Classic Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken and Dumplings is one of the South’s most comforting of all comfort foods. Well, in my world it is.
I spent years searching for that one perfect recipe that would satisfy my love for this Southern staple. My very dear friend Debbie shared this recipe with me years ago and I stopped looking. This recipe has the best chicken to dumpling ratio and the broth is just right; not too thick, not too thin.
When my son was little and would have a cold, he got chicken and dumplings rather than chicken soup. It’s believed that Chicken, which is especially rich in carnosine, helps reduce that stuffy head feeling. Eastern medicine has used celery seeds for thousands of years to treat ailments like bronchitis and the flu. So next time you’re feeling a little under the weather (or not), serve up a big bowl of comforting chicken and dumplings and let me know if you feel better.
Classic Southern Chicken and Dumplings can be made in a Slow Cooker, Instant Pot or on the stove top! #soulfoodrecipes #eatlocal
Classic Southern Chicken and Dumplings
- Pastry Cutter
Chicken and broth
- 2 large chicken breasts or 1 whole chicken, with bone and skin
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 ½ teaspoon celery seeds
- 32 oz chicken stock or broth
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- ½ cup cream or whole milk
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 4 cups AP flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 Tbs butter cold and cubed
- 1½ cups cream or whole milk
- In a large stock pot, cook chicken, onion, bay leaf , stock, and enough water to cover the chicken completely until the chicken is completely cooked and falls off the bone. (about 1 hour)
- Remove chicken and bay leaf from the pot, discard bay leaf, and set the chicken aside.
- Bring stock to the boil and reduce by half while the chicken is cooling.
- When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones, tear into bite-size pieces and return to the pot.
- Add soup, cream, celery seed, and salt & pepper.
Make the dumplings
- In a large bowl, mix flour and baking powder.
- Cut in butter until thorough incorporated and flour has a meal-like texture.
- Add milk and combine until dough forms.
- Roll out dough to ¼” thickness and cut into 1” squares.
- Liberally dust with flour and drop one and a time into the liquid.
- Cover tightly, reduce to a simmer and cook for at least 30 minutes without removing the lid.
History of Chicken and Dumplings from Scratch
In the 19th century, chicken and dumplings from scratch was considered an elegant dish that only finely-dressed ladies would create in their kitchens. Chicken and dumplings were very time consuming to make, because chicken was a very expensive item. Small chicken farms were on the rise, but chicken still had to be processed before putting it in chicken and dumplings from scratch. Chicken was first boiled or roasted until the chicken meat was falling off the bone. Then chicken was discarded of all flesh. The chicken carcass would then be put into a pot with water and chicken broth and boiled for a couple of hours. This created chicken stock, which was the base in chicken and dumplings from scratch. The chicken carcass could then be discarded or used as chicken soup to make chicken and dumplings from scratch. In order to stretch chicken farther, vegetables were added including onion, parsley or spinach. Chicken and dumplings from scratch was often served at the end of meal.