Chicken and Dumplins (Better than Cracker Barrel)

These Homemade Chicken and Dumplins are set apart by the savory, creamy broth made from the slow cooked stock of a whole chicken. Soft, tender dumplins in every bite and the perfect combination of herbs and spices are what make these the best dumplins ever.

chicken and dumplins are Better from scratch

I remember being intimidated about making these from scratch when I started out in the kitchen, but my fear was completely in vain because once you know all the steps and ingredients needed, they are easy and delicious to make! I’m going to walk you step by step how to make one of the most iconic Southern dishes of all time and you will not regret your efforts. First, here is a list of the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 Cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • salt
  • pepper

how to make chicken and dumplins

Now, there is some debate in the South about whether or not you roll and cut dumplins or pinch and “drop” them. And as someone who grew up with both, I have to tell you that the ROLL & CUT method is hands down superior. Totally worth the extra effort, and vastly superior to the canned biscuit dumplin! Here are a few key pointers before you get started.

  • The trick to melt-in-your-mouth dumplins is to roll them out really thin. If you’re the measurin’ type let’s say around 1/8 of an inch thick. They swell slightly once they are are in the broth.
  • When making your stock, bring the water up to a roaring boil, then drop it down to a steady simmer on medium- LOW heat for the remainder of the cook time. I place the lid ON the pot, but crack the lid so that steam can escape.
  • After mixing your dry ingredients together, slowly add in your wet ingredients using your hands to mix it all together. Once it comes together in a ball, stop mixing.
  • If you’re a little unsure of how to ‘pull’ the chicken, check out this great video from Boston market on Youtube.
  • Once you’ve rolled your dough, use a dough scraper or pizza cutter to cut them into strips. You want each dumplin to be roughly 1/2 wide and 2 – 2 1/2 inches long.
  • You’ll want to move quickly as you drop the dumplins in. As the dumplins cook, they begin to dissolve. This is okay! It’s what makes the broth so creamy… But ideally you only want them to cook around 10-15 minutes before coming off the heat.
  • Watch the bottom of your pot for sticking dumplins after you drop them all in. As they cook, they sink and may need an occasional stir.

More Tips and tricks

The MOST IMPORTANT STEP to this recipe that you cannot skip however tempted you may be is the STOCK. To get the rich, flavorful broth that absolutely makes this dish, you have to simmer a whole chicken for several hours. The marrow starts to break down and the bones fall apart releasing this amazing flavor into the broth. Then, and only then, can you start making the dumplins.

what to serve with chicken and dumplins

To round out this perfectly Southern Meal, I would suggest serving any of these traditional Southern dishes alongside your savory main dish:

  • Corn Pudding
  • Bacon Brown Sugar Green Beans
  • Jiffy Cornbread Muffins
  • Homemade Fried Apples
  • Southern Style Lima Beans

Whether you grew up eating Chicken and Dumplins or not, I really do hope you try these. I also hope you report back to tell me if they are the best ever. And I hope you enjoy the process. If you’d like to read a little more about the history of chicken and dumplins, check out this interesting article by Wide Open Eats.

Deep South Chicken and Dumplins
Did you make it? Let me know by leaving a review below or tagging me with a pic on instagram

Chicken and Dumplins

Callie Morgan
These Homemade Chicken and Dumplins are set apart by the savory, creamy broth made from the slow cooked stock of a whole chicken. Soft, tender dumplins in every bite and the perfect combination of herbs and spices are what make these the best dumplins ever.
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
3 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 12 people


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 Cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Bring whole chicken to a roaring boil with 6 quarts of water in an 8 quart pot.
    1 whole chicken
  • Add seasonings and bring stock to a steady simmer on medium low heat. Cook for 3 hours, or until chicken is falling apart.
    1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tbsp poultry seasoning, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1 tsp garlic, 1/4 tsp celery salt, 1/2 tsp onion powder, salt, pepper
  • While the chicken is boiling, mix together the flour, soda, salt, butter, and buttermilk in a large bowl. If the dough seems tacky, add flour one Tbsp at a time until the dough comes together.
    4 cups flour, 1 tsp soda, 1 tsp salt, 6 Tbsp butter, melted, 1 1/2 Cups buttermilk
  • Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.
  • Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut the dough into vertical strips, then cut them in half lengthwise once.
  • Remove the chicken from the stock and once cooled enough to touch, pick off the bone.
  • Bring the stock back to a roaring boil and drop in dumplins one at a time, making sure they don't clump together. Once they are all in, simmer until thickened. This should only take about 5 minutes. Then, add "pulled" chicken back into the pot. I usually add all the dark meat only.
  • Once the chicken is added, remove the pot from heat and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.


If you want the broth extra creamy, you can add in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of buttermilk near the end. 
Save the extra pulled chicken for a second meal like my Chicken Pot Pie. If you don’t want to use it right away, freeze in a freezer bag for up to 2-6 months.
Keyword chicken, chicken and dumplins, from scratch

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  1. 5 stars
    I have made these many times and they are always a win. Simple, comforting, delicious recipe!!!
    Do not skip the adding the buttermilk in at the end step from the notes. It really takes these over the top.

  2. 4 stars
    I was very excited to try this recipe because I tasted it myself at Callie’s house! The flavor is incredible. Unfortunately, I made a few mistakes along the way. So I’d like to share them with y’all so that it turns out better for you than for me.

    First, while I used 6 quarts of water, I also kept the lid on the pot while the chicken was cooking. This decreased the cooking time to about 2 hours. Unfortunately, it also meant that there was a lot more liquid left in the pot than intended. Make sure to leave the lid off so the water can evaporate!

    Second, I was not thinking and put the baking soda into the broth by accident, thinking that it was part of the seasonings. I quickly fixed this by putting some vinegar in to balance it out. The baking soda is for the dumplings. Duh.

    Third, the dumplings should be closer to the 1/8 inch in thickness. I did not roll it thin enough. It still tasted fine, but it’s not the “melt in your mouth” consistency that I wanted.

    Flavor was great! I used all of the chicken meat, white and dark, and it turned out fine. Thank you for sharing Callie!

  3. 5 stars
    This chicken and dumplings is the best I have ever had! The homemade broth just takes it to the next level. Sooo yummy.

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