Grandma’s Southern-Style Chicken n’ Dumplings

Fall is upon us, and Old Man Winter is just around the corner. I don’t know about you, but I tend to “hunker down” during this season of the year. I want fires in the fireplace, a warm home, and good old comfort food, like a big pot of my Grandma’s Southern-Style Chicken n’ Dumplings! Yum!Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings/ The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I used to wonder about the use of the word “dumplings” in the name, since a lot of people make biscuit-like dumplings (and these look more like noodles), but if my beloved  Southern Grandma called them “dumplings”, well then “dumplings” they will be!

My Grandma, who lived in East Texas before she passed away, used to make this wonderful soup for us when we would visit on family vacations. My mom also made Grandma’s recipe for our family, then I began making this same recipe for my family many, many years ago. Our grown sons love this soup, as well, and I can’t even begin to count how many times they have eaten this meal. Our oldest son, who is now 33 years old, still requests this as part of his birthday celebration, which amazes me to this day! It is REALLY simple, absolutely delicious, comforting and filling, and is very inexpensive to make… which is probably why I’ve been making this meal for so long!

I start with a whole chicken. That’s the main ingredient in this soup, and I only use half the meat from the chicken, so I get another entire other meal out of the rest. That, to me, is a win-win.  Any time I can spend about $5 on a chicken and get two meals (plus leftovers) out of the deal is a good thing! I am sharing lots of pics for this recipe, but don’t let that scare you. This is simple, people! Here’s what ya do:

Place a whole thawed chicken (that is rinsed and cavity cleared) into a large stockpot. Cover with water. (If you want you can add 1/2 cup each of chopped onion, celery, and carrots to help flavor the broth, but it really is not necessary). Bring the water to boiling and cook the chicken for 1 hour.

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!When done, remove the chicken to a large bowl to cool down.

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Pour the broth through a sieve to strain out any veggies, particles, etc. Pour broth back into stockpot. I discard the veggies I flavored the broth with, but if you want to leave them in, go for it!

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!When chicken has cooled, remove the skin.

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!The chicken will be so tender the legs and thighs will easily tear off. I like to put a flexible cutting board on a baking sheet with edges, to help catch any liquid run-off.

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Cut or pull off all the meat from the chicken, and place into a large bowl. The chicken should be cut into bite sized pieces. I usually end up with between 4-5 cups of shredded chicken.

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!I like to use about 2 -2 1/2 cups of chicken for this recipe. You can use all of the chicken if you want, but I prefer to put the rest of the chicken into a freezer bag and into my freezer, so I have cooked chicken ready for another meal (like quesadillas, enchiladas, casseroles, etc.), as well!

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Add 2 to 2 1/2 cups of shredded chicken back into the pot of chicken broth.

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!I add two large cubes of chicken bouillon to the hot broth to add additional flavor.

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Heat the broth back up on medium high heat. While it is coming to a boil, I make the dumplings. I know a lot of people make big puffy biscuit-like “dumplings”, but this is how my Grandma made them (Southern-style), and that is why they look like large noodles. I start by blending flour, salt, and shortening together using a pastry cutter, cutting it in until the shortening is the size of small peas. Easy!

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Hot water and more flour is added and mixture is firmed up into a large dough ball. Let dough rest for about 10 minutes, then shape into 3 equal sized portions.

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!The dough is rolled out on a flour covered surface, one dough ball at a time, until it is thinly rolled out, and is about the size of a pie crust.

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Use a pizza cutter (or a very sharp knife) to cut the dough into long strips about an inch wide. Repeat the entire rolling/cutting process with the other two dough balls, adding additional flour to cutting board before rolling each one.

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Once the broth is boiling, carefully drop the “dumplings” a few at a time into the boiling broth, continuing until all dumplings are in the pot.

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Add a small amount of butter, as well as salt and pepper to the soup to help season it. Taste the broth, then add additional salt and/or pepper to suit your taste.

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Mix a couple spoonfuls of flour with some cold water (blend it well with a fork), and add it to the soup. This will help to thicken up the broth.

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Cook the Chicken n’ Dumplings until broth has thickened a bit, and is very hot. When ready to serve, ladle the soup into individual serving bowls, and serve with a big piece of crusty french bread on the side. That’s it! This is so yummy… and is “comfort food” at its best! Not only that, but the leftovers are amazing!

