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Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings |www.reformationacres.com
Chicken and Dumplings.

The quintessential winter comfort food.

And formerly one of our favorite meals to dine on back in the day when we used to eat at restaurants.

Back in the day, before my chicken and dumplings- the very recipe I’m going to share today- was unanimously declared to be BETTER than the restaurant version (and less expensive too!)

Not to mention that since it’s made from scratch in my own kitchen, I have complete quality control and so when I feed Chicken and Dumplings to my family, I know exactly what went into it and just how nourishing it is to their bodies. It’s all part of my job to steward their health to the best of my ability. A responsibility I take seriously.

Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings |www.reformationacres.com

This recipe, like with my homemade chicken soup, is a labor of love and takes most of the day to build layers of flavor. But it is well worth the effort!

I use a whole chicken (and a handful of chicken feet) along with a splash of acid so that the broth is full of goodness extracted from the bones. You don’t have to use chicken feet- I’m sure most people won’t. But  they do give the broth a nutritional boost and are an excellent way of making the most of your meat if you happen to grow your own chicken like I do.

By cooking the chicken in the broth and building that flavor, you’ll also end up with a meltingly tender and delicious chicken that literally falls right off the bone. It’s not often that I go unnoticed while picking a chicken and don’t have my children crowding around begging for a sample!

Nor is it often that I don’t have to dish up seconds before dinnertime is through.

I hope your family will enjoy this meal just as much as mine does!

~Chicken & Dumplings~
  • whole roasting chicken
  • 5 chicken feet (optional)
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • cloves of garlic, diced or smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt & pepper
  • splash of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or whey
  • 5 stalks celery, diced
  • Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup , as a thickener
  • Dumplings:
  • 3 c. flour (Gluten-free? Maybe try this gluten-free all-purpose flour .)
  • ¾ t. baking powder
  • ¾ t. salt
  • 2½ T. lard
  • 2½ T. butter
  • 1 c. whole milk
  1. In a stockpot, combine the chicken, feet if using, onion, garlic, bay, lemon juice, and seasonings. Cover with water and allow to simmer down for several hours until the chicken is cooked and falling off of the bone.
  2. Remove the chicken and strain the broth. I place a large colander over a bowl and dump the whole pot into the colander then return the broth in the bowl to the stockpot.
  3. While the chicken is cooling down enough to pick the meat from the bones, add the diced celery and prepare the cream of chicken soup.
  4. Stir in the cream of chicken soup and and cooked, picked chicken meat to the broth and allow it to slowly simmer and thicken up a bit while you prepare the dumplings.
  5. For the dumplings, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  6. Cut in the fat.
  7. Stir in the milk until a very soft and sticky dough forms.
  8. Turn it out on a well floured surface and roll the dough to paper thin (adding more flour as necessary to make the dough manageable).
  9. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  10. Cut into 1-2" squares with a pizza cutter or knife and then allow the dumplings to rest and harden for about 30 minutes. (Do not omit this step or they will somewhat disintegrate when you add them to the broth making for fewer dumplings and a starchier broth.)
  11. After the hardening period, add the dumplings to the stock pot, tearing any large ones in two.
  12. Do not stir them into the broth, but rather swirl the pot a bit to bring the broth over the top of the dumplings.
  13. Cook for about 7-10 minutes after adding in the last dumpling.

Chicken and Dumplings are the quintessential winter comfort food and these Southern Homestyle Chicken & Dumplings are even better than what you'll find at Cracker Barrel!