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classic chicken and dumplings

Grandma's Chicken and Drop Dumplings

  • Author: Erin Browne
  • 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
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 1/3 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
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 3 TBS unsalted butter,  very cold and cut into small chunks


  1. In a metal soup pot over medium heat, melt 1 TBS of butter and add the onions and cook until translucent and fragrant.
  2. Add the remaining butter and stir until melted. Sprinkle on the flour and stir until a paste forms.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. While the soup base is simmering, mix together the dry ingredients for the dumplings - flour, baking soda, and salt -in a mixing bowl.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  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.
  9. 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).
  10. 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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