 1/8 inch thick, and cut into 4x1 inch pieces.
  • Drop them into simmering stock and stir gently.
  • Cook for 10 minutes, add the chicken and cook for 5 min more.
  • Season with salt and lots of pepper.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 531gCalories: 633.5kcalCarbohydrates: 40.6gProtein: 37.8gFat: 34.4gSaturated Fat: 9.6gCholesterol: 128.6mgSodium: 980.1mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 2.8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Chicken, Meat, Poultry, Stove Top, Weeknight
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