Southern-style Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Hark! Listen here, kind folks! I bring to you a recipe so divine, so rich, and so hearty that it shall warm your bellies and comfort your souls. What could it be, you ask? It is none other than the famed Southern Chicken and Dumplings!

In this classic dish, you shall find a soup consisting of juicy chicken pieces and vegetables like onions and celery. But what truly sets it apart are the dumplings made from the soft dough balls simmered to perfection in the flavorful broth.

This easy Southern dumplings recipe calls for ingredients that you may very well already have on hand – chicken broth, self-rising flour, shortening, butter, celery ribs, carrots, onion and water. And with simple yet precise instructions that I’ll provide shortly, you’ll soon be a master of this beloved Old Fashioned Southern-style chicken dish.

So don’t delay any longer. Give these chicken dumplings a try and see for yourself why it’s an award-winning dish among my fellow chefs. Let us celebrate the majesty of Southern cuisine together with every slurp of this creamy and satisfying comfort food.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Chicken and Dumplings
Southern Chicken and Dumplings

Oh, dear reader, if you have a hankering for some old-fashioned Southern-style chicken and dumplings, I implore thee to read on. As a chef specializing in Southern cuisine, I have crafted a chicken and dumplings recipe that will make you think you’re dining in your very own grandma’s kitchen.

Firstly, let me tantalize thy taste buds with the thought of juicy chicken pieces cooked to perfection in a rich and savory broth made with none other than homemade chicken broth. This soup consisting of juicy chicken pieces and vegetables like onions, celery, and carrots will warm you from the inside out on even the coldest days.

But wait, there’s more! The dumplings–ah yes, the dumplings–made with self-rising flour and shortening result in soft dough balls that melt in your mouth as they meet your tongue. Each bite is a little piece of heaven.

Oh, and don’t forget about the creamy texture provided by the addition of cream of chicken soup. It’s simply divine!

For those looking to impress their dinner guests or win an award for their culinary prowess, this recipe offers just that. With only a few simple ingredients and easy steps, you can create a dish that leaves all those who taste it begging for the recipe.

So come one, come all and give this easy Southern-style chicken and dumplings recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

 Tender chicken and fluffy dumplings make the ultimate comfort food!
Tender chicken and fluffy dumplings make the ultimate comfort food!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this old-fashioned and easy southern-style chicken and dumplings recipe:

  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups of self-rising flour
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 3-4 chicken breasts or a whole chicken cut into pieces
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 cups of water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Note: You can use cream of chicken soup as a substitute for the homemade chicken broth if you’re short on time. Also, if you prefer flat dumplings instead of fluffy dumplings, substitute flour dumplings instead.

The Recipe How-To

 This hearty meal will warm your heart and fill your belly.
This hearty meal will warm your heart and fill your belly.

To begin, prepare your chicken. You can use a whole chicken or chicken breasts depending on your preference. I typically use 2-3 chicken breasts as it’s quicker to prepare, but a whole chicken will give you even better flavor. Either way, remove the skin from the chicken and roughly chop it into bite-sized pieces.

Next, make the dumplings by mixing together 2 cups of self-rising flour with 1/4 cup of shortening and 2/3 cup of water. Stir until the dough becomes soft and pliable, adding more flour if needed to create a smooth, non-sticky consistency. Roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut it into small squares or circles using a knife or biscuit cutter.

In a separate pot, saute the vegetables for your soup consisting of juicy chicken pieces and flavorful vegetables like onions, celery, and carrots in butter until they are soft but not browned.

Once the vegetables have softened, add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Then, gently drop in the dumplings one at a time using a spoonful method. Reduce heat to low and cover the pot with a lid. Slowly cook the dumplings for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

After that, add boiled chicken pieces, salt , black pepper to taste ensuring that everything is evenly mixed through. Cook everything for another 5 minutes, covered.

And there you have it – perfect homemade Southern Chicken and Dumplings ready to enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Make your own perfect batch of chicken and dumplings with this easy-to-follow recipe.
Make your own perfect batch of chicken and dumplings with this easy-to-follow recipe.

Hark! There be many substitutes and variations thou canst mix into this dish to add thy own flair of flavour. First off, if thou prefereth a lighter option, chicken breasts can replace the whole chicken for a more delicate taste.

Shouldst thou find thyself without self-rising flour on hand, twould be easy to substitute with all-purpose flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder per cup of flour. And fear not if shortening be not in thy larder, use but butter instead.

