I Think Mamaw Would Like ‘Em, Too

When I was a little girl, one of the dishes that was just flat out REVERED in my family was my Mamaw Davis’ chicken and dumplings. Except that we never, ever pronounced the “g” in the word “dumplings.” We said “dumplins.” Still do. So just know that from here on out I’m gonna type it like I say it. Chicken and dumplins.


Earlier this week I was temporarily overtaken by the plague, and on Wednesday, when I actually wore clothes that were not pajamas and started to emerge from my plague-induced haze, I decided that I had to have – HAD TO HAVE – chicken and dumplins for supper. I always think of chicken and dumplins as the Southerner’s answer to chicken noodle soup, and in light of the week I’d had, it sounded like the world’s most perfect food. So I went to the store, rounded up all the ingredients, then headed home to try to honor my sweet Mamaw’s memory.

I should probably tell you that I’ve tried lots of different chicken and dumplin recipes over the years. I’ve gone the totally-from-scratch route; I’ve gone the add-some-cream-of-something-soup route; I’ve gone the make-dumplins-from-canned-biscuits route. But Wednesday night, I have to say, is when I think I finally hit on the perfect combination of convenience and made-from scratch goodness. Because the chicken and dumplins? THEY WERE TASTY. And the next time I decide to cook up a batch, I’m going to make them the exact same way.

So on the off chance that anyone, you know, CARES, I thought I’d share the recipe. It’s a combination of (no kidding) about three different recipes, and for whatever reason, it works. Be advised that we don’t really enjoy it when vegetables interfere with our chicken and dumplins, so you won’t find any of them in this particular mash-up. You could definitely add them, though.

All righty. Here you have it.

My Favorite Chicken & Dumplins

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup buttermilk
(if you like fluffy, biscuit-y dumplins, add 2 teaspoons of baking powder – but we like dense dumplins around here)


2 fully cooked rotisserie chickens
1/2 stick real-live (salted) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 box chicken stock (32 oz. – I like Kitchen Basics)
2 cups water
1/4 cup half and half
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste


In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 2 beaten eggs, salt and buttermilk. Once mixture is blended, cover the bowl and set aside. Don’t over mix – it’ll make the dumplins tough.

Pull meat off of rotisserie chickens. Chop into cubes, then set aside.

In a Dutch oven, melt butter over low heat. Once all the bubbles are gone, start sprinkling the 1/4 cup of flour into the pot. Add a little, stir to combine, then add a little more, stir to combine, etc. Once all the flour has been incorporated, continue to stir over low-to-medium heat until the mixture starts to turn a golden color. You don’t want it to get brown – just golden. It’ll only take a couple of minutes.

Once you see that golden color, start adding liquid to the mixture. Add about a cup of chicken stock, whisk it well so that everything combines, then add half the water, whisk to combine, more chicken stock, then whisk – and continue until all the liquid has been mixed with the flour and butter mixture. Turn the heat up to medium and continue to whisk frequently to ensure that you don’t have any lumps.

This is a great time to taste the stock mixture, by the way – the butter and stock already have salt, but you’ll probably need to add more salt and pepper to taste.

Let mixture simmer for about 10 minutes – until it’s thicker and not quite so brothy. Add Worcestershire, garlic powder, half and half and chicken. Stir to combine everything, then taste again. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Once the whole mixture is simmering and is season just like you like it, drop the dumplin dough into the pot by spoonfuls. It’ll start to look crowded, but that’s okay. Once everything is in the pot, let the dumplins simmer (uncovered) for about 15-20 minutes. They’ll cook through, and once they’re done, take the whole pot off the heat, cover it, and leave it alone for about 15-20 minutes.

After 15-20 minutes, take off the lid, grab a ladle, and serve the chicken and dumplins in some oversized bowls.

Be prepared for your people to pledge their undying and eternal devotion.

I’m just sayin’.

Because these chicken and dumplins are slap-your-mamaw good.

(But by all means, please don’t slap your mamaw.)

(I don’t think she would appreciate that.)

(Not to mention that it would be sort of tacky.)

Enjoy, y’all!

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  1. I’m enthralled, really. We always had the Northern version, growing up. Which is basically the same, except we bake the biscuits, then pour the chicken & gravy over them. I’ve never added in worchestershershire sauce though. I’m a-gonna try it! My thanks to Mamaw!

  2. This Yankee girl moved south about 20 years ago and my cooking is an interesting mix of north and south but I have never, NEVER been able to make decent chichen & dumplins (although I can pronounce it properly!!!) Thank you so much…and my family thanks you! It’s what’s for supper (or is it dinner – always get confused!).

  3. MMMMMMMM…..
    You might have…MIGHT HAVE…just inspired me to try to make these. I don’t cook a lot, but YUM- this sounds good and my hubby would be ever so grateful!

  4. Thank you darlin- this will be dinner on Sunday. Happy Weekend to you, and I’m so glad to hear you feel better. Enjoy this beautiful weather and FOOTBALL!!!

  5. Worcestershire? NICE TOUCH. Will add that the next time I make this. Which will probably be tomorrow. Sounds like good game day food to me!

  6. This is where I stand from my chair and salute you Queen of Dumplin’s.

  7. Okay, Sophie, I’ve lived up north my entire life (until we moved to TX a year ago) and I’ve always made nearly this exact same dumplin’s recipe. Except I’ve always done regular milk, not buttermilk. And I don’t use garlic or W sauce. Other than THAT it’s exactly the same. :)

    So from this northern transplant, thanks for posting this great recipe and I definitely want to try it w/ buttermilk next time!!!

