My grandma was a Southern born lady and cooking was her claim to that heritage. She made the meanest pan of cornbread and the tastiest chicken and dumplings this side of the Mason-Dixon line.
My ten-year old grandson, Carson, is a die-hard chicken and dumpling fan. He loves Cracker Barrel’s dumplings; I told him I could make a pot chicken dumplings just like that, maybe better. The challenge was on.
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons butter (you can also use a low-fat butter type)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Combine the dry ingredients and then cut in the butter. Once the mix is crumbly, slowly add the milk until you can form the dough into a ball. If dough is still sticky, dust with a handful of flour and incorporate into the dough mixture.
Liberally sprinkle flour onto a cutting surface. Roll out the dough to a 3/8″ thickness. Dust rolling pin and dough mixture with flour as needed.
Cut dough into strips using a pizza cutter, then cut in opposite direction to form small dumpling squares.
Add a handful of flour to a large platter. Using a spatula or edge of knife lift the squares from the cutting area and place layers of dumplings onto the platter. Coat each dumpling layer (both sides) with the flour. This will help to thicken the chicken broth to a gravy consistency.
Bring 8 cups of chicken broth to a boil; I made my broth from bouillon. Drop dumplings into the broth one at a time. You don’t want the dumplings clumping together. They will, if you put them all into the broth at the same time.
Cook the dumplings (uncovered) for 20 minutes over medium heat. While the dumplings are cooking, cut-up 18 ounces of cooked chicken breasts.
You can cut the chicken into strips, coarsely dice, or cube. I prefer cubed.
Once the dumplings are thoroughly cooked (no longer doughy), add the cut or chopped chicken meat to the broth.
Add grated carrots to the broth and/or 1 cup of frozen peas. My grandson loves peas, the wine guy does not. I opted for carrots only.
If you want a creamier gravy, this is the time to thicken the broth with additional flour. To do that, add a handful of ice cubes to a measuring cup along with 1/4 cup water. Stir in 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons flour. Mix well, gradually adding to the broth.
For the record…I won the challenge. My grandson said my chicken and dumplings were better than Cracker Barrel. Maybe he was just sucking up, but the fact that he ate four bowls in one sitting tells me he may have been truthful. Hope you enjoy!
This recipe makes approximately 10 cups of chicken and dumplings. You’re in the neighborhood of 399 calories per 1 cup serving. Trust me, one cup of the dumplings with a side salad is very filling. You can shave 20 calories per serving by using two tablespoons butter instead of three.