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sure hope you will give this soup a try. Nothing better than having a big pot of delicious soup available to slurp on during the cold Fall and Winter seasons! Enjoy!

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: My Grandma B.

Grandma's Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Southern-Style Chicken n' Dumplings... a filling soup, just the way my Grandma used to make it!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
To Cook Chicken And Make Broth:
  • 1 whole chicken, thawed and cleaned (remove and discard giblets from cavity)
  • ½ cup carrots, celery, and onion (OPTIONAL-to flavor the chicken broth)
  • Water to completely cover chicken in a large stockpot.
To Make The Dumplings:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • ½ cup HOT water
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
To finish soup:
  • Two large chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup water mixed with 2 Tablespoons flour
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste (approx. 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper)
Directions
  1. Put the chicken and the veggies (if using) in a large stockpot. Cover completely with water. Bring to a quick boil, then continue cooking chicken for one hour. When done, remove chicken to large bowl to cool. Strain broth to remove leftover veggies or other particles. Return broth to stockpot.
  2. Once chicken is cool, remove skin, then cut chicken into bite sized pieces. (At this point I divide the chicken pieces in half, and freeze half for use in another meal).
  3. Add chicken pieces (approx. 2½ cups) back into chicken broth. Heat the chicken and broth back up to boiling. Add bouillon cubes, salt and pepper (to taste).
  4. While chicken is coming to a boil, make the dumplings. In a large bowl, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the shortening and salt into the cup of flour, until shortening is the size of small peas. Add ½ cup HOT water and ½ cup, plus 2 Tablespoons of flour to the mixture. Stir and work the mixture until a soft dough ball forms (firm enough to roll out). Divide dough into 3 equal sized balls, then let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Generously flour a work surface. Roll each dough ball out (one at a time), sprinkling with flour (if necessary) to keep dough from sticking to work surface. Roll out to about the size of a large pie crust (roll out thin). Cut dough into strips about an inch wide using a pizza cutter or knife. Repeat process for remaining dough balls.
  6. Drop dumplings a couple at a time into hot boiling chicken/broth mixture until all have been added to pot; add butter, and continue cooking.
  7. Make a slurry by mixing ¼ cup water with 2 large Tablespoons flour. Stir well to combine, then add to soup pot, and stir well. (this helps to thicken broth a bit).
  8. Cook an additional 10 minutes on high to fully cook dumplings.
  9. Taste test broth, and add additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  10. Ladle hot soup into bowls, serve, and enjoy (especially with crusty french bread on the side!)
Notes
If you are pressed for time, you can always start with store bought chicken broth (cook the chicken in water/drain, THEN use broth in pot), and can also use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken to get the chicken from, BUT I prefer to make it the way I have posted it, as it is far less expensive... but, hey... whatever works, right?

 

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47 Comments on Grandma’s Southern-Style Chicken n’ Dumplings

  1. Sheri
    March 26, 2017 at 7:26 PM (4 months ago)

    Finally! Someone who makes chicken ‘n’ dumplings almost exactly the same way my Mama makes them back home in Mobile, Alabama! This is my all-time favorite comfort food, and I request this dish every time I visit home.

    Reply
    • jb
      March 27, 2017 at 8:28 AM (4 months ago)

      Thanks, Sheri! We love them… as a matter of fact, I just made a huge pot of them last week during a “cold and rainy” couple of days here in Oregon. Yum! Thanks for taking time to write! Have a fantastic day.

      Reply
    • Linda Tindell
      April 8, 2017 at 10:46 AM (3 months ago)

      My grandmother used to make this. She added a quart of milk to the pot before adding the dumplings. As noted below, if you add extra flour to the pie dough, it will thicken the broth perfectly. A total favorite! I showed my friends how to make it and the husband is the one who does it, used to be three times a week! I’d be big as a barn! But it’s the ultimate comfort food.

      Reply
      • jb
        April 8, 2017 at 3:09 PM (3 months ago)

        Thanks for taking the time to write, Linda! You are definitely right about this being comfort food! Have a fantastic weekend.

