Southern Comfort: Easy Homemade Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Southern easy chicken and dumplings, a real Southern comfort food, and favorite of our family))) I say I’m not a food blogger, but here I am again with another recipe! But it’s a family-friendly dinner idea that my folks will eat any time.

You know that line from the movie “if you build it, they will come.” Well, if you COOK it they will come)))

I’ve been making these easy chicken and dumplings for more years than I would like to remember. My husband’s grandmother taught me the most about the recipe. I have just tweaked it through the years to make it tastier and easier.

The main thing I do differently for this easy chicken dumplings recipe is to use frozen biscuits. She probably would have shuddered at the thought))) She would make this big ball of biscuit dough and drop it in the pan of boiling liquid, take a large knife and just cut through it several times. I think my way is better and easier)))

Basic Ingredients

Chicken

Water

Cream of Chicken Soup

Salt and Pepper

Frozen Biscuits for the Dumplings

I used four frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this batch. Now, I can tell you that you will get the most flavor from any boiled chicken if you use whole chicken pieces that have skin and bone. The frozen chicken was what I had on hand today.

cook chicken until tender
Cook Chicken

Younger Years

When I was growing up, Southern chicken and dumplings recipes were always made with whole chicken pieces and when it was served, you had bone and skin in the bowl. That’s okay for some people, but my folks and I don’t care for that. That’s where the Cream of Chicken Soup comes in. It adds back some of the flavor that is lost by using boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You could also add a couple of chicken bouillon cubes to the water when cooking the chicken for extra flavor. Today I didn’t have any…so, there you go.

Chicken

Speaking of chicken breasts…..have you ever in your life seen such thick, big chicken breasts! You might think, hey that’s great….the bigger the better….the more chicken. But not so, not to me anyway. Sometimes the breasts are so large you have to do a cross-section slice so they will cook quicker and be more tender. If they are not cooked long enough when they are thick like this, they will come out spongy and not very tender. You don’t want that.

The best chicken for these easy chicken and dumplings is fresh, not frozen, smallish breast. Certainly not the gigantic ones. I would hate to see the live chickens that these breasts come off of! Talk about Jurassic Park!

Boneless thighs are another good option, they have great flavor and always come out tender. This family-friendly dinner idea is very versatile.

Cook the Chicken

Cook the chicken until tender. The amount of time it takes will depend on what kind of chicken you use. So it could take 30 min to an hour. Just test it and make sure it’s tender. Add some salt and pepper while it’s cooking.

So, if you opt for chicken with skin and bones, you can still use the Cream of Chicken Soup, it will add more creaminess and thickening to the dumplings.

While the chicken is cooking, set out the frozen biscuits. Place about 12 on a cutting board.

make dumplings out of frozen biscuits
Frozen Biscuits

Frozen Biscuits

Using frozen biscuits is one of the tweaks that I have done to the recipe. This makes for quicker chicken and dumplings using frozen biscuits. There are other ways too of making rolled-out dumplings, but I prefer for the quick version.

I have tried canned biscuit dough that worked fairly well, but the dumplings sometimes get really gummy and not appealing at all. The frozen biscuits work best when about half-thawed. Thawed enough that you can cut through them and still be crunchy.

quarter half frozen biscuits
Frozen Biscuits

Any dumplings if you cook them too long will be gummy and sticky and yucky!

Chop the Chicken and Add the Soup

Remove the chicken from the pan, and save the stock! Cut the chicken up into bite-size pieces.

chop chicken into bite size pieces for chicken and dumplings
Chopped Chicken

After you have removed the chicken from the pan, my chicken and dumplings recipe calls for a can of Cream of Chicken Soup. Pour it into the pan and stir it up with a whisk so it won’t be lumpy.

Then add the chopped-up chicken back to the pan. Continue to simmer on low heat.

Note: If I’m going to keep posting recipes I’m going to have to get a prettier pan!

Dumplings

Quarter the half-frozen biscuits and drop them piece by piece into the simmering pan. You may have to turn the heat up a little. You want it to gently boil.

As you drop the biscuit pieces in, space them out around in the pan and move them around with a wooden spoon.

adding frozen biscuits to homemade chicken and dumplings

By the way….

Did you know that placing a wooden spoon in the pan will help keep it from boiling over? Try it!

Watch the pan closely during this time and stir gently. Our grandchildren like the dumplings to be big. Well, what they say is we like chicken and dumplings with big balls….I know…they are teenagers.

Cook with a lid on for a bit, but continue to watch closely. The dumplings will puff up as they cook and be about twice the size they started out. After they have fluffed up, take a fork to test them. They should look much like a baked biscuit in the center.

Getting the right amount of doneness is a sort of trial and error. Not cooked long enough and the dumplings will be raw…..cooked too long they will get gummy. But a little gumminess is better than raw!

When you think they are close to being done, turn the heat back down or even off and put a lid on. Let them sit there a bit, the dumplings will continue to cook a little.

Taste along the way and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Nancy Nurse here…..you know each time you taste with a spoon, put in the sink and get another clean spoon to taste again)))

Is liquid Too Thin?

The dumplings will thicken up the liquid and it should be about the consistency of gravy. But if it’s too thin, you can thicken it with a bit of flour and milk.

Start with about 2 tablespoons of flour and 1/2 cup of milk. Be sure to start by adding a little bit of milk to the flour, stirring to get the lumps out, and then gradually adding more milk.

