Chicken and Dumplings straight from a Southern gramma’s kitchen.
I have this friend. Although she’s not even 30 years old, she has three (almost four!) kids and a husband to feed. This is no problem for her because she is an amazing Southern cook. She grew up in the Mississippi Delta. Have you seen or read The Help?
Almost two years ago (wow, has it been that long?) she invited us over for some good ol’ Southern cooking. She served us this Chicken and Dumplings recipe along with a few southern sides. I really can’t remember the sides (although I do remember they were also delicious) because this dish blew me out of the water and stole the show.
Right then I knew I had to add this recipe to my new Southern collection (that is still pretty bare-bones). But, it took me until now to finally share it with you.
This is a slight adaptation from her grandmother’s recipe. I’m sure her grandmother boiled an entire chicken and made her own homemade stock. You can very easily do that, too, if you want! Since I boil chicken breasts at least once a month, I did use homemade stock and the shredded chicken in my recipe. You can use store-bought stock and a rotisserie chicken instead, but I highly recommend doing it all homemade. It is really very simple.
Let’s talk about the dumplings. A quick floury mixture rolled out flat and cut up into squares or rectangles or whatever you want, really. Maybe you want to take some cookie cutters and cut them into fun shapes for your kids? 🙂 Don’t let my photos deceive you. I’ll be honest and admit that I photographed the reheated leftovers the next day, so it doesn’t look quite as good. Then again, are chicken and dumplins’ ever pretty?
This is the real deal, friends. Good ol’ Southern comfort right in your bowl.
Southern Chicken and Dumplings
- 10 cups (80 ounces) chicken stock or broth
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
For the dumplings:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
For the thickener:
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
Bring the chicken stock to a rapid boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the lemon pepper, salt, basil, bay leaves, garlic powder and pepper; stir. (Make sure you season it to your tastes...the above measurements are to our liking but might not necessarily be yours.)
For the dumplings:
Prepare the dumplings dough while waiting for the stock to come to a boil above. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter and buttermilk until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface generously dusted with flour. Roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick, then cut into 2-inch squares or rectangles, or whatever shape you want. Drop dumplings into the boiling stock then allow to boil, while stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through.
Once the dumplings are cooked, add the 3 cups of shredded chicken and heat through while stirring. If the soup needs to be thickened, mix together the 1/4 cup buttermilk and 2 Tablespoons cornstarch in a small bowl. Slowly stir into the soup until desired consistency is reached.
Discard the bay leaves and serve immediately in bowls with a side of warm cornbread and southern greens!
Recipe Source: Little Morgan People
I recommend using homemade chicken stock and shredded chicken using these easy boiling instructions: Homemade Shredded Chicken and Broth. You can make the broth and shredded chicken the day before, just make sure to skim the fat off the top of the cooled broth before using.