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Old Fashion Chicken and Dumplings

Old Fashion Chicken and Dumplings are the best southern chicken and dumplings recipe that you’ll find anywhere. Hearty, creamy, loaded with chicken and that taste from Grandma’s, you just can’t go wrong

old fashion chicken and dumplings on table

These Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings tick all the boxes with their creamy goodness and taste like they are straight out of my grandmas southern kitchen.

I would give anything to sit at her table again and enjoy a meal. I know you would too, but that’s the glory of food. Food is memory and this one is such a good one!

Here’s What You’ll Need

You actually don’t need much and I make a small shortcut by using Bisquick, but you’ll never know the difference.

  • Chicken – Any cut you prefer. I think using a whole chicken and then picking it from the bone tastes best BUT to save time, you can always use rotisserie chicken or boneless skinless cuts of chicken,
  • Bisquick – I mean, you could mix all the ingredients and still end up with something that is similar to bisquick. This way, it’s already done for you.
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Butter

Here’s How You Do It

  • Gently Simmer the Chicken with seasonings until done.
  • Roll out the dough made from the bisquick and milk.
  • Cut the dough into dumplings and add to the lightly boiling stockpot
  • Cook until the dumplings are done.
  • Add the cream and more seasonings as needed.
  • Serve hot!
old fashion chicken and dumplings and white plate
Chicken and dumplins!

Special Equipment Needed

You really don’t need any special equipment at all to make these like grandmas chicken and dumplings but a nonstick mat for rolling out the dough is helpful (unless you have formica countertops like my grandma had, then those work great).

I have this marble board that I use (see picture below). I’m assuming that granite countertops or any smooth counter top will do fine (just clean it very good and allow it to dry before starting).

If you click this photo you can go through to Amazon to compare prices. It is an Amazon affiliate link and I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a commission if you purchase through this link (so, thank you very much! All proceeds are used in support of this website

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

How Long Does Chicken and Dumplings Last

They will last covered in the fridge for up to 5 days

Can I Freeze Chicken and Dumplings?

No, the noodles tend to fall apart when frozen and then the whole thing is just mush.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Southern Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

  • You’ll get the best flavor if you start with a whole chicken or at least bone in chicken. However, this takes more time and you can use a rotisserie chicken if you are pressed for time.
  • You’ll want to gently simmer the chicken so that it doesn’t become “over done” and then make sure to remove the celery and onions before making the entire dish.
  • Allow the chicken to cool until you can easily handle it. Chicken often stays hot in the center long after it has cooled on the surface.
  • Roll the dumplings out very thin, they puff when you put them in the pot.
  • You want the stock pot at a good firm boil before adding the dumplings because they change the temp of the stock so quickly. As you add the dumplings, carefully hold a space open for them to drop down into the pot using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. The dumplings are super delicate.
  • When cutting the dumplings, I find it easiest to use a butter knife and hold it upside down. I learned that trick from my grandma!
  • Keep your surface coated well with flour or bisquick so the noodles don’t stick to the surface. If some extra flour falls into your stock, that’s fine, it will thicken the stock.

Substitutions

  • Chicken – You can use whole chicken (just cook and pick from bone, remove any skin), bone in pieces (treat the same as whole chicken), boneless skinless chicken or even rotisserie chicken (it will have less flavor but be so much faster, it’s your choice, of course).
  • Bisquick – you can make your own mix of bisquick (6 C flour, 3 Tbs baking powder, 1 Tbs salt, 1 C shortening) or if you want to make chicken and dumplings with flour, simply follow that formula and mix well.
  • Milk – You can use a milk substitute but often the results won’t be as creamy. I use whole milk and lesser percentages are ok but again, results will be less creamy.
  • Cream – You can use milk or evaporated milk, but the results will be less creamy.
  • Butter – butter substitute works fine.
  • Onion/Celery – you can use onion powder and celery seed instead for flavor 1 Tbs onion powder, 2 tsp celery seed.

