8/31/21

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings (Drop or Rolled)

An old-fashioned recipe for tender stewed chicken in a rich stock with soft dropped dumplings or use the same recipe for rolled and cut dumplings – whichever you prefer! 

I don’t lose many fights in the kitchen. It’s my domain. I rule there. I am the queen.

And I kinda rule like Cersei. We do it my way or I’ll burn everything to the ground. 

But I lost a recent battle. The Battle of the Dumplings. There was a mutiny. Or a boycott, depending on how you look at it.

My whole family. Every last stinking one of them prefers doughy drop dumplings over the rolled noodle-style dumplings I grew up eating and love most. I make them both ways because I know what they like but, ummm… I’M the one doing the cooking soooo… I make them the way I like too.

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings (Drop or Rolled) - An old-fashioned recipe for tender stewed chicken in a rich stock with soft dropped dumplings or use the same recipe for rolled and cut dumplings – whichever you prefer!

The last time I made Chicken & Dumplings I told them I was making them my way. Evidently they rallied their bannermen and united their kingdoms because I was officially informed (by the one who drew the short straw while the others hid in the living room) that they weren’t eating supper if I didn’t make drop dumplings. 

Dang it. I might be a powerful force of a woman - especially in my kitchen - but more than anything, I love to feed people. And I especially love to feed my family. And they know it too. The slick devils.

Well, I like drop dumplings too so FINE. 

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings (Drop or Rolled) - An old-fashioned recipe for tender stewed chicken in a rich stock with soft dropped dumplings or use the same recipe for rolled and cut dumplings – whichever you prefer!

I think we all like what we grew up with best. I literally didn’t know there was any other sort of dumplings than the kind Nanny made until I was grown and saw them in a magazine and was like: {snort} That ain’t chicken and dumplins!

I make both types of dumplings using the same recipe but Nanny actually made her rolled dumplings using flour and eggs. I’ve tried and tried to make them that way and the texture is never right so I either use this recipe or I use the stash of leftover biscuit trimmings I keep in the freezer.

You can use this very same recipe to make whichever type of dumplings you like best:

  • Drop Dumplings: scoop portions of dough with two teaspoons or use a cookie scoop (I used a 1” cookie scoop in the ones pictured here) then drop into gently boiling broth.
  • Rolled Dumplings: Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface then sprinkle with more flour. Roll into desired thickness (anticipate they will at least double in thickness when cooked). Cut into squares or rectangles (however your granny did it) then drop into gently boiling broth.
Homemade Chicken & Dumplings (Drop or Rolled) - An old-fashioned recipe for tender stewed chicken in a rich stock with soft dropped dumplings or use the same recipe for rolled and cut dumplings – whichever you prefer!

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS

1 - The secret to tender, flavorful chicken and delicious stock is to slowly bring everything to temperature and to never allow it to reach a full, rolling boil. You want it to cook low and slow the entire time. If time allows, the chicken and stock will be EVEN BETTER if you can cook the chicken from start to finish over low heat then allow everything to cool to room temperature in the pot after it’s cooked. TIP: Cook the chicken in the crock pot during the day (low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6) then finish everything on the stove for an easy weeknight meal. 

2 - Don't use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces can be substituted for the whole chicken in this recipe. If you simply must use boneless breasts anyway, omit the water and broth then use 8 cups chicken stock instead and add a stick of butter. Or consider adding 6 chicken legs or wings to flavor the stock.

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings (Drop or Rolled) - An old-fashioned recipe for tender stewed chicken in a rich stock with soft dropped dumplings or use the same recipe for rolled and cut dumplings – whichever you prefer!

3 - For thinner, more noodle-like dumplings (some folks call them “slicks”), make the dumplings before you start the rest of the recipe then let them dry out for several hours (all day is fine) and roll them very thin (obviously). It may take a little longer to cook them when the time comes and you’ll likely need to gently stir them a bit to keep them from sticking to each other.

