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Southern style chicken and dumplings are a comfort food in the South unlike any other. Chicken and Dumplings in the south are just as good as if not better than your favorite southern chicken noodle soup recipe. There is definitely a reason why chicken and dumplings are one of the best southern comfort food recipes to make at home.
Chicken and Dumplings are incredibly easy to make using just a few ingredients.
This chicken and dumpling recipe doesn’t use rotisserie chicken, cream of chicken soup, or canned biscuits.
What makes these chicken and dumplins so delicious is the fact that they are made from scratch.
The trick to incredible southern style chicken and dumplings are the delicious flat dumplings.
Southern Chicken and Dumplings use homemade flour dumplings that only take a couple ingredients to make. These flat flour dumplings are then cooked in a perfectly thickened chicken broth to make a bowl of the best comfort food.
Pair this recipe with homemade cornbread. One taste and you’ll see how cozy this recipe is especially in the cooler months.
What ingredients do you need to make Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings
Did you know you can make chicken and dumplings without canned biscuits? It is so easy to make this truly southern recipe from scratch using just a few ingredients.
Chicken Breast: in this recipe I use boneless, skinless chicken breast but you can use any kind of chicken that you prefer just make sure that all bones are removed.
Better than Boullion Roasted Chicken Flavoring, Chicken Broth, or Chicken Boullion: this is what gives this southern style chicken and dumplings recipe have so much flavor. I prefer to use Better than Boullion Roasted Chicken flavoring but you absolutely can use chicken broth or regular chicken boullion instead if that is what you have or prefer.
Cornstarch – this is what helps to thicken the broth to make delicious southern chicken and dumplings
Flour– regular all purpose flour is needed to make the homemade flour dumplings. Don’t worry, it isn’t as hard as you might think and you only need 2 ingredients: all purpose flour and chicken broth
Hard Boiled Eggs (optional) – now this is optional and might seem a bit strange but where I live we like to add hard boiled eggs to our chicken and dumplings. Not only does the hard boiled eggs add extra flavor but it also adds more protein
What can I use as a substitute in homemade chicken and dumplings?
Rotisserie Chicken / Bone-in Chicken: don’t have boneless skinless chicken breast on hand, no worries you can substitute bone-in chicken or you can make chicken and dumplings with rotisserie chicken. Chicken and dumplings is a great way to reuse any kind of leftover chicken. You can use as little or as much chicken as you would like just make sure that all bones are removed.
Chicken Broth, Better than Bouillon, or Chicken bouillon: if you don’t have any chicken flavoring to enhance the flavor of your chicken and dumplings then you can use water (see below for details).
Flour: while cornstarch is the preferred method of thickening chicken and dumplings you can use flour to thicken this recipe. Mix flour with cold water to make a “slurry” before whisking it into your chicken broth. One can also make a roux with butter and flour before adding chicken broth which will help to thicken your chicken broth as well.
How to make easy chicken and dumplings from scratch
Easy chicken and dumplins from scratch in just 3 steps! Making this southern comfort food is a lot easier than you think.
- Cook the Chicken: first we start by cooking the chicken in a flavored broth
- Make the Dumplings: the second step to homemade chicken and dumplings is making flour dumplings. With just flour and chicken broth you make a flour dumpling dough, roll it out to the desired thickness you prefer, cut into squares, and cook in the broth
- Thicken the Broth: make a slurry of cornstarch and water then whisk it into your chicken and dumplings to thicken it in a matter of minutes
How to store and reheat southern chicken and dumplings
Storage: this chicken and dumpling recipe can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Stovetop Reheating Instructions: when you want to reheat southern chicken and dumplings, put the desired amount of chicken and dumplings in a small sauce pot. Add a couple tablespoons of water to the cold dumplings. Warm on low-medium heat until hot. Transfer to a bowl and enjoy!
Microwave Reheating Instructions: to reheat southern style chicken and dumplings in the microwave, add the desired amount of chicken and dumplings into a microwave safe dish. Add a couple of tablespoons of water. Heat on High for several minutes. Mix. Heat again. Repeat this process of heating and stirring until the chicken and dumplings are heated all the way through. The addition of the water helps to loosen the thickened chicken broth.
How to thicken Chicken and Dumplings?
Cornstarch. Thickening up chicken and dumplings for a more creamy broth is very simple. In a small dish, combine 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of COLD water. Stir until cornstarch is completely dissolved in the cold water.
Cooking TIP! Do not use hot or warm water when trying to mix cornstarch with water. The water has to be cold in order for the cornstarch to dissolve properly. The warmth of the water will activate the cornstarch causing it to thicken making it very difficult to dissolve without lumps.
Stir the cornstarch mixture you just created into the chicken and dumplings as they are cooking on the stovetop. The heat and the cornstarch will react and cause your broth to thicken. Keep stirring as your broth thickens.
Can I use flour to thicken chicken and dumplings?
Yes and no. The answer to this question is a bit complicated. The flour that comes off of the homemade dumplings will naturally thicken the chicken broth a bit while it is cooking but it more than likely will not thicken it enough for the finished dish.
The easiest way to thicken the chicken broth to a gravy like consistency is using the cornstarch and water mixture mentioned above.
Can I use Water instead of Chicken Broth in this Homemade Chicken and Dumplings recipe?
Yes, you can use water but it won’t be as flavorful.
To add flavor, make sure you boil the chicken in the water with the addition of a couple of ribs of celery and a diced onion.
By boiling the chicken in water with celery and an onion you will make your own chicken broth. You can use this homemade chicken broth as the broth in chicken and dumplings as well as the flavoring for homemade flour dumplings.
Homemade chicken broth tastes better when made with bone-in chicken. Just make sure you remove all bones before making chicken and dumplings.