        Reply
    • Stephanie McClain
      July 6, 2017 at 4:34 PM (2 weeks ago)

      Will these plump up? Or stay thin? I love the plump dumplings

      Reply
      • jb
        July 8, 2017 at 10:03 AM (2 weeks ago)

        Hi, Stephanie! These do not puff up like a fluffy biscuit type dumpling. But they are wonderfully delicious! Thanks for taking time to write!

        Reply
  2. Kristen
    November 6, 2016 at 4:31 AM (9 months ago)

    If you are using store bought broth (and rotisserie chicken) how much broth would you need?

    Reply
    • jb
      November 6, 2016 at 6:41 AM (9 months ago)

      Good morning, Kristen. I have never used store-bought broth to make this recipe, but I can tell you this. The dutch oven that I use to make this is a 6 Quart size. The broth that I use from cooking the chicken, (if measured out) would be approximately 4 quarts or so. Going with at least 4 quarts of broth would be a safe bet for the amount of dumplings the recipe makes. Then, depending on the size pot you are using, you can always add a bit more broth, if desired. Thanks for taking the time to write. Have a great day!

      Reply
  3. Teri Beardsley
    October 26, 2016 at 12:27 AM (9 months ago)

    This is my husband’s favorite recipe. I know it is not the same as homemade, but if in a hurry, Walmart sells a frozen brand of dumplings that are actually very good. Of course, I like the homemade, but just a little tip if pressed for time.

    Reply
    • jb
      October 26, 2016 at 8:33 AM (9 months ago)

      Thanks for the tip, Teri! I always enjoy making the homemade dumplings, but there are others out there that will find the tip time-saving! Thanks for taking time to write… and have a fantastic day!

      Reply
  4. Wendy
    October 18, 2016 at 7:37 AM (9 months ago)

    This is the first recipe I’ve seen that is virtually identical to the way my mother used to make chicken pot pie. Hers was strips of dough just like yours that had no leavening and no eggs. It wasn’t cut into squares and they were dropped into the boiling broth to cook. The broth was made the same way you make yours. The only thing different was that she didn’t put the meat back in with the noodles. It was served separately. We call it Pennsylvania dutch-style pot pie. I grew up on it. I can even eat it cold out of the refrigerator. She also sprinkled flour over her strips of dough before letting them sit and rest before putting them in the broth. That extra flour helped thicken the broth without having to add a slurry like you do although if it didn’t thicken up she could. She didn’t add bouillon cubes, either. Genuine old school.

    Reply
    • jb
      October 18, 2016 at 7:53 AM (9 months ago)

      Good morning, Wendy! Isn’t it amazing how many “names” this recipe goes by? I love all the regional ways this is prepared! Thanks for writing… and hope you have a fantastic day!

      Reply
  5. Emma
    October 5, 2016 at 10:37 AM (10 months ago)

    I randomly happened along this post, and I’m so glad I did! Thank you so much for posting this, and for sharing such a special and delicious family recipe! It’s almost identical to the one my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother always used and passed down, and it brought back so many good memories of growing up in the backwoods of North Carolina. Like a lot of things, in my family, every recipe was passed down first-hand by teaching, and no one ever bothered to actually write-down our family recipes. You’ve inspired me to collect our own family recipes like this one and put them together. Maybe I’ll even pass out copies to everyone for Christmas!

    Reply
    • jb
      October 5, 2016 at 11:51 AM (10 months ago)

      What a wonderful comment, Emma! I think your idea of collecting and putting together family recipes is an absolutely fantastic idea! What a great Christmas gift to give to those you love… a real gift from the heart – the best kind! Thank you so much for taking time to write… your kind words made my day! Blessings, Love, JB

      Reply
    • Dotty
      December 6, 2016 at 7:56 AM (8 months ago)

      This is just like the way my Grandmother would make, instead of hot water to make the dumplings, she used the hot broth. Makes me want to make a batch right now.

      Reply
      • jb
        December 6, 2016 at 12:58 PM (8 months ago)

        Hope you find the time to make a big pot of soup, Dotty! It’s in the 30’s in the Portland area right now, so a big bowl of these sure do sound good! Have a great day!

