The Best Chicken and Dumplings

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Total Time: -27549611.266667 minute
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings


This Southern classic is a one-pot made from a scratch bowl of goodness. Light and tender dumplings with juicy pieces of chicken all in a rich and creamy broth. The ultimate comfort food!


  • 3 medium-size skin-on chicken breasts or a (1- 3 pound whole chicken)
  • 2 medium-size carrots, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 yellow sweet onion, quartered
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 (32-ounce) carton of chicken broth such as Swanson’s
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ½ cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening 
  • ½ cup (1stick) cold butter, cut into ¼ inch pieces 
  • 1cup ice cold water
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup chicken granules or paste such as the brand Better Than Bouillon 
  • 1 drop yellow food coloring, optional
  • Extra salt and pepper, to taste 
  • Garnish with celery chopped celery leaves if desired


Place the chicken breast, carrots, celery, and onion in a large stockpot.

  1. Add the water, chicken broth, and salt and pepper to the pot.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the chicken is fork-tender. 
  2. While the chicken is cooking, make the dumpling dough. In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix the self-rising flour and all-purpose flour together. Cut in the cold butter and shortening until it resembles small peas. Add 1cup of ice water and gently stir until the dough forms a ball. You may need to add a tablespoon or more water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it chill while the chicken is cooking. The dough needs to chill for at least 25 to 30 minutes. 
  3. Once the chicken is done. Remove it from the pot and let it cool slightly. Pick the meat off the bones, discarding the bones and skins; set aside. Once the chicken has cooled down, shred it with a fork. Remove the carrots, celery, and onions, reserving the stock. 
  4. Bring the stock back to a boil and then add the milk, chicken granules, and yellow food coloring to the stock and bring to a rapid boil.
  5.  While the chicken stock is coming to a rapid boil, remove the chilled dumpling dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a well-floured surface to about ¼ of an inch thickness. Cut into 1-inch wide strips and then into squares or rectangular shapes. Sprinkle extra flour over the top of dumplings. The extra flour on the dumplings will help thicken the broth. 
  6. Taste chicken stock and add more salt and pepper if needed. 
  7. Once the chicken stock has come to a rapid boil, drop the well-floured dumplings into the broth one at a time until all are used. Reduce the heat slightly and Immediately cover the pot with a tight lid for 20 minutes. Do not lift the lid during these 2O minutes. This process is very important. This creates steam and will make your dumplings light, fluffy, and tender. 
  8. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and add the shredded chicken and more salt and pepper to taste. Stir very gently. Cover again and simmer for about 10 minutes longer. To serve, ladle into bowls. Garnish with chopped celery leaves or parsley if desired. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. Enjoy!


Do ahead/Freeze Tip: The dumpling can be made up 2 or 3 days ahead. Store in the refrigerator. The dumpling dough can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw and then roll out.

Recipe Note: The dumplings will absorb the liquid broth. If needed add more broth to thin it out.