Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings

There are two things that Southern cooks love- chicken and biscuits.  I'm going to use both of these favorites to make an extremely easy but delicious version of Southern style chicken and dumplings.

This is how my mom always made it growing up.  It's really easy and better than any that you can get in a restaurant or store.  The hardest part about this recipe is waiting while the chicken makes your house smell so good.

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Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings

This recipe is a family favorite. The recipe was passed on to my mom from my Grandmother.  She had seven kids, so time for cooking was short. This recipe uses minimal work to make a large meal.

It's also easy to put together.  These are by far the best Southern style chicken and dumplings out there.

​The chicken cooks up tender and makes its own broth, so the result is really rich and juicy.  The biscuits are a shortcut way to add dumplings to the recipe.

The only things that you need for this recipe are a whole chicken, a couple of cans of biscuits and some salt and pepper.  Oh, and a large pot.  I use my large soup pot when I make this.

When I say this recipe is the best, trust me.  Letting the chicken cook and make its own stock makes all of the difference. if you see a recipe that calls for boxed chicken stock, make your own. I promise you'll never buy chicken stock again. Just make sure you have a couple of hours to let the chicken cook all the way.

Preparing the Chicken

So, for the first step, take a thawed whole chicken and put it breast side down in the pot.  Cover the chicken with water and add salt and pepper.

You can adjust the amount of salt and pepper you use, but I usually start with about a half tablespoon of salt and a half tablespoon of pepper. Turn your stove one medium high and let it start boiling.

*Tip- if you put a wooden spoon on the top of your pot, it will help prevent the water from boiling out of the pot.  Since my pot was so full, I used two.

Let the chicken boil for about 45 minutes.  After about 45 minutes, it's ready to be flipped.  I use two wooden spoons to cradle it and roll it over.

​I've found this is the best way to flip it without spilling the juice out of the pot.  If the water isn't quite covering your chicken, you can add water.  I usually add water at least once to my chicken and add some extra salt and pepper when I do.

Let the chicken boil for another 45 minutes or so and flip it again.  Add more water again if you need to.

Now that the chicken is breast side down again, you can start watching it to see when it's done.  A whole chicken that is being boiled will begin to fall apart when it's done. You'll be able to easily pull a leg off of the chicken when it is done.

Once the chicken is done, you can pull the whole chicken (or all of the parts if it's really falling apart!) and put into a strainer or onto a plate or bowl to let it cool off.

Don't drain your leftover juice!

​This will become your base for the chicken and dumplings.  When I'm in a pinch, I put it into a strainer in the sink and run cool water over it while I'm pulling it apart so I don't burn my fingers.  If you aren't in a hurry, let it rest on a plate or in a bowl until its cool enough for you to touch.

Now, using your fingers, begin pulling the meat off of the bones.  Pull it into small bite sized pieces and put them into the chicken stock.  Do this with the entire chicken, making sure to get all of the white and dark meat into the chicken stock.

Bring the chicken and stock up to a rolling boil.  To make a runnier soup, add more water.  To have a thicker soup, don't add water.

Making the Dumplings

Once the stock is at a rolling boil, you can get out your canned biscuits.

Open the cans and start pinching off small pieces, (half to not quite one inch pieces) of biscuit dough and drop them into the stock. Once you drop the pinched pieces of biscuits into the stock, you'll see that they swell up.  The dumplings will almost double in size.

Continue doing this until you have put both cans of biscuits into the pot.

As you add biscuits, occasionally stir the pot to make sure each piece of biscuit gets into the hot water.  When all of the dumplings have been in the pot for a couple of minutes, you can turn the stove off. You're done!

​Let them cool off and fill up a big ol' bowl!  It's sure to be a family favorite, even for people who aren't fans of chicken and dumplings!

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What do you think about these Southern style chicken and dumplings? Let me know!

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Hey, I'm Shelby!

Founder of Garden. Farm. Thrive.

I'm a multigenerational homesteader, former high school and college agriculture teacher, and your guide for embracing a simpler, more traditional lifestyle. Come along as I teach you how to grow your best garden, raise chickens and other livestock, learn traditional skills and create the homesteading haven of your dreams.

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