The Best Southern Chicken and Dumplings Recipe Ever

Today, we’re cooking into what is claimed to be the best Southern chicken and dumplings recipe ever. Don’t let the seemingly long list of ingredients intimidate you; our guide will simplify the process, making it easy to recreate this delicious and comforting dish in your kitchen.

The Best Southern Chicken and Dumplings Recipe Ever

How to Make the Best Southern Chicken and Dumplings Recipe Ever

Coat seasoned chicken in flour, brown in a Dutch oven, create a flavorful base with veggies and broth, shred the chicken, add homemade dumplings, simmer, and finish with cream and chai for the ultimate Southern comfort food experience.

the Best Southern Chicken and Dumplings Recipe Ever

The Best Southern Chicken and Dumplings Recipe Ever

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Let's start crafting the most flavorful and satisfying chicken and dumplings you've ever tasted!


  • 1 whole chicken (or your preferred chicken parts)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Your favorite seasoning blend (optional)
  • Cooking oil for browning
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Carrots, chopped
  • Celery, chopped
  • Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Peppercorns
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour for dumplings
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Chopped parsley for garnish
  • Chopped chives for garnish


  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Dutch oven
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Forks for shredding chicken
  • Toothpick for testing dumplings
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Ladle
  • Optional: Fat separator


I'm excited to share this recipe with you, so let's dive in! 

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

Prepare the Chicken

  • Season 1/2 cup of flour with salt, pepper, and optional seasoning blend.
  • Coat the chicken pieces with the seasoned flour mixture.
  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven and brown the chicken pieces. Don't cook them completely; just aim for a nice golden color.

Step 2: Create a Flavorful Base

  • Add chopped onions, carrots, celery, and minced garlic to the Dutch oven.
  • Sauté until the vegetables are softened and aromatic.
  • Sprinkle in a bit more flour and stir to create a roux.

Step 3: Build the Flavorful Broth

Build the Flavorful Broth

  • Pour in the chicken broth, apple cider, and add bay leaves and peppercorns.
  • Simmer the mixture, incorporating the roux until it thickens.

Step 4: Shred the Chicken

  • Once thickened, remove the chicken and shred it using two forks.
  • Skim off excess fat from the broth.

Step 5: Make the Dumplings

Make the Dumplings

  • In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In another bowl, combine melted butter and milk, then incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ones.
  • Knead the dough until it comes together, then form small dumplings.

Step 6: Cook the Dumplings

  • Drop the dumplings into the simmering broth.
  • Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, ensuring the dumplings are cooked through.

Step 7: Add Finishing Touches

  • Stir in heavy cream, and add chopped parsley and chives.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Step 8: Serve and Enjoy

  • Plate the chicken and dumplings, making sure to ladle plenty of broth and vegetables.
  • Garnish with extra parsley and chives for a fresh touch.

FAQs on The Best Southern Chicken and Dumplings Recipe Ever

Can I use chicken parts instead of a whole chicken?

If dealing with a whole chicken seems too much, you can use pre-cut chicken parts like thighs, drumsticks, or breasts. It’s all about convenience.

What can I substitute for the Level Up seasoning?

If you don’t have Level Up seasoning, use your favorite poultry seasoning or a combination of herbs like thyme, rosemary, and sage.

 Can I use store-bought chicken broth?

Yes, store-bought chicken broth works well. However, making your own broth by simmering chicken parts with vegetables adds an extra layer of flavor.

How do I prevent the dumplings from sticking together?

 Ensure the dumplings are dropped into the simmering broth one by one. Giving them a bit of space helps prevent sticking. Stir gently to ensure even cooking.

How do I know when the dumplings are cooked through?

Use a toothpick to pierce a dumpling. The dumplings are ready if it comes out clean without any dough residue.

Can I freeze leftover chicken and dumplings?

Yes, you can freeze leftovers. However, remember that the dumplings’ texture may change slightly upon reheating. Thoroughly cool before freezing, and reheat gently on the stove.

Are there variations to this recipe?

You can add peas, corn, or other favorite vegetables. Some even enjoy a touch of spice with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

Can I use a slow cooker for this recipe?

Yes, you can adapt this recipe for a slow cooker. Brown the chicken and sauté veggies first, then transfer everything to the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours.


There you have it – the best Southern chicken and dumplings recipe ever! This hearty dish is perfect for cold days or when you crave a comforting meal. The combination of tender chicken, flavorful broth, and fluffy dumplings will surely be a hit at your dinner table. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to savor the taste of the South!

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