Also, don’t forget to season with salt and pepper.
How to make homemade flour dumplings
Homemade flour dumplings are so, incredibly easy to make. They only need 2 ingredients: flour and chicken broth (or water).
To make homemade flour dumplings all you have to do is mix the flour and chicken broth together to make a dough. Roll out to your desired thickness, cut, and cook in chicken broth.
The dumplings only take a few minutes to cook because they are homemade. When the dumplings begin to float they are cooked through and should have a good “chew” or bite to them. Of course, you can cook the dumplings for as long as you like if you prefer your dumplings to be more soft. The longer you cook homemade flour dumplings the more broth they will absorb.
Should homemade flour dumplings be dense or fluffy?
You might think that Cracker Barrel makes the best chicken and dumplings but I would say, “definitely not”. Their dumplings are like mushy blobs of goo when they should be a homemade, flat, flour dumpling with the perfect amount of bit and chew to them.
Authentic southern chicken and dumplings are not fluffy at all. They are supposed to be dense and chewy.
Some chicken and dumpling recipes use bisquick to make a biscuit like dumpling. This is not how we make dumplings in the south. Bisquick has levening agents in it that when they cook will cause them to swell. The resulting dumpling using bisquick will be fluffy and often times mushy in their consistency.
The dumpling dough recipe used to make homemade chicken and dumplings doesn’t use bisquick or any sort of levening agents to ensure you get perfectly flat dumplings every time.
The only ingredients needed to make homemade dumplings are flour and chicken stock or water.
Can I use Bisquick in chicken and dumplings?
No. This recipe does not use Bisquick. Instead use all purpose flour. Just plain flour is all that is needed to make homemade flour dumplings. The reason for this is because we don’t want our dumplings to be “fluffy” or biscuit like. Leavening agents like in Bisquick are for biscuits not dumplings.
How to make Stovetop Chicken and Dumplings without a Crockpot
- Better than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Flavoring – this is what is used in this recipe to add a boost of chicken flavor. If you don’t have this you can substitute regular chicken bouillon or chicken broth.
- KitchenAid Pasta Roller Attachment – I love my pasta roller attachment on my Kitchenaid mixer. It makes rolling out dough a lot easier. If you don’t have a pasta roller attachment then you can roll the flour dumpling dough out by hand to your desired thickness using any rolling pin.
- 8 Quart Stainless Steel Stock Pot – I use this stock pot several times a week for a lot of dishes that I cook. From homemade macaroni and cheese to chicken and dumplings, an 8 quart stainless steel pot is my favorite size of kitchen pot.
- Serving Ladle – old fashioned chicken and dumplings is like our version of a southern style chicken noodle soup. A ladle is the best way to serve this recipe because of the big dumplings and chunks of chicken. You can easily get the perfect ratio of dumplings, chicken, and broth when you serve this dish with a ladle.
Easy Southern Chicken and Dumplings Recipe
- 8 cups water
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 tbsp Better than Boullion Roasted Chicken Base (see notes1)
Homemade Flour Dumplings
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth (see notes2)
To Thicken Broth
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 cup COLD water
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 6 hard boiled eggs sliced
- In a large 8 quart stock pot on the stovetop, add 8 cups water, 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, and 2 tbsp Better than Boullion Roasted Chicken Base.
- Turn the heat to High and bring to a boil.
- While the chicken and broth are coming to a boil prepare your flour dumpling dough by combining 3 cups all purpose flour and 1 cup chicken broth in a small bowl until a dough ball is formed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until after chicken is done cooking.
- Once the chicken and broth has begun to boil, reduce the heat to low-medium and simmer for 15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Remove the chicken from the stockpot and place on a plate. Allow to cool for several minutes before shredded with two forks. Set aside.
- With the chicken removed, its now time to cook the dumplings in the same chicken broth that we cooked the chicken in. To do this first cut the flour dumpling dough into 4 equal pieces (I like to do this with a bench scraper but you can use a knife as well).
- Roll out one piece of flour dumpling dough until desired thickness, about 1/4 of an inch thick is recommended. I use a pasta roller attachment for my KitchenAid mixer on the first setting. However, this is not necessary at all. You can use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to the thickness you want your dumplings to be.
- Once you've rolled out one piece of flour dumpling dough, cut with a knife into 1 inch rectangles.
- Drop the cut dumplings into the chicken broth cooking on the stovetop on low-medium heat. Stir well to prevent sticking.
- Repeat the steps of rolling out the dumpling dough and cutting into 1 inch rectangles with the remaining pieces of flour dumpling dough. After you cut each piece of dumpling dough into 1 inch rectangle drop them into the cooking broth on the stove and stir.
- Once all of the dumplings have been rolled, cut, and dropped into the broth. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dumplings will begin to float as they are cooked.
- After cooking the dumplings, add the shredded chicken back into the chicken broth. Stir.
- In a small bowl combine 2 tbsp cornstarch and 1/4 cup COLD water until cornstarch is dissolved.
- Stir the cornstarch mixture into the chicken and dumplings. Stir until thickened.
- Add Salt and Pepper to taste. If desired, you can also stir in 6 hard boiled eggs that have been sliced.
- If you don’t have Better than Bouillon Chicken Flavoring then you can use regular granulated chicken bouillon. Use the recommended amount according to the package directions for the amount of water used which is 8 cups. Typically it is 1 tsp for every 1 cup of water. So for this recipe you would use 8 tsp for 8 cups. If you don’t want to use Bouillon then you can substitute 8 cups of chicken broth instead.
- If you don’t have chicken broth on hand, you can make your own using Better than Bouillon Chicken Flavoring or Regular Chicken Bouillon.
Side Dish Recipes to Serve with Chicken and Dumplings
Side dishes that pair perfectly with homemade chicken and dumplings.