4 - If you don’t love the idea of the finely chopped vegetables (or know your grandmama didn’t make it that way and want to keep it simple), feel free to just rough-chop a few carrots, stalks of celery, several cloves of garlic and an onion then throw them in the pot when the chicken cooks. That way your stock will still get all the flavor. If you decide to do it this way, still melt the butter then cook the flour for 5 minutes over medium heat. This just makes a little roux to thicken the stock a bit.  You’ll see a lot of recipes that call for a can of Cream of Something soup – this is the homemade equivalent to that.

5 - For an especially Southern spin on Chicken & Dumplings, add several sliced boiled eggs after adding the dumplings. My grandparent’s generation added boiled eggs to all sorts of dishes and I always loved it! I imagine it was a way to add protein to meals during lean times. 

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings (Drop or Rolled) - An old-fashioned recipe for tender stewed chicken in a rich stock with soft dropped dumplings or use the same recipe for rolled and cut dumplings – whichever you prefer!

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings (Drop or Rolled)

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings (Drop or Rolled)
Yield: 8 Servings
Author: Mandy Rivers | South Your Mouth
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 2 H & 30 MTotal time: 2 H & 45 M
An old-fashioned recipe for tender stewed chicken in a rich stock with soft dropped dumplings or use the same recipe for rolled and cut dumplings – whichever you prefer!

Ingredients

Chicken & Stock:
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup flour
Dumplings:
  • 1 1/8 cups milk*
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions

Cook Chicken & Prepare Stock:
  1. Add chicken, broth, water, salt, pepper, garlic powder and bay leaf to a wide stock pot or dutch oven. Cover then bring to a slow simmer over medium heat. Once broth is bubbling, reduce heat to low then cook, covered, for 2-3 hours, or until legs and thighs are pulling apart from the body and the chicken is very tender. See notes.
  2. Remove chicken from broth; set aside. Strain broth into a large bowl or pitcher, discarding bay leaf and loose bones or skin; set broth aside.
  3. Melt butter in the (now empty) pot then cook celery, carrots and onion over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add flour, stir well, then continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  4. Slowly stir reserved broth in with vegetables. Continue stirring until completely smooth. Reduce heat to low and cover.
  5. Remove skin and bones from chicken then shred or cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  6. Prepare dumplings.
  7. Heat pot with broth over medium-high heat until it starts to boil. Add chicken. Gently drop dumplings, one at a time, into gently boiling broth. Take care to drop dumplings away from other freshly dropped dumplings as they will stick to each other before they have a chance to cook.
  8. Once all of the dumplings are in the pot, sprinkle with additional pepper then cover pot. Reduce heat to low then allow to cook for 10 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through.
  9. Serve immediately.
Prepare the Dumplings:
  1. Place milk in a wide, shallow bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes to chill. This will help to separate the melted butter when we pour it in so that our dumplings are very much like actual biscuits without the fuss of actually making biscuits.
  2. Melt the butter then set aside.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and thyme in a mixing bowl then whisk to combine; set aside.
  4. Slowly drizzle melted butter into chilled milk, stirring with a fork until combined. The mixture should look like curdled milk or cottage cheese.
  5. Add milk mixture to flour mixture then stir with a spoon or rubber spatula until just combined.
  6. If making Drop Dumplings: scoop portions of dough with two teaspoons or use a cookie scoop (I use a 1” cookie scoop) then drop into gently boiling broth.
  7. If making Rolled Dumplings: turn dough out onto lightly floured surface then sprinkle with more flour. Roll into desired thickness (anticipate they will double in thickness when cooked). Cut into squares or rectangles (however your granny did it) then drop into gently boiling broth.

