How to Make Homemade Chicken and Dumplings from Scratch
Chicken and Dumplings Like Grandma Used to Make
One of my favorite childhood meals growing up was chicken and dumplings--I loved that dish so much, I wouldn't even eat sides or bread with it at dinnertime. I needed all the room in my stomach for dumplings!
It was also a meal my granny used to make for me--boiling the chicken, making the dumpling dough and slicing it into uniform pieces, and then simmering it for what seemed like hours to a hungry little girl.
Now that I'm an adult, I often make them for myself--though they'll never taste the same as my granny's, I think they come pretty close.
Read on for how to make traditional chicken and dumplings--the old-fashioned way.
The Joy of Chicken and Dumplings
In addition to being a hearty, comforting dish, chicken and dumplings is also very inexpensive to eat and can last for several meals--which is perfect for someone on a budget or someone with a busy family life, who can't spend hours a night in the kitchen.
The ingredients list is simple, and you probably already have everything you need in your cabinet--also making it a perfect meal for when you don't have time to get to the store.
Chicken and Dumplings Ingredients
- 3 cups flour, (plus extra for rolling the dough)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk, (extra as needed)
- 32 ounces chicken broth
- 1 heaping spoonful chicken buillion
- 2 cups shredded chicken
Chicken and Dumplings Instructions
- Pour the chicken broth into a large pot, then add water until the pot is around 2/3 full. Set your burner to "high" so that the broth begins to boil.
- While you are waiting for the broth to boil, you will mix the dumpling ingredients. Add three cups of flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a large mixing bowl; stir well.
- Add the egg (you can use an egg substitute product here, just follow the measurement instructions on the side of the carton) and the milk; stir. The dough should be slightly sticky when all of the ingredients are combined; if it's too dry, add more milk.
- Sprinkle flour on either the counter surface or a length of wax paper; then separate the dough into two halves.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out one half of the dough until it's roughly 1/4 of an inch thick (if the dough is sticking to your rolling pin, sprinkle flour on top of the dough).
- Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut the dough into uniform strips.
- Once the broth is boiling, drop in a heaping spoonful of buillion.
- Next, drop in the dumplings one by one.
- Roll out and slice the second half of the dough; drop it into the broth.
- Simmer the mixture for about 30 minutes; add the shredded chicken and cook for fifteen minutes more.
- Serve and enjoy!
- IMPORTANT TIP: When you first put the dumplings in, they will rise to the surface of the broth and appear to stick together. DO NOT stir them--they will fall apart! Instead, take a slotted spoon and gently tap them until the broth covers them; they will separate on their own as they cook. Very stubborn dumplings that refuse to separate can be gently separated with a fork about 25 minutes into the cooking time.
The Finished Product!
Additional Instructions and Tips for Chicken and Dumplings
While this is a very easy dish, there is still room for error! Keep in mind the following tips and information:
- Though the broth looks thin at first, the flour on the dumplings will thicken it--so don't add additional flour! Otherwise, you will be left with a gloopy mess.
- If you're feeling very ambitious, boil an entire chicken and save the broth to boil the dumplings in.
- You can customize the dumplings any way you like--add your favorite seasoning, like thyme or rosemary to the dough, and even add veggies like carrots and celery.
- Dumplings make good leftovers for two to three days after you've prepared the dish, and can even be frozen.
- If you want them to look more "chicken-y," add a few drops of yellow food coloring.
- Green beans
- New potatoes
- Cornbread or dinner rolls
- Fried okra
- Wilted greens
Making Memories Through Food
The way that food can take us back into a memory is almost magical--and starting comforting traditions in your own kitchen is one way to make memories with your own family.
Chicken and dumplings is a great choice for families on a budget, families who need to make one meal stretch over a few days, and for cold winter days when you need a little extra warmth!