Iris’s Homemade Southern Chicken & Dumplings

My mama has been making homemade chicken and dumplings for as long as I can remember and I have LOVED them for as long as I can remember.  Talk about comfort food.  These are it!

I have tried on several occasions to make her dumplings and did pretty well at them and now I’m going to enter a cooking contest with BlogHer making these wonderful Southern dumplings, so we did a cooking class, my mama and me.  If I get to the finals, I’ll get a free trip to the BlogHer conference in San Diego in August.

Oh, how I’d love to make the finals!

Knorr Foods has come out with a concentrated chicken stock. You mix 3 1/2 cups water with one of these packets and you have chicken stock. We used 2 in our chicken and dumplings to makes 7 cups of stock.  This new Knorr concentrate chicken stock is SO flavorful.  My dad even mentioned that he thought the chicken and dumplings were even better than usual using Knorr!  Now that’s a high compliment!

One chicken breast shredded up.

Seven cups of water put on to boil.

After the 2 Knorr concentrate packets went in, it magically turned to chicken stock.

We began with 1 1/2 cups plain flour (with salt, recipe below).  Add water a little at a time to form a dough ball.

It will be a little sticky, but keep adding enough water to hold it together, but not too much water or it will be a sticky mess that you can’t roll out.  Careful with adding the water, a bit at a time. The dough ball will be rather lumpy looking.

Flour the countertop, ready to roll out the dumplings.

Throw the dough ball on there and start rolling with the rolling pin.  That’s the key to making these, rolling out the dough nice and flat.

She makes sure the dough has enough flour on it to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin.

Then start rolling and rolling, making the dough round.

Side to side, back and forth until you have something sort of like a pizza shape.

More rolling and adding flour as needed to keep it from sticking.  She feels the edges to be sure it’s getting thin enough.

And it looks like this when done.

Start at one side and begin making slices across with a bread knife, about 3/4″ or so. Not too wide.

Keep slicing all the way across to the other side.

Like this.

Then go back and slice diagonally the other direction, criss-crossing until you have it all sliced up.

And you’ll have cute little dough dumplings like this.

Pull them apart and drop in the simmering stock, start bringing the stock to a boil as you add the dumplings, one at a time.

Stir to keep them from sticking.

She even takes the leftover flour from the countertop and adds to the stock pot, to help thicken the stock.

Don’t worry, the dough balls will cook down with the dumplings.   This is what they look like as they go in and start cooking.   Add the cooked chicken at this point and simmer about 30 minutes.  Then you will have a big bowl of deliciousness that looks like this…

The best tasting homemade chicken and dumplings you have ever put in your mouth.  I doubt you’ve ever tasted any like this unless you have a Southern mama or grandmother.

Try them and see how you like them!  You will be hooked too.  It might take a few tries to get them just right, but I promise they are not hard to make.

Iris’s Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cooked chicken breast (bone in) chopped & shredded
Water (approx. 1/4 cup) Add water a couple of tablespoons at a time until consistency forms a dough ball. Add a bit more water as needed. When dough ball is pliable without being too sticky, time to roll out.

Cook chicken breast in boiling/simmering water until done. Pull from the bone and chop/shred. Set aside

Add 2 Knorr’s chicken concentrate stock to 7 cups of boiling water. Simmer until time for the dumplings.

Flour a flat surface. Press dough ball on surface and begin rolling out with rolling pin. Go from side to side, back and forth until a round circle is formed, pressing down all around to make the edges even and flat. Roll as flat as you can.

Begin cutting strips on one side of the circle (approx. 3/4″ wide) all the way across the dough circle. Then, cut strips the opposite direction until you have cut through the complete circle and have little rectangles of dough strips ready to cook.

As chicken stock is simmering, bring to a boil and begin dropping in the dough strips, one at a time until they are all in the pot. Stir them around with a spoon making sure they are not sticking together. Add a bit of the flour that is on your surface, this will thicken up the broth. Bring to a slow boil, then turn down to simmer for around 10-15 minutes. Then add the cooked chicken, simmer another 10 minutes until stock has begun to thicken.

Serve hot and eat! Enjoy!

I’m entering this recipe in a BlogHer contest sponsored by Knorr.  If I happen to be chosen as one of the 8 finalists, I will win an all-expenses paid trip to BlogHer ’11 in San Diego, CA.  Do you think I would be excited about that??

Oh yeah, I sure would!  I’d be dying with excitement.  But, the only catch is, I’d have to recreate these ON MY OWN.  I mentioned this to my dad and he said:

“You better take your mama with you.” 😉

Do you think he has no confidence in my cooking abilities?  I’d say he’s probably right, but if I do get in the finals, I’ll be cooking my little heart out with these chicken and dumplings.

The lucky winner of the Sissy Little $50 vinyl giveaway is Susan from Homeroad. Congrats, Susan, I’ve already emailed you!

- Rhoda


  1. Deb McKathan says:

    Would you believe this is how (other than the Knorr) my aunt-in-law taught me to make them?! Best ever. The only modification I made was that I cut them into strips, then pick up the strip and tear into pieces, dropping into the broth. I don’t know why I quit cutting the second way. Aunt Gwen will also get them to the strip phase, lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze them, then break them into a ziploc freezer bag to have on hand when needed. She taught me to always use a fresh hen (can hardly find them anymore) because they make the richest broth. I live in LA (lower Alabama) so I guess it’s a regional thing. I grew up with ‘puffy’ dumplings – my NC roots. Have you ever heard of ‘Ham and Egg Pie’? Sounds bad but it is really good! Love your blog!

  2. Well now, this looks fabulously delicious Rhoda. Although, I am a tad misty eyed. I did okay till your mama started working with the dough. I am hear to tell you, seeing those images of your mother’s hands was as if I was watching Granny make dumplings. Thanks so much for providing these beautiful images that brought back wonderful memories.

    All the best in this contest!!

    • Pat…here I am, crying, coming to comment on the exact same thing. Those hands. You may have to have those hands to make them just like that! My grandmother made them the same way. I make them with rolled out biscuits, cut into strips and added. They are quick and good, but nothing like I know these are! Good luck Rhoda!

    • That’s exactly what got me: the picture of your mother’s hands working the dough. Lovely.

  3. Hi Rhoda,
    These look so darn delicious! I wish I could fix them at my house but my husband is allergic to chicken! Yes, I know, weird, and very limiting when it comes to cooking. I hope you make it to the finals.

  4. I laughed out loud when I read your dad’s comment! We are never (completely) grown up in our parent’s eyes. Best of luck in the contest – we are rooting for you!

  5. Ooh, girl, I would think Knorr would be delighted to have you as one of the finalists! I didn’t even know they made that chicken stock product, so thank you for introducing me to it!

    Your mama’s chicken and dumplings sound wonderful! And very simple, really, just a bit of effort involved in learning to roll out the dough just right. But with such a simple, straightforward recipe, it would be worth the effort to learn. I don’t mind having to try a recipe a few times to get it right if the recipe is fairly simple and the ingredients not too expensive.

    Good luck! I think you can do it! And wouldn’t you look cute making these for the judges? Rhoda making Chicken and Dumplings–it would be “Southern Hospitality” incarnate!

  6. Just had to say, I love the photos of your Mother’s hands.

  7. This reminds me of my mother making dumplings. Although she never had time to roll them out, she just pinched them off the ball of dough and made dropped dumplings. I never learned unfortunately, to make the kind she made but I do alright with canned bisquits!! I’m a southern girl, born and bred, but it is a shame I never took time to learn to cook – too busy paintnig. Good luck with the contest, make your momma proud.

  8. This sure makes me miss my mom! She made chicken and dumplings the same way, and there was nothing better! I loved seeing your mom’s hands in the pictures….years on them that speak of experience and lots of time and love making things for her family. I guess I’m going to have to whip up a bowl of dumplings for myself. Thanks for sharing!

  9. This is how my grandma and aunt made dumplings, too, but I’ve always been too chicken to try them (I buy Anne’s). This just might give me the courage! They look delicious.

  10. Thank you so much for the recipie!! I cant wait to try it, being from NY I have never had this dish…..Thanks…
    AND I love the pictures of your moms hands….

  11. Oh! Could there be anything more appealing?

  12. Your mother has such beautiful hands. My sweet grandmother made delicious chicken and dumplings, and also chicken pie. I could never duplicate her recipe! I may have to try your Mom’s. The pictures are very helpful.

  13. I’m pregnant, thanks for sharing this!! Need I say more?!! Looks sooooooo good!

  14. This recipe looks delicious! It is only 9:45 AM and I am drooling for some Chicken and Dumplings! I know, a little early for it but I am pregnant. Anything goes, right?! Great post! I am going to follow more often!!!

  15. Debbie L says:

    Rhoda I have so much faith in you that I just know you will be in the top 8 finalists! You are so blessed to have your dear Momma with you and cooking together. Now keep thinking positive and know there are alot of ladies out in blogland cheering you on.

    I see a bright future for you Rhoda. Your popularity seems to really be taking off and who knows there could there be a cookbook by you and your sweet Mom in the future. I know I would be the first to buy it!!

    My mouth is watering just thinking about those dumplins 🙂

  16. Rhoda-
    Loved finding your blog this morning. Looking forward to following! This recipe looks amazin!

  17. That looks wonderful! Some of my best recipes are the ones I made with my mom. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Chicken and Dumplins (you got to leave off the “g” if you’re in the South!) is one of my all time favorite comfort foods. My mom always made the dumplins from ball of dough rather than strips, so that’s how I make them, but yours look great!

  19. My mouth is watering. I want to eat that whole pot right now! Good luck. I am sure you’ll win, and I love that your dad suggests you take your mom. That’s priceless.

  20. Yum! If I can figure out how to do this gluten free I’m definitely gonna make it!! Loved seeing your mom’s hands in the pictures. How nice it must be to be home…….

  21. I’m drooling. My mom’s dumplings are made just like that. I also make mine that way, but haven’t made any in a few years. I’m wishing I was there to have some of yours. Dumplings are a favorite of mine.

  22. I can’t wait to try your recipe. I was as impressed with the recipe as I was the beauty of your Mother’s hands. They are precious and show her love of others by preparing many dishes like this one. Give her a big hug from all of us whose hearts were softened by the pictures of her sweet hands.

  23. Like others here, your mother’s hands reminded me so much of my grandmother’s hands it made me cry. Thanks for sharing!

  24. didn’t know Knor made stock. I make mine the same way but I use a pizza cutter to cut the dumplins. Loved your Mama’s hands. Guess you need to make those dumplins a couple of time with a little help! Good luck.

  25. Gosh Rho, “our” mamma sure is one good cook. Yum! Just pass me the black pepper and get out of my way. I’m diggin in!

    I sure hope you win the contest. Practice, practice, practice. Course you’ll probably be sick of chicken and dumplings and have porked on a few pounds by then, but I would practice the recipe till you are totally confident. The problem I have when making dumplings is that I never seem to roll them out thin enough. I always think they are, but they’re not. And then they’re in the pot and it’s too late….pudgy dumplings.

    Good Luck Rhoda! I’m sure you will have a lot of fun in the contest. Oh, and as always, hugs to “Mom and Dad.”

  26. My heart turned over when I saw your Mama’s hands. Brought back the memory of all the times I saw my Mamo working the dough, making dumplings. Wonderful childhood memories. Mine never turned out very good so hopefully these detailed pics will help. Am sending this link to my daughter as she will love it! Thanks so much, Rhoda, and good luck.

  27. Can’t wait to try this recipe…looks delicious. Secret to share when you’re making those dumplings…put down that butter knife and pick up a pizza cutter. Throw some flour on it to keep from sticking and you’ll have those dumplings cut up in no time.

  28. Rhoda, as I read your blog such sweet memories of my mother came back and my grandmother, too! both made delicious chicken and dumplins’ just like your mom, and your mother’s hands looked just like my mothers. I loved watching them work in every stage of making the duplings. Thank you for a heart warming post. Egretta
    By the way, there is nothing better than Southern Cooking!!

  29. Looks absolutely like the perfect comfort food! Fingers crossed for you, I hope you win.

    Up here in PA we make a very similar dish called chicken pot pie. It’s not a pie though, it’s more like dumplings. I use my grandmother’s recipe but don’t make it often. Rolling out the dough is messy…..flour everywhere! Your sweet mama has mastered the art of dough rolling!

  30. Yep, I’m with Dad. You better take Mama with you! LOL!

  31. I thought I might be the only one to comment on your mama’s beautiful hands, but they have touched a lot of hearts. The pictures literally made me tear up missing my Granny from Tennessee who taught me how to make chicken and dumplings. Good luck with the contest… we’re all rooting for you!

  32. Funny how that has been the first thing every member of our family has said! I second the Nana-Rhoda cookbook idea. We need to start preserving some of her “recipes.”

  33. I loved to see the photo’s of your Mama’s beautiful working hands – they remind me of my sweet Mama’s. I can’t wait to try your Mama’s recipe and agree there is nothing better than comfort foods such as Chicken ‘n Dumplings!
    I wish you tons of Luck with the contest!

  34. Yum! My Momma made something similar when I was growing up. But we called it Chicken & Pastry and she used boxed, flat noodles.

    Good luck with the contest!

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

  35. I’m sure this recipe is divine, but I must tell you I was most inspired by the photos of your Mom’s hands, doing what she’s been doing for many a year. I immediately tripped back in time and could see both of my Grammas’ hands, busy cooking from scratch! Love it! Thanks!

  36. That looks so delicious. Reminds me of my childhood. Best of luck with the contest!

  37. Hi Rhoda….Your Dad cracked me up saying “You better take your mama with you. ” That is probably what my Dad would have said too. 🙂
    Good luck and hope you win! The recipe sounds delicious!