Watch Me Make These Chicken and Dumplings (in a pressure cooker)

Can You Give Me a Hand

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old fashion chicken and dumplins with fresh parsley sprinkled on top

Old Fashion Chicken and Dumplings

This recipe for Old Fashion Chicken and Dumplings will take your right back to your grandmother’s table at least 40 years ago. Simple and delicious.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Main dish
Keyword: chicken and dumplings, old fashion chicken and dumplings
Prep Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 437kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 small chicken or 8 pieces of chicken white or dark meat according to taste (see substutions for other)
  • 3 stalks of celery – large chop
  • 2 medium onions – large chop
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 ¼ cup Bisquick for making the dumplings
  • 2/3 Cup Whole Milk for making the dumplings
  • ½ Cup Whole Milk for adding to the liquid at the end of cooking
  • ½ Cup Heavy Cream for adding to the liquid at the end of cooking
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter
  • Parsley – minced

Instructions

  • Place chicken in a 6-8 quart stock pot and fill with enough water to fill within 3 inches of the top of the stock pot.
  • Add Celery, onion, bay leaves, salt and pepper to the water.
  • Place on stove top on medium-high and bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Simmer until chicken meat is falling off of the bone. Add water during cooking if water level decreases below half of the stock pot
  • Once meat is fully cooked and falling off of the bone, Using a large slotted spoon or tongs, remove all of the chicken, celery and onion from the stock pot to a platter (keep all of the water in the stock pot) and allow chicken to cool until it is cool enough to touch. Remove all of the meat from the bones. Shred into bite sized pieces. Discard the bones and skin and any large chunks of onion and celery. Remove the bay leaves and discard.
  • Replace the chicken meat back into the stock pot and set burner temperature on medium. Add garlic to the water.
  • As the chicken and stock reheat, mix the bisquick and 2/3 Cup milk in a large bowl. Dough will be sticky. Once mixed, turn out onto a heavily floured board and knead (adding more bisquick as needed) until the dough feels slightly rubbery and is no longer sticky. Flour the top of the dough ball and roll out into a large thin (1/8 inch thick) circle. Dough should be about 1/8” thick.
  • Using a butter knife (turned upside down), cut dough into long strips that are 2 inch wide noodles. Do not let the noodles stick together. Do not worry if there is a lot of extra flour on the noodles – this will only serve to thicken the liquid – which is delicious!
  • When the chicken stock has reached a full boil, begin adding the noodles one at a time into the boiling stock. The noodles will puff up and float to the surface and may cover the entire surface. Using a wooden spoon, gently push noodles to the side so that you can add more noodles into the space created. Add noodles quickly until all noodles are added. Do Not stir the pot as the noodles will break into small mushy pieces. You CAN use your wooden spoon to gently move them around the pan so that they all see some bubbling action in the pot.
  • Allow noodles to cook by floating at the top of the boiling stock for several minutes (about 5 minutes) until done. Using a wooden spoon, gently spoon hot broth over the tops of the floating noodles to help them to cook. You will know that they are ready when most of them begin to sink.
  • The noodles are done when they begin to sink into the broth – gently stir with a wooden spoon. You might want to get one out and test it for doneness (that is what I do). When noodles are done, reduce heat to a slow simmer and add 1/2 Cup milk, cream and butter to the stock pot. Salt and Pepper to taste. Allow the entire pot to simmer for at least 5 minutes after adding the milk and cream. This takes the "milk" taste out of the completed dish. When heated through, serve and garnish with fresh minced parsley.