For those who dost enjoy a bit more of vegetables in their dumplings soup, add thy favorites such as green beans or peas as they will marry nicely with the onions and celery.

If thou art daring and feeling creative, consider adding mushrooms to the broth for an earthy flavour or swap out the classic dumpling shapes for noodles made from flour and eggs.

Finally, for the award-winning twist on this Southern staple, add cream of chicken soup to the broth along with thy dumplings. This will make a creamy dumpling dish that will bring cheer to any feast.

So fear not substitutions nor variations as they’ll make this dish unique every time it’s served.

Serving and Pairing

 Mmm, the aroma of slow-cooked chicken and dumplings wafting through the kitchen is just unbeatable.
Mmm, the aroma of slow-cooked chicken and dumplings wafting through the kitchen is just unbeatable.

Oh, the delightful moment has arrived! Now that we’ve concocted a magnificent pot of Southern Chicken and Dumplings, it’s time to savor every bite. This dish is so iconic on southern tables, it’s known to bring folks to tears of joy.

Most commonly served as a main course, it’s important to understand how to complement and enhance the flavors and textures of this dish with appropriate sides.

Personally, I find it fitting to serve my Southern Chicken and Dumplings with freshly baked cornbread or fluffy biscuits. It’s a match made in heaven, trust me! As far as other side dishes are concerned, steamed green beans or roasted carrots are wonderful options. Alternatively, turnip greens or collard greens cooked down with ham hocks can elevate your dining experience.

If you’re making this for a dinner party, keep in mind that this recipe serves six people. But I wouldn’t be surprised if your guests end up going back for seconds or thirds!

Pairing-wise, a crisp white wine or a cold beer like an IPA works very well with Southern Chicken and Dumplings. If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, lemonade or iced tea make great choices.

In any case, prepare yourself to savor a classic southern dish with robust and hearty flavors that will send your taste buds on a wild ride.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A generous serving of Southern-style chicken and dumplings is always a crowd-pleaser.
A generous serving of Southern-style chicken and dumplings is always a crowd-pleaser.

Hark! Let me impart some wisdom on how to make this bountiful Southern Chicken and Dumplings recipe ahead of time and store it with care. If you plan to make this dish a day or two before the feast, I advise removing the chicken from the soup to store in an airtight container in the fridge. Keep the dumplings separate as well, stored in a covered bowl at room temperature.

When preparing to reheat the dish, warm up the soup slowly over medium-low heat while stirring occasionally. You can add some extra chicken broth if you find it is too thick after reheating. Also, if needed, add more salt and pepper for added flavor.

If you prefer to freeze the dish, separate the soup and dumplings. Freeze them separately, both kept in their respective airtight containers. When ready to use them, thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat accordingly following my previous instructions.

Do keep in mind that while leftovers can still be tasty days later, it’s best not to keep cooked chicken longer than three to four days in your fridge. Always check for any signs of spoilage before consuming your leftovers.

With these sage tips, fear not when making great Southern Chicken and Dumplings ahead of time or storing any delicious leftovers!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This classic dish is perfect for any occasion, whether it's a cozy night in or a family gathering.
This classic dish is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a cozy night in or a family gathering.

When it comes to making chicken and dumplings, there are a few key elements that can make or break the dish. Here are my top tips for ensuring perfect results:

1. Use homemade chicken broth – The flavor of this soup comes from the broth, so don’t skimp on quality. Homemade chicken broth is easy to make and can be done in advance.

2. Use self-rising flour – This is crucial for making light and fluffy dumplings. If you don’t have self-rising flour, you can make your own by mixing 1 cup of all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.

3. Add the dumplings slowly – To prevent the dumplings sticking together, add them to the soup one at a time, gently pushing them down into the liquid with a fork or spoon.

4. Don’t overwork the dough – When making the dumplings, mix everything together until just combined. Overworking the dough will result in tough and chewy dumplings.

5. Season generously – Chicken and dumplings should be well-seasoned with salt and pepper, as well as any other herbs or spices that you like. Adjust the seasoning to your personal taste.

6. Let it simmer – Once everything is added to the pot, let it simmer gently for at least 30 minutes to allow all the flavors to meld together.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a classic Southern chicken and dumplings dish that’s sure to impress.


Hark! Yonder lies the questions asked by many a cook on this delectable Southern Chicken and Dumplings Recipe. Here are the answers to the most commonly asked queries so that thou may cook with confidence and aplomb.

What are Southern dumplings made of?

