Busy Mom’s Guide to Southern Comfort Food…Chicken & Dumplings

chicken dumplins croppedNearly every country and culture has their own version of chicken noodle soup.  In the south, chicken noodle soup is  a bit different.  Our chicken & dumplings, aka “chickn’ dumplins”, is a serious matter.  Every mother has a “family recipe” that was passed down from her mom and grandmother, and every country cookin’ restaurant claims their’s is “just like mama’s.”  And for every claim of the “best chicken & dumpling recipe,” everyone seems to always be looking for a better or easier or quicker way to serve up & enjoy the ultimate Southern comfort food.

I remember my mom rolling out her dough and cutting the small squares with a pizza cutter and always giving me a couple pieces of dough.  I also remember my mom putting a few eggs in her chicken & dumplings.  As far as the egg was concerned, she doesn’t do that anymore and I’ve never thought to ask why.  All I remember is two or three solid boiled-looking egg yolks floating around in the pot.

Over the years, I’ve made my fair share of chicken & dumplings, and I haven’t relied on a recipe. I haven’t searched for a better, easier, or quicker way to do it.  No, I started making chicken & dumplings this way when I was in high school, and I’ve continued the same way every time.  Quite honestly, it’s a situation of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” My recipe works for my family, doesn’t take all day to make, tastes great, helped to win me a husband, and is constantly requested.  So with that…

My Only Chicken & Dumplings Recipe

Ingredients

3 large split chicken breasts

Water to cover

2 chicken bouillon cubes

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

3 cans small biscuits (10 count cans)

3/4 c. flour

3 tsp dried parsley

Directions

Place chicken in a large soup pot.  Cover with water and add bouillon cubes.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  As soon as it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and boil until chicken is done…approximately 20 minutes depending on the thickness. **Chicken doesn’t have to be thawed.  In a pinch, I use frozen chicken breasts all the time and everything works out just fine.** When the chicken is done, turn off and allow chicken to sit in the broth for 10-15 minutes.  Remove chicken from broth and allow to cool until you are able to work with it.

Add cream of chicken soup, poultry seasoning, black pepper, and garlic powder to chicken broth.  Whisk together and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Meanwhile, shred chicken with your fingers and add it back to the cream of chicken-broth mixture.

Place flour into a shallow bowl or plate.  Dip each canned biscuit into the flour and flatten with your fingers.   Stack flattened biscuits in stacks of 4 or 5 biscuits.  Using a large knife, cut biscuits into approximately 1″ bite size pieces.

When chicken and broth has come to a simmer, begin adding cut dough pieces, stirring after each handful addition.  Once all dough pieces have been added, allow to cook until dough becomes dumplings. **Dough pieces will puff up at the beginning.  You will need to stir frequently to stir down the mass.  As the dough cooks, they will shrink and begin to sink. Cooked dumplings will be flat-ish and not doughy.**

Stir in dried parsley and serve.

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