    I always think I could add dumplin’s to pig slop and my big, ravenous crew would still devour it. You’ll be glad to know I haven’t tried it. Dumplin’s are always a winner around here!

  8. BooMama, I had a baby last Saturday. And the first thing I requested afterwards was chicken ‘n dumplins. From Cracker Barrel. ‘Twas deeeeelllicious.

  9. Sophie, when I read the first few sentences of this post, I actually experienced a moment of what scientists I believe call “brain freak,” wherein I thought I might have actually clicked on some ancient post of mine. My mammaw was famous for her chicken and dumplings. Well, OK. She was famous for all her food. She’s for sure cookin’ in heaven right now. But that’s not my point. Her chicken and dumplin’s were uh-mazing. And her last name was Davis. That’s right, my Mammaw Davis was famous for her chicken and dumplings. Cue the brain freak. You think there’s enough of us who fit that category that we could start a social club or have t-shirts made?
    You still rock.

  10. Flour tortillas make great dumplins too!! Just slice them and dust with a little bit of flour and drop in your broth. They puff a little and taste just like thin dumplins to me!

  11. Yummo! We had some cooler weather this week in NC and I wanted Chicken ‘n Dumplins. I have never been able to make them other than in the crock pot with canned biscuits. I’m holding out hope that I can actually do this. I’m certainly going to try!

  12. Sophie, you had me at “two fully cooked rotisserie chickens.” It’s on.

  13. Oh yum! This recipe sounds delicious. I can’t wait to try it. Still a wee bit warm here in Texas, but give us a couple of weeks and we will be ready for some Chicken and Dumplins.

  14. When my husband passed away in March we had lots of food brought to us. It was all really good (Southern Baptists have to be the best at funeral food, just sayin’) and of course, we appreciated it so much. The night before the funeral one gal from Sunday School brought a huge pot of homemade chicken and dumplins. Oh my gosh. They were the absolute best thing any of us had ever eaten. I swear I saw my sister in law from northern VA lick her bowl! The pot didn’t even look like it needed to be washed it was scraped so clean.

    Good chicken and dumplins feed the soul as well as the body.

  15. Come to think of it, we’ve never bothered pronouncing that g in my family either. I tried to make them once many years ago and let’s just say it did not go well. I do love me some good homemade chicken and dumplins though. It was one of the few things I could eat back when I was having morning sickness with my first pregnancy and my sweet mama would make them for me about once a week.

    I’m so trying this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Tracy Edwards says:

    It is so weird that you posted this today. We always have chicken and dumplins (we say it that way in NC too!) for Christmas Eve at my grandmother’s house. I am not a cook and I could never quite duplicate them just the way she made them no matter how hard she tried to teach me.

    She had a stroke this morning and will only be here a few more days, if that. One of the things I talked with her about today, as I spent time with her alone, was how much I would miss her chicken and dumplins and the time she spent trying to teach me to cook them.

    Maybe I can master your recipe instead!!

  17. I use Open Kettle Dumplings out of the freezer section. Have them @ Winn Dixie. Now you have to boil the chicken but no rolling out dough. Pretty tasty like my Mam Maw’s from Mt Olive, MS used to make! Oh if I could just have one more cathead biscuit of hers ! Hey I realize as I type your team plays my team tomorrow! May the best Cow College win ! WAR EAGLE!

  18. I love it when you use the word tacky. Looking forward to trying the recipe!

  19. I’ve been thinking about making chicken and dumplings all week. Even got some more chicken at Publix today. Guess it was the fact that Birmingham went from 100 to 60 in, like, 1 day, and made us all think of fall-ish stuff, huh? I know Labor Day is supposed to signal the end of summer but this is crazy. I had to take a COAT to the middle school game last night!

  20. Terrie Cash says:

    I know what I will be serving for dinner Sunday. Thanks for your great and easy recipe.

  21. Hi BooMama,
    This post made me delurk. I am trying these tonight. They sound great! On an offnote I think a BigBoo Cast about grocery shopping would be hilarious. I think any two people who can make Sunchips funny would be a riot with the entire market. Feel Better!

  22. This Yankee gal says your MawMaw’s chicken n dumplins sound absolutely yummy! I’ll save the recipe and I’ll be back for more reading here! Thank you! Growing Old With Grace

  23. I CANNOT wait to make this. I am a huge of of chicken & dumplins – also of chix & dumplin soup. Thank you for the recipe!

  24. I love chicken and dumplins and always have. I’m a bit of a purist though, so I managed to piece together two from-scratch recipes and come up with something that tastes just like my grandmother’s recipe, which she never wrote down. It’s a lot of work though, so I usually only make it once or twice a fall/winter, if that! I may have to try this recipe and see if I can have some good comfort food more often. Thanks for sharing!

  25. yum!!! and, MSU v Auburn? Soooooo close!!! Aargh ;-]

  26. Thanks for callin them dumplins. That’s how I say it to. I was actually just thinking this weekend about how my two-yr old hears me say “spankin” instead of spanking. Ha!

    I’m definitely giving this recipe a try soon!

  27. I can’t wait to try this!!! I LOVE dumplins.

  28. Sophie – Thank you and Amen! I had tweeted and asked for this and am so thankful I got around to your blog this afternoon!

    Thank you and many blessings – it’s drizzling outside over here (as related to where I live from where you live) :) and some dumplins need to be made soon…

    Love ya much,