Chicken and Dumplings have always been one of my favorite meals. Ever since I was a little girl, I begged my Mama to make them for me. When she was alive, she always made sure to make them for me on my birthday. My daughter, Hope, also loves them and since our birthdays are only a few days apart, she got them too.
This past year was the my first birthday I spent without my Mama. It was not an easy day, but then again, none of them really have been easy for almost a year. I actually have been planning to do this post since November. But it isn’t the easiest one to write and I have been procrastinating on it. This morning though, I woke up and decided that others might need this recipe too. And if you knew my Mama personally and ever ate her dumplings, I hope I do them justice.
Chicken and Dumplings Recipe
A Little History
For the last 20 years I have tried, without success, to duplicate Mama’s chicken and dumplings. She did not use a recipe, she just made them. Nothing was ever measured, so it makes it hard when you are trying to do it. I watched for close to 38 years more times than I can count. On a scale of 1-10, I would say my dumplings were around a 6.5-7, but I still think they were better than Cracker Barrel. Haha!
In November, I set out to make them again. But something just felt a little different as I was making them and recording my YouTube video. Maybe something finally clicked and I got it in my mind. But I think my sweet Mama was looking down from heaven and helping me. After they turned out so well, I was hesitant to post for fear it was a fluke. However, I have made them at least half a dozen times since and every time they turn out perfectly. My daughter even told me “they tasted just like Grandma’s”, and that is the ultimate compliment.
Chicken And Dumplings Recipe
For The Chicken/Broth:
3-4 Bone In Chicken Breasts
8-10 Cups Water
Salt and Pepper To Taste
1 Chicken Boullion Cube
2 cups whole milk
1/2-1 cup heavy cream
Place the chicken breasts in a large stock pot and cover with the water. Add salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer the chicken on low for 45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Skim the top of the water to remove the foam. Remove the chicken and place on a plate to cool. Reserve all the chicken broth and keep warm for later, add the chicken boullion to let it dissolve. After the chicken is cooled, pull from the bone and place in a bowl to add back.
For The Dumplings
1/3 cup of Crisco
1/2 cup-3/4 cup Whole Milk, possibly more.
Pour the flour into a bowl, cut the Crisco into the flour and slowly add the milk a little bit at a time. You may not need it all! You can add but you can’t take it back out. As you add the milk continue to cut and mix the dough. Watch my tutorial here to see what it should look like, a more dry, flaky dough. I used to make it more like a biscuit dough but I learned it needs to be a little bit more dry and sturdy to hold up.
Heat the broth up and bring to a boil. Add 2 cups of whole milk and 1/2 -1 cup of heavy cream. Once it is boiling, transfer to an electric skillet. Turn the skillet on low and once it is simmering, drop the dumplings into the broth. Gently move them as you drop them in when you run out of empty places in the broth. Once all the dumplings are in the broth, let them cook for 20-25 minutes. Stirring occasionally so they don’t stick. Add the chicken and stir. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Mama always served hers with sweet potatoes and green beans and I do the same
Full disclosure, this recipe will require some practice. I highly encourage you to watch the YouTube video as it will clarify some things. Since I don’t measure anything, it is difficult to put into a written recipe for chicken and dumplings.
Please feel free to reach out with questions! As always, I appreciate each and every one of you. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today.
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