Notes

  • 1/8 cup of milk is 2 tablespoons.
  • You can absolutely cook the chicken faster than the directions but the secret to tender, flavorful chicken and delicious stock is to slowly bring everything to temperature and to never allow it to reach a full, rolling boil. If you have the time, the BEST way is to cook the chicken the entire time over low heat.
  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or thighs can be substituted but I don’t recommend boneless, skinless chicken. If you simply must use them anyway, omit the water and broth then use 8 cups chicken stock instead and add a stick of butter.
  • If you don’t love the idea of the finely chopped vegetables, feel free to just rough-chop a few carrots, stalks of celery and an onion then throw them in the pot when the chicken cooks. If you decide to do it this way, still cook the butter and flour for 5 minutes over medium heat. This just makes a little roux to thicken the stock a bit. You’ll see a lot of recipes that call for a can of Cream of Something soup – this is the homemade equivalent to that.
  • For an especially Southern spin on Chicken & Dumplings, add several sliced boiled eggs after adding the dumplings. 
  • Recipe updated from 2 to 4 cups water 8/13/22. The dumplings soak up so much of the liquid as they set, it's best to make sure you have enough.
chicken &, chicken and, dumplings, dumplins, drop, dropped, doughy, rolled, cut, noodle, slick, slicks, pastry, old fashioned, homemade, from scratch, easy, simple, best, how to, southern, boiled eggs
main dishes, dinner, potluck
southern, american
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10 comments:

  1. I made your delicious recipe of chicken and dumplings. I grew on up these as well. I watched my Gramma make these time and again through my life. She made the drop dumplings. I have always roasted my chicken first. It is an extra step but to me well worth it. The flavor you will get is unbelievable. I have never had this dish with the boiled eggs in it but I'm sure it was for the extra protein in your meal. Thank you for taking me back to my childhood and my Gramma's kitchen, where we cooked together for many years.

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    Replies
    1. No matter which type I make, it ALWAYS takes me back to Nanny's kitchen :)

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    2. Lord have mercy, I know I'm not been the perfect person, but still I pray God will protect me from no drop dumplings, I know I ain't been that bad. Has somebody told me play demanded drop dumplings, I would tell them quick they at the wrong house.

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    3. As I was reading through the comments, I couldn't help but notice one that made me say too myself, with a smile, is it kosher to add sliced boiled eggs to this dish? Like I said, I couldn't help but smile...😎

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  2. Chicken and dumpings are really soul food. I like the drop kind also, but its what I grew up eating. So there is truth to just wanting what we remember and/or have always had.

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  3. When I was a child, many, many years ago my mother made drop dumplings in water then she would heat milk in a separate pan and we added sugar and cinnamon to them... She always made the drop dumplings for her chicken soup and many times she would make extra and fry them in butter... On Saturdays she would clean the frig of any meat that was leftover and add it to sauerkraut and make drop dumplings to that...

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  4. I, as well as my 3 "children" (youngest 26), love dumpling noodles, while my husband (the odd man out) prefers drop dumplings. When the kids aren't around, I may concede to his taste and drop away...but only when it's just the two of us.
    As far as cooking the chicken and stock, low and slow is the only way to go. My Grandma taught me to to dump it all in a Dutch oven, bring it to a simmer on the stovetop and then pop it into a 350° oven for 2 to 3 hours. After that, the process was pretty much the same and ALWAYS made with dumpling noodles. In fact, showing their partiality towards noodles, my kids bought me a pasta attachment for my stand mixer for Christmas, because of my arthritis. It took them long enough...but hey,, it's the thought that's counts, right. Well, that and the fact that I can make huge batches of noodles they can [and do] steal. Lol

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  5. While making this yesterday I followed to a T, got all ingredients out got the chicken part done . Went to make dumplings and ingredient list baking power but directions say baking soda.?? I used power is that correct ??

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    Replies
    1. DANG IT! I do this all the time! Yes, it's baking powder. I'm so glad you asked so I know to edit the instructions.

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  6. My grandmother made chicken and dumplings when she knew my dad was coming, we lived an all day car ride away. She’d find a hen, butcher it and simmer. The best rolled dumplings ever! The eggs in the dumplings were what she found in the hen!

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Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy