Saturday, November 28, 2015

Chicken and Lighter-Than-Air Drop Dumplings

It's that time of the year when much of the country is wet, cold and dreary. We often look to the comfort foods of our childhood on these chilly days. For me, one special dish during winter that I crave is chicken and dumplings. And, even though I do make a few different versions, I always seem to revert back to the classic recipe that I grew up with when I crave the "real deal."

Made on the stove in a big pot.

Hoards of shredded, tender chicken.

Luxurious, but simple "gravy" made with homemade chicken stock.

And, from-scratch dumplings that almost melt in my mouth.

Those are the components of on-point chicken and dumplings in my book. A labor of love. Childhood comfort food at its finest. The ideal weekend dinner on a brisk winter's day. Served with buttery mashed potatoes ... best comfort food ever.

Serves 4 - 6.


8 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon COLD water

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 heaping tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk


In a large stock pot set over medium-high heat, heat the stock until simmering. Add in shredded chicken.

Mix together the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl until no lumps remain. To slightly thicken the broth, slowly drizzle in the cornstarch "slurry" to the stock/chicken while stirring briskly. (Thickening should happen within a few minutes.)

Check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as desired.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the shortening. Stir in the buttermilk until the dough just comes together. Do not over work the dough.

Drop dough into the simmering stock by the spoonful. Lid and reduce heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook for about 10 additional minutes or until dumplings are "set." Turn off heat and allow chicken and dumplings to rest for 10 minutes prior to serving.

NOTE: While dumplings are cooking, it may be necessary to move them around a little with a spoon to allow some of the gravy to bubble up through the dumplings. This ensures that the dumplings do not form into one large mass while cooking and, also, allows for gravy/broth to coat some of the dumplings a bit - especially on the sides.


  1. no mention of the baking powder- does it go in the dumplings

    1. yes it does, it's in the "meanwhile, combine the flour, etc. paragraph:)

  2. just wanted to let you know that these truly ARE light as feather dumplings!! i had to switch to einkorn flour for my hubby and the first couple recipes i tried were tough. this is a keeper :) thank you!

  3. not sure if i lost my other comment on the recipe, but my drop dumplings truly were as light as air!! i've switched to einkorn flour because hubby has a gluten sensitivity and the first couple recipes i tried were tough. this one is a keeper :) thank you!

  4. If it's anything I hate, it's tough dumplings!

  5. Are you using butter or Crisco for your shortening?

  6. Can milk be substituted for the buttermilk?

  7. I used your dumpling recipe for ham b9ne dumplings and you are correct, they are light as a feather. Simply amazing.

  8. Can butter used in place of shortening?