You probably won’t be able to get them all out, so don’t fret. It does help if you have one of those small whisks to stir. Slowly add the flour/milk mixture to the dumplings and let them cook for a little longer.

add flour and milk to thicken
Thin Dumplings as Needed

You can use the liquid from the dumplings, I’ve done that before, but it seemed like I had more lumps. When the flour hits the hot liquid it cooks and you can’t get rid of those lumps!

Ready to Serve

Homemade chicken and dumplings have to be served hot. We like them served in a bowl and with cornbread. Some folks like them with crackers, but I’m not judging. 🙄

So if you’re looking for a real homemade comfort food for dinner, try some Southern chicken and dumplings! Is chicken and dumplings standard far at your dinner table? I would love to hear how you make yours!

serve chicken and dumplings with crackers or cornbread
Crackers or Cornbread? Cornbread is the best!

Re-Heating Chicken & Dumplings

Unless you are feeding a crowd, you will have chicken and dumplings left over. These homemade chicken and dumplings will get thicker in the refrigerator too. Warm them up slowly and use milk to thin them. Just go slow using the microwave or back in a pan. When you add extra milk, you might need to add extra salt and pepper too.

I hope you enjoy this Southern comfort food))) Do you want to know how to make cornbread? I’ll get my husband to make a pan and I’ll photograph it. He makes the best cornbread)))

More from My Kitchen

chicken and dumplings
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Chicken & Dumplings made with Frozen Biscuits

Homemade chicken and dumplings made with frozen biscuits is a Southern comfort food that our family loves. Serve hot with cornbread!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken and cumplings, frozen biscuits for dumplings
Servings: 6
Calories: 338kcal

Ingredients

Thickening if needed.

Instructions

Cook the Chicken

  • Place four frozen chicken breasts in a large stock pot and add two quarts of water Add salt and pepper.
    cook frozen chicken breasts
  • Cook until tender. Time will depend on type of chicken used. Fresh will cook in 30 minutes or so, frozen will take longer, maybe 45 min to an hour. I usually get them started and just let them cook over low heat while I'm doing other things. You can't really overcook the chicken this way.
    cook chicken until tender

Prepare Dumplings

  • While chicken is cooking, place 12 frozen biscuits on a cutting board and allow to start thawing. They don't have to thaw completely. If you forget this step, you can thaw them a bit in the microwave. Just thaw enough that you can cut them.
    frozen biscuits
  • When the biscuits are about half-thawed, cut them into quarters with a large knife. The biscuits should still feel crunchy.
    frozen biscuits

Chicken & Dumplings

  • Once the chicken is tender, remove from the pot and place on a cutting board to cool a bit. I like to remove any fat or pieces of cartilage.
  • Continue cooking the stock and add 1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup. Stir with a whisk to break it up. Let it continue to simmer.
  • Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add back to the stock. Continue to simmer on low heat.
    chicken and dumlplings
  • Add the biscuit pieces one by one, spacing them out in the pot. Turn the heat up a bit to a gentle boil. Use a wooden spoon to push them around a bit. Don't stir too much or it will break them up, unless you want them that way))
  • Turn the heat down to low just to simmer and cover pot. Watch closely and stir frequently. Cook until dumplings are fluffy inside. This may only take five minutes or so, but it's hard to be exact because it depends on how much the biscuits had thawed. Test them with a fork. They should look like a biscuit on the inside. Undercooking will result in raw dough dumplings and overcooking can cause them to become gummy. Taste along the way and add more salt and pepper as needed.
    cook until biscuits are done
  • Serve chicken and dumplings hot with cornbread or crackers. We prefer cornbread))

If the liquid is too thin – thicken it.

  • Stir 2 T of flour into 1/2 cup of milk. Make it as smooth as you can and stir into the dumplings. Cook for a couple of minutes and the liquid should thicken up.
    If the mixture is too thick to your liking, add 1/2 cup increments of milk until desired thickness is reached. We like it to be about the thickness of gravy.
    thicken dumplings

To Reheat the Chicken and Dumplings

  • Reheat slowly in a pan or microwave. Add some milk to thin them a bit. They will become thicker in the refrigerator. Heat very slowly and don't overcook.
    chicken and dumplings with crackers

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 1177mg | Potassium: 739mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 262IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg
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8 Comments

  1. This sounds delicious! I always loved my grandma’s chicken and dumplings! I do remember her saying that the dumplings get “sad” after they sit for a little while…was wondering how well this would work for our church homecoming potluck? Are they just as good reheated?

    1. Thank you for visiting my blog))) The dumplings are best when taken on the stove and served. My grandchildren like me to make large dumplings so they are fluffy inside. I understand what your grandmother was talking about. They are okay when reheated as far as taste, but dumplings can get a little gummy. They can get a little gummy too if you cook them too long. I would not reheat them to take to a gathering. They are okay reheated at home))) But when I take them for something like a Thanksgiving dinner, I take them right off the stove and just keep warm in a covered pan like the dutch oven they were cooked in and cover with towels to keep them warm.

  2. This recipe taste just like my Grandma use to make and is very easy. Perfect for when you have a cold or just need comfort food.
    Delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    I wear a neck brace when I cook bc I injured neck. When I came to terms that prepping and cooking made my neck hurt worse, I began focusing on quick dishes. Your Chicken Dumpling recipe is exactly what I’m talking about! Please send more time saving quick recipes so I can continue to feed my family with minimal pain. You’re on to something here! Lu

    1. So sorry for your difficulties Lucille, it must make even the easiest tasks harder to do! Thank you for following my blog, I do appreciate it. I’m working on posting a casserole recipe today)) It’s made with a rotisserie chicken so it’s off to an easy start)))

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