When it comes to southern-style cooking, one common dish that you may encounter is dumplings. Essentially, dumplings are made by combining flour, shortening, and a liquid such as water, milk, buttermilk, or chicken stock. The resulting dough can then be rolled out, formed into balls, or dropped into the dish it will ultimately accompany.

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

When it comes to dumplings, there are two common styles: southern and northern. Southern dumplings are typically made with shortening and are cooked by simmering them in the broth. On the other hand, northern dumplings, which are not necessarily exclusive to northern cuisine, are made with butter and cooked by steaming them on top of the pot.

What do they call chicken and dumplings in the South?

Different regions in the South have different names for a classic dish made with chicken and dumplings. For instance, people in Eastern North Carolina tend to call it “chicken and pastry,” whereas those in other Southern cities refer to the dumplings as “slicks” or “slickers.”

Are dumplings better with butter or shortening?

When it comes to making dumplings for my southern-style dishes, there are two options for the fat: shortening or butter. While shortening can make the dumplings slightly more tender, I personally prefer the flavor that butter adds to my dumplings. However, I must acknowledge that in my family, my Mama and Granny both used shortening for their dumplings. Ultimately, the choice of fat comes down to individual preference.

What is the best thickener for chicken and dumplings?

When creating a mouth-watering pot of chicken and dumplings, it’s essential to have the perfect texture. To achieve that thick and delicious consistency, I recommend using a mix of cool water and cornstarch. Simply combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1 cup of cool water and give it a thorough stir. Once the soup is heated to a good boiling point, add the cornstarch mixture and continue to stir until the soup reaches the desired thickness.

Is chicken and dumplings a Southern meal?

If you’re looking for a traditional Southern meal, give chicken and dumplings a try. This savory soup features tender chicken and a medley of veggies like onions and celery, all simmered together to produce a flavor-packed broth. To finish off the dish, soft dumpling dough is added and cooked in the broth until it’s tender and delicious.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Southern Chicken and Dumplings recipe is a sure winner for any occasion! This classic, old-fashioned southern dish is filled with juicy chicken pieces and vegetables like onion and celery, all wrapped up in soft dough balls. The rich, creamy chicken broth is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.

Whether preparing for a hearty family dinner or looking to impress friends at the weekend potluck, this easy recipe is guaranteed to please. With homemade dumplings made from self-rising flour, shortening, butter and more, it’s no wonder why our award-winning recipe ingredients make for a winning combination.

So go ahead and make this delicious dish – you won’t be sorry! And if you’re feeling brave enough, try adding your own personal spin on the classic recipe by using drop dumplings or flat dumplings instead of the traditional fluffy ones. Trust me when I tell you that the possibilities are endless when it comes to making this style chicken dumplings recipe your own.

In the end, it’s not just about following the instructions word-for-word – it’s about putting your heart into it and creating a true masterpiece with each and every bite. So gather up your ingredients, grab your pots and pans, and let’s get cooking! Who knows – with a little bit of practice, you just might become an expert in southern-style cuisine yourself.

Southern Chicken and Dumplings

Southern Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Fabulous Comfort Food, especially on these Cold nights!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 4 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 633.6 kcal


chicken and dumplings

  • 3 -4 lbs chicken, cut up
  • water, to cover chicken
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 2 carrots, chopped finely
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped finely
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper


  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup cooled chicken broth


  • Place the chicken into a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Simmer slowly until tender, about 2 ½ to 3 hours. Remove the chicken and debone, then chop into small strands. Set aside. Save ½ cup of chicken broth and let cool. With an immersion blender, puree all the vegetables until they are liquid form. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can strain and save the broth by separating the vegetables into a sieve or colander, then put the vegetables into a regular blender and puree. Put them and the broth back into the pot you cooked the chicken in.) Season the remaining broth with butter and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and cook the dumplings.
  • Dumplings:
  • In a mixing bowl, cut the shortening into the flour and stir in the cooled broth, cover and let stand about 30 minutes. Roll out as thin as possible on a floured pastry cloth. Cut into strips or small squares. Drop layers of dumplings into the boiling broth and let the broth boil over each layer before adding another layer. Do not stir. Cover and cook for 12 minutes. Carefully add chicken which has been deboned and chopped.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 271gCalories: 633.6kcalCarbohydrates: 35.2gProtein: 30.7gFat: 40.4gSaturated Fat: 13.8gCholesterol: 123.8mgSodium: 769.1mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 2.1g
Keyword Easy, Meat, Poultry
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