  38. I love your Momma’s hands! They remind me of my own mother’s and I miss them … and her. Just lovely.

  39. Rhoda, that is just how my Granny used to make dumplings (well, minus the ready-made ckicken stock, LOL)! I remember as a child, helping her roll out the dough and cut them into little rectangles…everyone I know just throws in little balls of dough. I have never been able to make dumplings like Granny’s, but maybe I can with your Momma’s recipe! I’ll be trying it soon!

  40. YUMMY!!! I make my chicken noodle soup a lot like that. I add cream cheese to the broth and oh my, creamy deliciousness! For anyone interested the post is:

  41. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I can’t imagine anything more traditionally Southern and wonderful as chicken and dumplins. Best of luck in the contest!


  42. It’s funny , I thought God Bless her hands too! You are so lucky to have your Mother and Father and all those wonderful days to spend with them. My Mom cut her dumplings the same way. Thank You for this lovely recipe. Maybe she can show us how she makes her cornbread.

  43. This is how my Grandmother made her chicken and dumplings with two exceptions. Instead of water she used some of the chicken broth in the flour to make the dough. And she brought the broth to a full boil before dropping her dumplings in to cook. It’s been years since I have made any….think it’s time to make some!!!!

  44. My husband is from the south and he would LOVE for me to make this. I think I will surprise him. I hope you (and your mamma) win. Then you’ll be in my neck of the woods!

  45. I just love your daddy! That cracked me up! Hope you win.

  46. Good luck, Rhoda! Those are how my grandma made dumplings! I miss those so much – they were definitely a favorite of mine!

  47. Wow, you really struck a chord with your Southern readers! I’m from “up north” and have never had this dish. Would you call it a soup, of sorts? I love how quickly your mother works. I see a jar of pickled veggies on her counter. Can we learn how to make that, too?

  48. April was in CT now CA says:

    Oh my goodness…reading this and my stomach is growling so loud I’m pretty sure I shook the neighbors house! I’ll have to try these, soon!!

  49. Paula Lusk says:

    I didn’t read all of the comments….but, the one about your Mama’s hands made me cry. It reminded me of my Grandma’s hands. She and my aunt practically raised me. My Grandma has been gone 14 years now, and I still miss her so much. I am so thankful to still have my Aunt.
    Your Mama’s chicken and dumplings looks scrumptious. It is one of my top 5 favorite foods. Love the wrapping goodies. I’ll go to look at their site. Blessings, Paula Lusk

  50. I grew up eating these type of dumplings. We make our own homemade egg noodles in a similar fashion. Best in the world!

  51. Tammy M. says:

    The chicken and dumplings look wonderful. I may have to try this recipe. You have a good chance of winning the contest with that recipe.

  52. Rhoda…we love the same recipe…and our trick is to use the pizza cutter to make the strips, so easy and less messy! I love using the one from Blissdom!
    hugs and best wishes for the win!

  53. Judy B. Texas says:

    A tribute to Mom’s and Grandma’s and their beautiful hands:

    Grandma’s Hands

    Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn’t move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.

    When I sat down beside her she didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK.

    Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. ‘Yes, I’m fine, thank you for asking,’ she said in a clear strong voice.

    ‘I didn’t mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,’ I explained to her.

    ‘Have you ever looked at your hands,’ she asked. ‘I mean really looked at your hands?’

    I slowly opened my hands and stare d down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

    Grandma smiled and related this story:

    ‘Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.

    ‘They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.

    They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

    ‘They have been dirty, scraped and raw , swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special

    They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse.

    ‘They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn’t understand.

    They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.

    • Oh, Judy! Thanks for sharing this with us. It’s beautiful! I just love the sentiment & the fact that so many mentioned my mother’s hands. I told her about it & she loved hearing that. she thinks her hands are ugly, but they are the most beautiful hands in my life! We love that I am preserving some of her recipes while we still can. She is the kind of cook who does not measure, so I’m trying to watch & document more of her recipes so that they can stay in the family.

  54. Here in Delaware we call them “slippery dumplings.” It is a very popular comfort food here served at home and in restaurants. I make mine using frozen “Annie’s” dumplings and make my own stock. In the future I think I will try your mother’s recipe. I am originally from Pennsylvania and dumplings there were the round puffy ones we made from Bisquick.

  55. OH Boy here it is, I scrolled up and saw you linked it in your recent post. I am going to book mark this for my husband, he can tackle this one! LOL…looks so darn good.

  56. Hi Rhoda – I had to chime in your mother’s hands. They remind me so much of my grandmothers. She thought here hands were ugly too but they were the most beautiful hands in the world to me. And those dumplings look wonderful!

  57. Amy in MI says:

    Hi, Rhoda. I just had to comment about your mom’s hands working the dumplin’ dough. They brought back really good memories of my late Grandma when she would make her noodles. She usually cooked them in beef broth because I don’t think my Grandpa cared very much for chicken. I just need to get brave enough to try making them. Good luck with the upcoming contest!