Chicken and dumplings

Chicken and dumplings
Chicken and dumplings
Alternative names Chicken and pastry, chicken and sliders, chicken and slicks
Type Dumpling
Place of origin United States, Quebec
Region or state Southern and Midwestern United States
Main ingredients Flour, shortening, water or milk or stock; chicken
Cookbook: Chicken and dumplings  Media: Chicken and dumplings

Chicken and dumplings is a dish that consists of a chicken cooked in water, with the resulting chicken broth being used to cook the dumplings by boiling.[1] A dumpling—in this context—is a biscuit dough, which is a mixture of flour, shortening, and liquid (water, milk, buttermilk,[2] or chicken stock). The dumplings are either rolled out flat, dropped[1] or formed into a ball.

It is a popular comfort food dish,[2][3] commonly found in the Southern[2][4] and Midwestern United States, that is also attributed to being a French Canadian meal that originated during the Great Depression. Some sources say that chicken and dumplings originated in the Southern United States during antebellum era and was considered a mainstay during harsh economic times. [5] One of the earliest versions of the recipe was cornmeal dumplings cooked with turnip greens. [6]Chicken and dumplings as a dish is prepared with a combination of boiled chicken meat, broth produced by boiling the chicken, multiple dumplings, and salt and pepper for seasoning. Sometimes finely chopped vegetables, such as carrots and celery, are added to the broth, and herbs such as dill, parsley, thyme, or chives are added to the dumpling dough. [7]


Various commercial preparations of chicken and dumplings are available, including canned[8][2] and frozen versions of the prepared dish. Frozen raw dumplings, typically very flat strips about 1x4 inches, can be cooked in any broth. The consistency of the prepared dish, whether homemade or purchased, varies from a thin soup to a very thick casserole-like consistency, easily eaten with a fork. Thicker preparations are made by gently simmering the dumplings longer and/or adding flour or another thickening agent directly to the broth. Flour tortillas or canned biscuits, rolled thin on a floured surface, cut into strips, are a quick and easy substitute for homemade dough. Butter may be added to the recipe for added richness. Since chicken meat would become dry and tough if it is boiled long enough to cook the dumplings and thicken the broth, the chicken or parts are removed from the broth before adding the dumplings. While the dumplings are cooking, the meat is separated from the bones. When the dumplings are done and the broth seasoned and thickened, the chicken is returned to the broth. The dish is then ready to be served, but may be kept on low heat so as to not further cook the chicken.

International versions

Although the dumpling has been around for many generations, each culture has its own way of individualizing the basic dumpling recipe. There are other international versions of chicken and dumplings. For instance, the Chinese culture has the wonton,[9] which is similar to the chicken and dumplings dish as we know it today. Additionally, the Iranian-Jewish dish, called gondi, includes matzah ball dumplings, which are also common in Central European food.

Since the creation of the dumpling, various meats aside from chicken have accompanied it, such as beef, lamb and pork.


A variant known as "chicken and pastry" or simply "chicken pastry" features wide, flat noodles rolled from biscuit dough. Where such a distinction is made, it is sometimes considered a different dish from "chicken and dumplings", which is known for small balls of dough rather than flat strips. In the Appalachian region of the United States, this preparation is called chicken and slicks.[10] The Pennsylvania Dutch version is called bott boi.[11]

See also

  • Chicken soup, a clear broth, often served with small pieces of chicken or vegetables
  • Dough, a paste made by mixing flour with a small amount of water and/or other liquid
  • Kreplach, small dumplings filled with ground meat, mashed potatoes or another filling, usually boiled and served in chicken soup
  • List of chicken dishes
  • List of dumplings


  1. 1 2 Fowler, D. (2009). Classical Southern Cooking. Gibbs Smith. p. 300. ISBN 978-1-4236-1351-0. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Gannon, B.; Smith, L.; Namkoong, J. (2011). Family-Style Meals at the Hali'imaile General Store. Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. p. 142. ISBN 978-1-60774-142-8. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  3. Skaggs, S. (2016). Real Food Slow Cooker Suppers: Easy, Family-Friendly Recipes from Scratch. Page Street Publishing. p. 116. ISBN 978-1-62414-280-2. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  4. McDermott, N.; Beisch, L. (2015). Southern Soups & Stews: More Than 75 Recipes from Burgoo and Gumbo to Etouffée and Fricassee. Chronicle Books LLC. pp. 106–107. ISBN 978-1-4521-3230-3. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  5. Moss, Robert. "Don't Call Chicken and Dumplings Depression-Era Cheap Eats". Serious Eats. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  6. Pierce, Kim. "Southern Comfort Once working-class, chicken and dumplings are now just classy". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  7. "Dutch Oven Chicken And Herbed Dumplings". Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  8. Engineers, N.B.C. (2005). Preservation of Meat and Poultry Products. Asia Pacific Business Press, Incorporated. p. 220. ISBN 978-81-7833-030-3. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  9. Florence, Tyler. "Chicken and Dumplings". Food Network. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  10. Gordon, Steve. "Chicken Pastry Recipe". Taste of Southern. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  11. "James Beard's American Cookery - James Beard - Google Books". Retrieved 2018-04-12.
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