        Reply
  6. Stormy Cox
    September 13, 2016 at 12:34 PM (10 months ago)

    So excited to see this recipe! Being from east Texas it’s hard to find how to make the dumplings my grandmothers made. Dropped biscuits seem to be what most use now. I don’t like them a bit. So thank you for posting.

    Reply
    • jb
      September 13, 2016 at 4:05 PM (10 months ago)

      Gotta love our grandmothers and their good ol’ dumpling recipes, right, Stormy?!!! Hope you find the recipe to your liking! Thank you for taking time to write! Have a great evening.

      Reply
  7. Theresa
    September 4, 2016 at 3:24 PM (11 months ago)

    Recipe was great. Goes to the make again column.

    Reply
    • jb
      September 5, 2016 at 9:18 AM (11 months ago)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Theresa! Thanks for taking the time to tell me… I appreciate that. Have a fantastic day!

      Reply
  8. Suzanne
    September 2, 2016 at 9:07 AM (11 months ago)

    This is similar to what my Grampa used to make…he called it Chicken Popeye. I’m not sure where it started in our family. We don’t use shortening in the noodles, just eggs, flour, and a little bit of water. We flour up the cutting board and the rolling pin and that extra dusting of flour is what thickens up our broth. We cut the dough into decent size squares and we don’t add butter, just pepper and seasoning salt. We serve it over mashed potatoes. Carb overload…but talk about comfort food! Perfect for rainy days, but we only make it 1-2 times per year. I put my own little touch on it by adding parsley flakes.

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      September 2, 2016 at 9:08 AM (11 months ago)

      And, the leftovers freeze great!!

      Reply
    • jb
      September 2, 2016 at 10:29 AM (11 months ago)

      Love the name “Chicken Popeye”! Don’t you just love those hand me down recipes from our relatives? If my Grandma were still alive today, she would be amazed at the numbers of people who have given her recipe a peek! Have a great day, Suzanne… and thank you so much for taking the time to write!

      Reply
  9. Karen Balsz
    May 15, 2016 at 6:01 PM (1 year ago)

    I’ve made chicken & dumplings or noodles for years. I love it & my family does too, but after finding this recipe for the homemade noodles southern style I actually have a new recipe that I will use from now on !! I love the “dumplings” or as I would call them noodles. It’s fast & so delicious !! So happy to have found this great soup !! (I leave the celery, & carrots in the soup)

    Reply
    • jb
      May 15, 2016 at 6:27 PM (1 year ago)

      Thank you for your kind note, Karen! I’m glad you might have a use for the recipe… my Grandma, if she was still living, would be thrilled to know so many people are seeing this recipe! Have a fantastic evening.

      Reply
      • Carole
        August 16, 2016 at 1:51 PM (11 months ago)

        I live in pa. We call this chicken potpie. Love

        Reply
        • jb
          August 16, 2016 at 4:18 PM (11 months ago)

          Hi, Carole! Thanks for writing! Whatever this meal is called around the country… it sure is GOOD, right?! Have a great evening!

          Reply
  10. LuGlena Moore
    May 14, 2016 at 4:35 PM (1 year ago)

    This is the recipe my mom always used for dumplings & I have always done so. I make them in advance, rolled out & cut on a cooie sheet; place cookie sheet in freezer; when frozen, place dumplings in a ziplocki bag. Keeps in the freezer for several weeks. Drop them in the stock still frozen. Can have dumplings at a moments notice! I often use a store-bought rotisserie chicken. I bone the chicken (and often freeze it in advance) and boil the skin and bones in the stock. GREAT flavoring!

    Reply
    • jb
      May 14, 2016 at 5:31 PM (1 year ago)

      What a fantastic tip, LuGlena! I do the same thing for homemade pasta, but have never tried freezing the dumplings for this soup. Thanks so much for the tip… I just may have to try it on the next go around! Have a fantastic rest of your weekend, and thank you for taking the time to write!

      Reply
  11. Cayla
    April 3, 2016 at 6:26 PM (1 year ago)

    I have never made chicken n dumplings nor have I ever eaten them. I made them tonight and they were great. My husband,brother, and 7 year old all went back for seconds. Me too! I will be making these again.

