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How To Make The Most Comforting Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings is like a hearty version of chicken noodle soup. It's comforting, it's delicious, and it feels like sinking into a perfect warm chair by the fire. It's everything your soul craves, and you're gonna be happy you made it.


1 whole chicken cooked in 2 quarts of chicken broth (Better than Bouillon)

Bay leaf

2 cups self rising flour

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 tbsp lard

1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp poultry seasoning, 1 tsp black pepper

Tons of black pepper for seasoning

For a more dumpling-y version, use this for the dumplings

3 cups self rising flour

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup lard

1 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp poultry seasoning, 1 tsp black pepper

I like my chicken and dumplings extra chicken-y, so I make the soup base by bringing 2 quarts of chicken stock to a simmer. Instead of using a carton stock, I really prefer Better Than Bouillon in situations like this. It’s what my parents always used and I think the end result is much richer. For 2 quarts of water, I’ll add about 1 tbsp and a half of BTB and bring it to a bare simmer. Add a couple of bay leaves Place your chicken into the simmering stock and cover the pot. This will need around an hour at least for the chicken to be cooked and tender

This whole hour can be pretty much unattended, so say goodbye until it’s time to check on the chicken. Depending on your pot shape, the chicken may be done after the hour, or it may need around 10 more minutes. Once it’s cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside to cool down. We’ll need this at a temperature cool enough to handle, and that can take a little time. This is the time I also like to skim out the bay leaves and any scum that has come out of the chicken.

While it cools, we can work on our biscuit dough. Now this is where people really get split on chicken and dumplings. Should the dumplings be thick and fluffy, or thin and more noodle like. I find the larger ones end up just being a little soggy, and too big to fit on the spoon. You can still get a beautiful fluffy delicious texture while still being small enough to fit on a spoon if you follow this recipe.

Start by measuring out 2 cups of self rising flour and combine that with 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp poultry seasoning. Add 2 tbsp of lard into the flour and mix that in with your hands until it’s been flaked in. To do that, I like to just squeeze the fat between my thumb and pointer finger so it’s broken down and will create a bunch of thin layers in the dough. Mix in 1/2 a cup of buttermilk and mix it until a rough dough has formed. Depending on your flour, you may need to add a splash more buttermilk. Place the rough dough on a floured surface and knead it until it’s come together nicely. Split the dough in half and then roll out one half to about 1/8 in thick. To help with the rolling, turn the dough 45 degrees as you roll. Slice the dough into pieces that are roughly 1 inch by 1/2 inch. Toss them in a little bit of flour so they don’t stick while we work on the other half. These rectangles are a real good size to fit on a spoon! Grab your other half and do the same until you’ve got a pile of delicious little dumplings just waiting to be plunged into our bath of chicken-y broth. This recipe makes a ratio that is about equal chicken and dumpling, but if you want more dumplings, you can easily use the recipe outlined above.

Bring your broth up to a rapid boil and the drop in your dumplings, being careful to make sure they don’t stick. As you drop in the cold dumplings, the temp will drop so keep an eye on it, we want to get it back up to a boil quickly. Once it’s back to boiling, back off down to a simmer and cook the dumplings for 10 minutes. While they cook, we can pull our chicken by hand. It’s pretty easy to pull the legs and thighs off, and then separate the meat from the bone and cartilage. It’s good to chop any larger pieces into a more manageable bite size, the chicken won’t fall apart much more than this. Once these go back into the pot, we won’t want to stir it much as to not break apart the dumplings. After 10 minutes, add in your chicken and season this with a ton of cracked pepper. Let this simmer for another 10 minutes so the chicken can get warmed through and the gravy can thicken. The flour from the dumplings will fall off into the broth to thicken it. Taste this one last time for salt and make sure to adjust as needed. Turn the heat off and let the pot sit covered for 10 to 15 minutes. This lets the soup come down to eating temp, and the texture gets to that nice creamy consistency.

Serve these beautiful little dumplings with a little more cracked pepper and some good tasting olive oil. Be sure to enjoy this in a comfy chair, and get ready for a delightfully comforting dinner.



Hey, I'm Cameron, and I'm glad you're here. I post new recipes every week, all intended to build your confidence in the kitchen, each one with video tutorials to help. Craving something specific? Drop me a note in my contact form! 

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