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Mémère’s Chicken and Dumplings

Our old-fashioned chicken and dumplings recipe features tender chicken, hearty homemade dumplings, and is loaded with fresh carrots, celery and onions.

fork picking up bite of chicken & dumplings

Mémère’s Old Fashioned Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings is an easy, filling, and delicious recipe! Tender white meat chicken, soft from-scratch dumplings, and fresh vegetables combine to create a hearty soup that just tastes like home.

Growing up in the sixties, my mom (Granny) would often make chicken and dumplings. Chicken and dumplings is such a timeless comfort food! It was always an eagerly awaited dinner in our home.

This dish is made from such simple ingredients, but it packs so much flavor!

My mom had two different dumpling recipes:

  • Dropped dumplings — Made with Bisquick, these are “dropped” so that they float on top of the soup and steam to cook.
  • Rolled dumplings (this recipe) — Straight from my grandmother’s recipe box! It is a simple, from-scratch dough that is rolled out, cut into strips, and cooked in the broth.

The main difference between the two versions is the texture. Dropped dumplings become puffy while cooking, but they are more prone to falling apart or dissolving. Rolled dumplings are denser and have a texture almost like pasta. This is what I think of when I picture old fashioned chicken & dumplings.

Even though this recipe is made from scratch, it’s fairly easy to make.

While the broth is heating up, you make the homemade dumplings (they are so easy!) and drop them in the broth. They only need to cook for about 20 minutes and then you have a classic homemade chicken and dumplings.

bowl of homemade chicken & dumplings in front of large soup pot

Where Did Chicken and Dumplings Originate?

Chicken and dumplings is commonly thought of as a Southern food. But interestingly, the dish as we know it today likely originated in Quebec, Canada during the Great Depression.

I actually did not know this until doing a little research for this post. However, it makes complete sense because my Great-Grandmother (Mémère) was from Montreal, Quebec. Very cool! — Stacey

Related: Try Mémère’s Garlic Roasted Pork Loin recipe too!

bowl of homemade chicken and dumplings with carrots

Ingredients

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For the Soup Base

  • 1-2 quarts of chicken broth
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 TB oil for sautéing onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 3-4 chicken breasts, bone-in, with skin

chicken and dumplings ingredients on stovetop

For the Dumplings

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of chicken broth with a little fat (the broth will have fat if you cooked your chicken with the skin on. If not, add a TB of melted butter.)

Kitchen Tools Used

Instructions for Chicken and Dumplings

To make this dish, we first prepare our soup base using chicken broth and vegetables. While the broth heats, we prepare the dumpling dough. Then we put it all together.

How to Prepare the Soup Base and Vegetables

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a heavy bottomed pan or Dutch oven. Add the chopped onions and sauté on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the onions are tender.
  2. Add the sliced carrots and celery and let them cook for a few minutes. Reduce heat if needed, to prevent scorching.
  3. Pour in one quart of the chicken broth and bring to a simmer with the vegetables.
  4. Add the chicken breasts. Add more broth to cover the chicken if needed. Cook at a simmer for about an hour until the chicken is tender.
  5. Remove chicken from the broth and let it cool until it can be handled.
  6. Remove 1 cup of the cooked broth and allow to cool while you prepare the chicken.
  7. Remove the skin from the chicken and debone. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces, then return the chicken to Dutch oven pot with broth and veggies.

chopped chicken breast on cutting board

How to Make Rolled Dumplings

  1. Whisk together the 3 cups of flour with 1 tablespoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt.
  2. Add one egg and the cup of chicken broth you set aside earlier to the bowl of dry ingredients.
  3. Stir gently to create a dough that is tender and light. Form the dough into a ball and roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into strips, no more than an inch wide.
  4. Drop the strips of dough into the simmering broth, cover, reduce heat, and let cook for 20 minutes.

homemade flour dumplings cooking in broth

To serve: scoop into large soup bowls, making sure to get some of everything: chicken, dumplings, vegetables, and broth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Know When Dumplings Are Done Cooking?

An easy way to test for doneness is the “toothpick test,” like you’d do for a cake. Simply stick a toothpick through the middle of one of the dumplings — if it comes out clean, they’re ready. However, 20 minutes is a pretty reliable cook time.

Can You Use Rotisserie Chicken?

For this soup, I started with a base of store-bought broth that I gave a homemade taste by cooking the vegetables and chicken in it. The cooked chicken is removed, cooled, and chopped up before adding back to the chicken broth.

To save time, you could simply cook the vegetables in broth and add pre-cooked rotisserie chicken at the end. Substituting rotisserie chicken will save about an hour of cook time, shortening the total time for this recipe from about 1 hour 40 minutes to just 40 minutes.

Why Are My Dumplings Tough?

If your dumplings are on the dense side, you may not have done anything wrong at all!

Rolled dumplings are supposed to be denser and a bit chewier than dropped dumplings, so keep that in mind.

One of the benefits to this denser texture is that the dumplings hold up better in the broth. They are less likely to dissolve and fall apart than dropped dumplings.

However, I would recommend taking care not to over-work the dough when you’re rolling it. Kneading dough more than necessary can toughen it a bit.

top-down view of a bowl of chicken and dumplings

Chicken & Rolled Dumplings Recipe (Printable Copy)

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fork picking up bite of chicken & dumplings

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

Sara Garska
Our old-fashioned chicken and dumplings recipe features tender chicken, hearty homemade dumplings, and is loaded with fresh carrots, celery and onions.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 415 kcal

Equipment

  • Large heavy-bottom pan or Dutch Oven

Ingredients
  

Dumpling Ingredients

  • 3 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Chicken broth (with a little fat from cooking chicken in the broth)

Broth Ingredients

  • 1-2 quarts Chicken broth
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil for sautéing onion
  • 2 Carrots peeled & sliced
  • 2 stalks Celery sliced
  • 3-4 Chicken breasts bone-in, with skin

Instructions
 

How to Make the Chicken Broth

  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a heavy bottomed pan or Dutch oven. Add the chopped onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the onions are tender.
  • Add the sliced carrots and celery and let them cook for a few minutes.
  • Add one quart of the chicken broth and bring to a simmer with the vegetables.
  • Add the chicken breasts. Add more broth to cover the chicken if needed.
  • Cook at a simmer for about an hour until the chicken is tender.
  • Remove chicken from the broth and let it cool until it can be handled.
  • Remove 1 cup of the cooked broth and allow to cool while you prepare the chicken.
  • Remove the skin from the chicken and debone.
  • Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
    chopped chicken breast on cutting board
  • Return the chicken to the broth.

How to Make the Dumplings

  • Mix the 3 cups of flour with 1 tablespoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt
  • Add the one egg
  • Add 1 cup of the chicken broth
  • Mix the dough up gently to create a dough that is tender and light.
  • Make into a ball and roll out to about ½ inch thickness.
  • Cut into strips.
  • Drop into the simmering broth, cover, reduce heat, and let cook for 20 minutes.

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate only. Your actual values will vary based on exact ingredients used and serving size.

Nutrition

Calories: 415kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 33gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 900mgPotassium: 846mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 3534IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 128mgIron: 4mg
Keyword chicken, dumplings, soup
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