    Reply
    • jb
      April 4, 2016 at 10:22 AM (1 year ago)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Cayla! They’re a family favorite around our home! Have a fantastic day, and thanks for taking time out to write!

      Reply
  12. Brandi Edmonds
    March 22, 2016 at 6:05 PM (1 year ago)

    Omg I love CND! I am currently looking for a better recipe than what I came up with on my own and this looks and sounds perfect! I have always had mine served with side collard greens and black eyed peas!!

    Reply
    • jb
      March 22, 2016 at 6:20 PM (1 year ago)

      I’m glad you found this one, Brandi! Hope you have a chance to try making them… and really hope you love ’em like our family does! Thanks for taking time to write!

      Reply
  13. msSally
    March 6, 2016 at 1:42 PM (1 year ago)

    If you use hot broth to make the dumplings in place of the water you won’t need to add the shortening since some chicken fat is already in the broth. I also really helps to flavor the dumplings.

    Reply
    • jb
      March 6, 2016 at 5:37 PM (1 year ago)

      Sounds like an interesting tip, Sally! Never have heard of that technique before. Thanks for posting!

      Reply
      • Missv
        March 20, 2016 at 12:42 PM (1 year ago)

        This recipe is exactly how my Mom and Auntie makes it…they also use the broth from the chicken instead of water make the dumplings.

        Reply
        • jb
          March 21, 2016 at 8:15 AM (1 year ago)

          Thanks for taking the time to write… next time I make these, I might have to give this tip a try! Have a great day.

          Reply
  14. Cassandra
    February 16, 2016 at 11:34 AM (1 year ago)

    I made this recipe last night and it’s amazing. It’s the exact recipe my great Aunt Martha passed down through our family. She was a Tennessee gal and was the best cook! I couldn’t get the family recipe in time for dinner last night so I searched all over the Internet for something that looked similar to make for my sick fiance. I’m glad I found this and I’m also glad there are other folks that prefer this style of dumplings ♡ Oh and I’m almost 30 and I still request this for dinner when I visit my mother in Texas!

    Reply
    • jb
      February 16, 2016 at 11:54 AM (1 year ago)

      Thanks for your note, Cassandra! I think we are so blessed to have recipes that have been handed down through the years by our family members. Their recipes hold such a special place in our memories. Hope your fiance is feeling better today. Have a wonderful day, and thank you for taking the time to write!

      Reply
  15. Jen
    January 24, 2016 at 4:49 PM (1 year ago)

    I ended up making this recipe tonight. I genuinely enjoyed this meal. My son is a very picky eater and he ate 2 bowls. This recipe is a keeper in our house. Thank you so much again for sharing!!!!

    Reply
    • jb
      January 25, 2016 at 5:00 AM (1 year ago)

      I am thrilled you enjoyed them! The recipe is one of my “keepers”, also. Thank you for taking the time to let me know. Have a great day.

      Reply
  16. Jennifer
    January 24, 2016 at 4:27 PM (1 year ago)

    I’m a northern girl living in the south who really hasn’t had much experience with chicken and dumplings. I had them at Cracker Barrel a few weeks ago and have been craving them ever since!. I made this recipe tonight and it was AMAZING! I took the easy way out and used a Publix rotisserie chicken, but WOW! Thank you!

    Reply
    • jb
      January 25, 2016 at 5:03 AM (1 year ago)

      Thanks for letting me know you tried the recipe, Jennifer! Hey, there’s never anything wrong with taking the easy way out and using a good rotisserie chicken, right? I’m so glad you enjoyed the Chicken and Dumplings! Have a great day!

      Reply
  17. Debbie
    January 22, 2016 at 9:44 PM (1 year ago)

    I can’t wait to try this soup! Thank you for sharinng with us.

    Reply
    • jb
      January 23, 2016 at 9:02 AM (1 year ago)

      You’re very welcome, Debbie! I truly hope you will enjoy it. Have a fantastic weekend!

      Reply
  18. Jen
    January 15, 2016 at 1:54 PM (2 years ago)

    This looks absolutely amazing! I will be making it tomorrow. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • jb
      January 15, 2016 at 2:08 PM (2 years ago)

      Thank you, Jen. I hope you enjoy making (and eating) them. Thank you for taking the time to write. Have a fantastic day!

      Reply

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