Notes

  • Knead the dumplings until they feel stretchy. Don’t worry about having too much flour on your board, it just makes the broth thicker. 
  • Add the milk at the end and make sure that it simmers for 5-10 minutes before serving.  This extra simmering scalds the milk and keeps it from tasting so milky. 
  • Of course, if you are partial to white meat, you can use just chicken breasts, but the whole chicken (bones and all) adds a lot of flavor to the broth, PLUS, it is less expensive for an entire chicken. 
  • If you prefer to substitute your favorite biscuit recipe for bisquick and milk, be my guest.  
  • Some people prefer carrots and celery in the soup and if that’s you, that is fine. 
  • You can try to monkey with the ingredients to make this less calories, less carbs, less whatever your diet is looking for but please remember that you are also changing the recipe and it won’t taste the same.  Frankly, chicken and dumplings was never meant to be a diet dish of any kind, just enjoy a bowl in moderation and then go outside and enjoy the fresh air.  Take a long walk.  
      • You’ll get the best flavor if you start with a whole chicken or at least bone in chicken. However, this takes more time and you can use a rotisserie chicken if you are pressed for time.
      • You’ll want to gently simmer the chicken so that it doesn’t become “over done” and then make sure to remove the celery and onions before making the entire dish.
      • Allow the chicken to cool until you can easily handle it. Chicken often stays hot in the center long after it has cooled on the surface.
      • Roll the dumplings out very thin, they puff when you put them in the pot.
      • You want the stock pot at a good firm boil before adding the dumplings because they change the temp of the stock so quickly. As you add the dumplings, carefully hold a space open for them to drop down into the pot using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. The dumplings are super delicate.
      • When cutting the dumplings, I find it easiest to use a butter knife and hold it upside down. I learned that trick from my grandma!
      • Keep your surface coated well with flour or bisquick so the noodles don’t stick to the surface. If some extra flour falls into your stock, that’s fine, it will thicken the stock.
SUBSTITUTIONS
  • Chicken – You can use whole chicken (just cook and pick from bone, remove any skin), bone in pieces (treat the same as whole chicken), boneless skinless chicken or even rotisserie chicken (it will have less flavor but be so much faster, it’s your choice, of course).
  • Bisquick – you can make your own mix of bisquick (6 C flour, 3 Tbs baking powder, 1 Tbs salt, 1 C shortening) or if you want to make chicken and dumplings with flour, simply follow that formula and mix well.
  • Milk – You can use a milk substitute but often the results won’t be as creamy. I use whole milk and lesser percentages are ok but again, results will be less creamy.
  • Cream – You can use milk or evaporated milk, but the results will be less creamy.
  • Butter – butter substitute works fine.
  • Onion/Celery – you can use onion powder and celery seed instead for flavor 1 Tbs onion powder, 2 tsp celery seed.
 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Old Fashion Chicken and Dumplings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 437 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 93mg31%
Sodium 1110mg46%
Potassium 388mg11%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 484IU10%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 140mg14%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

This Article first appeared on the pages of Loaves and Dishes on December 5, 2014 and has been updated with “Here’s What You’ll Need”, “Here’s How You Do It”, Tips and Tricks, FAQ’s, Special Equipment, Substitutions, “Watch Me Make It”, Updated info in the recipe card including nutrition facts, notes, substitutions, equipment and instructions and less story in the body of the article about how the recipe originated.

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with Thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. 1Timothy 4: 4-5

Wendi is the writer, CEO and dishwasher at Loaves and Dishes! When not in the kitchen or behind the computer, you can find Wendi serving on International Food Conference Boards, Speaking at various conferences, Leading and Cooking for the local Arts Council's "Taste of Stokes" events or donating home cooked goodies to various local non profits such as the Danbury Songwriters and Stokes Partnership for Children. Wendi is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree and serves on her town's board of councilmen.

Recipe Rating




Eva

Monday 8th of November 2021

My mother made this often in the winter. Chicken was cheap then. It was a delicious way to feed a large family. Now, I make it often in the winter. In fact, I just made a potful last week even though it's now just my husband and myself. It's still a delicious dinner on a cold night.

Wendi Spraker

Monday 8th of November 2021

Thanks Eva, I made it last week too. It makes a nice gift for neighbors or friends who are sick. I invited a friend over for dinner and then enjoyed the leftovers for a day or two. Thanks for your comment!

Dumplin'

Tuesday 17th of December 2019

This recipe is a little confusing...it calls for 1/2 cup milk + 2/3 cup milk, but does not specify which quantity goes in the dumplings and which quantity goes into the stew. Would you mind clarifying please? Thanks :)

Wendi Spraker

Tuesday 17th of December 2019

There you go. All done.

Wendi Spraker

Tuesday 17th of December 2019

Sure! Sorry this is confusing to you. I'll go in and edit the recipe right now. I just made these the other day so everything is very fresh on my mind. I hope you enjoy!

Danielle

Tuesday 28th of May 2019

Great recipe. My mother-in-law always bought Anne's Dumpling Strips in freezer section of supermarket. She would boil her chicken then add her veggies and Anne's strips, one at a time. Reminds me of Cracker Barrel's recipe for Chicken and Dumplings. Then she would always remove the chicken and through it back into the oven with seasonings and let it cook a little longer before removing all of the meat to enhance the flavor of the stock.

Danielle

Tuesday 28th of May 2019

Then to thicken the stock she would add 2 tbsps. of Bisquick into the broth and stir until she got the thickness she was waiting for.

Eileen Hightower

Saturday 15th of December 2018

This blog is one of the best I have seen in the recipe category. I love the writing and the recipes. Keep'em coming!

Wendi Spraker

Saturday 15th of December 2018

Eileen! You must have just known what I needed to hear today. Thank you so much! Bless you and Merry Christmas!

Moxie

Friday 2nd of February 2018

The Best!

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