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Chicken and Dumplings | Magnolia Days

Chicken and Dumplings

chicken and Dumplings is a traditional Southern dish with homemade stock, chicken, and buttermilk dumplings.
Course Soup/Stew
Cuisine American Southern
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Renee


  • 1 whole chicken do not use organs; liver, gizzard, etc.
  • 5 chicken legs
  • 3 celery stalks cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 carrots cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 onion sliced into thick rings
  • 1 whole garlic bulb top sliced off
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Place chicken, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, salt, peppercorns, and water in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Make sure water covers all the ingredients. Bring just to a boil but do not let it get to a rolling boil.
  2. Turn the heat to low and simmer loosely covered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours (until chicken is done and tender). Skim off any foam that forms on the surface.
  3. Remove whole chicken and set aside to cool. Set a strainer in a very large bowl and pour remaining contents into the strainer.
  4. Discard cooked vegetables and chicken legs. Wipe out and clean the cooking pot.
  5. Skim off the clear fat on top of the stock by using a large spoon or with a gravy separator. Discard fat.
  6. Return stock to the pot. Pull the chicken meat off the bone and cut it into bite sized pieces. You will only need to use about half of the meat. The rest can be saved or frozen for other use. Discard chicken bone and skin.
  7. Bring the stock back to a boil. Make the dumplings while stock is heating.
  8. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, soda, and salt. Add shortening and cut it in to the flour using a fork until it resembles a coarse meal.
  9. Add buttermilk and stir with a fork until the dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Knead dough 4 or 5 times.
  10. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Slice dough into 1/2- X 3-inch pieces. Drop dough pieces into the boiling stock, about 10 at a time (do not add all at once).
  11. Once all the dough pieces have been added, top with chicken pieces. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream and stir. Cook for at least 10 minutes on medium heat (low boil).
  12. Taste and add salt and/or pepper if needed.

Recipe Notes

chicken and Dumplings is a traditional Southern dish with homemade stock, chicken, and buttermilk dumplings.