Indulge in a warm bowl of grandma's chicken and dumplings. This nostalgic dish has a creamy, flavorful chicken base filled with drop dumplings that have a soft, biscuit texture.
What Kind Of Dumplings Are These?
There's about a billion and three ways to make chicken and dumplings. Sometimes the dumplings are rolled out flat and cut into squares before cooking, resulting in a more chewy dumpling. Sometimes the dough is rolled into loose balls or dropped by spoonful into the boiling broth, resulting in puffy dumplings with a soft biscuit texture on the inside. The latter method has always been my go-to method. That warm biscuit texture on the inside... that's the stuff comfort food is made of, right there.
You'll also find variations in the broth itself. Sometimes it's very thin and soupy. Sometimes it's thick and creamy like biscuit gravy. I prefer somewhere in between.
What Are Some Key Ingredients I'll Need?
For the soup base:
- Butter, milk, and all-purpose flour - Instead of using canned soup, I start with a basic roux to add thickness to the soup. You can use any kind of milk (full fat will be the most rich), dairy or non-dairy. You can use salted or unsalted butter.
- Chicken Broth - Expands the liquid and adds flavor. I use low-sodium varieties to have better control of the salt in the dish.
- Cooked Chicken - You'll need 2-3 cups of cooked, shredded chicken. You can use leftover chicken from another recipe or shred it off of those handy dandy hot rotisserie chickens sold in most grocery stores nowadays. Using all dark meat (thighs, legs) will contribute more flavor and will be more tender, but you can use all breast meat or a mixture of breast and dark meat.
- Onion - Because any dish can benefit from some nice sautéed minced onion, right? I use yellow onions for their robust flavor when cooked.
For the drop dumplings:
- Buttermilk - Just like biscuits - the cousin to the dumpling - the tangy creaminess of buttermilk can't be beat.
- Butter. Cold Butter. Even though these dumplings are boiled and not baked, adding a solid fat will have a reaction similar to using cold butter in pastries - it will melt in the boiling water and create steam pockets inside, creating the lovely fluffy texture on the inside of the dumplings.
- Baking Soda - Just a bit to create the chemical reaction with the buttermilk to help the dumplings cook up puffy and fluffy.
- Flour and salt - Stick with all-purpose flour and a bit of salt as a flavor enhancer.
Does This Dish Reheat Well?
Surprisingly, yes! And I don't do anything special, either. My recipe for grandma's chicken and dumplings reheat just fine in the microwave and the dumplings retain their fluffy texture on the inside. The dumplings may drink up some of the liquid when sitting in the fridge, so if you find that you don't have as much broth, drizzle in a little extra chicken broth before heating.
My recipe for the grandma's chicken and dumplings soup base has gone through a few revisions over the years, but the method for making the actual dumplings has remained the same since my mom used to make these for me as a kid. The completed dish I'm sharing today is the results of many iterations of trial and error and, in my opinion, it's just about perfect.Print
Grandma's Chicken and Drop Dumplings
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 5-6 servings 1x
Indulge in a warm bowl of grandma's chicken and dumplings. This dish has a creamy, flavorful chicken soup base filled with drop dumplings with a soft biscuit texture.
- For Soup Base
- 3 TBS butter, divided
- ½ cup yellow onion, minced
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 32oz box of low sodium chicken broth
- 2-3 cups cooked chicken, shredded (use all dark or a mix of white and dark meat for best flavor)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- For Dumplings
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ cups buttermilk
- 3 TBS unsalted butter, very cold and cut into small chunks
- In a metal soup pot over medium heat, melt 1 TBS of butter and add the onions and cook until translucent and fragrant.
- Add the remaining butter and stir until melted. Sprinkle on the flour and stir until a paste forms.
- Add the milk and let the mixture heat for a minute or two, and then whisk to remove any lumps. Continue cooking until mixture has begun to thicken.
- Add the chicken broth, cooked chicken, and salt and pepper. Allow to cook on a low simmer for about 10 minutes, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed until nice and flavorful.
- While the soup base is simmering, mix together the dry ingredients for the dumplings - flour, baking soda, and salt -in a mixing bowl.
- Use a fork and knife or a pastry blender to cut in the chunks of butter, then slowly add buttermilk and mix until combined. The dough should be fairly sticky but not overly wet.
- With floured hands, form dough into small balls and place them on wax paper. You should have about 28 dumplings. Alternatively, you can skip this step and drop mounded tablespoons of dough directly into the boiling soup in step 8.
- Bring the soup base to a low boil and, working quickly, drop the dumplings in by hand, one at a time. Do not stir or bump the dumplings at this point, as they may fall with too much handling.
- Allow to boil for 5-7 minutes or until dumplings are puffy on the outside and have reached a biscuit-like texture on the inside (I like to peek at the inside of one to make sure).
- Remove from heat and serve.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Method: Stovetop
Keywords: southern, chicken and dumplings, easy dinner, comfort food
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I have always loved my Dad's chicken and dumplings. I have tried every drop dumpling recipe there was, and none tasted like his. THIS! RECIPE! IS! AMAZING!!! Thank you!!!!
Awesome Recipe. I love it that it doesn’t include a can of soup in the recipe. These taste just like my moms Chicken and Dumplings…the finest compliment anyone can give a cook.
Easy to make. Great directions. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.??
Made this for my family last night and there were no leftovers. DELICIOUS.
Best best chicken and dumplings ever I recommend this recipe to everyone. Grandma's chicken and Dumplings #1
Thank you so much, Brina!
clarence Williams Jr
Great recipe easy and fast thank you