Chicken and Dumplings is one of those southern comfort meals everyone loves, and Cracker Barrel is known for its delicious homestyle comfort foods. If you can’t make it to a Cracker Barrel location, then the next best thing is preparing it in your own home. It’s actually a lot of fun to make and it probably brings back memories of eating chicken and dumplings as a kid.
For the recipe we’re sharing below, you’ll make your own broth while cooking the chicken. You could also use a box of chicken stock if you have it to make this recipe even easier. When making your own, you can save and freeze it for future meals. This meal can be prepared in just over 2 hours, but don’t let that intimidate you – most of that time is just cooking the chicken and preparing the broth. Once it’s started, you only have to check it a couple of times to skim the fat off the top. Meanwhile, you can prepare the dough for the dumplings.
You will be cooking a full chicken for this easy chicken and dumplings recipe, and then shredding it, so be sure to check our recommendations below on the easiest way to shred the chicken.
This meal can be served with garlic bread or homemade biscuits for that additional southern comfort feel.
|Prep Time||Cook Time||Total Time|
|30 min||1 h 40 m||2 h 10 m|
- 1 lb chicken
- 1 pinch salt
- water to cover
- 1 lemon, halved
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced, or more to taste
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
Chicken and Broth Preparation
- Place the full chicken and a pinch of salt into a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil.
- Next, add the lemon, celery, onion, and carrots to the pot. Simmer the chicken and broth over medium heat until the chicken becomes tender and falls off the bone. This should take about 1 hour. Every few minutes, skim the fat off the surface with a slotted spoon.
- Discard lemon halves. Remove the chicken from the pot, and let it cool. Allow the broth to continue simmering.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture, and ladle in 2 to 3 scoops of hot broth. Blend the mixture with a spoon until the dough comes together into a ball.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough ball carefully until it’s smooth. Roll it out into a large rectangle, and cut out small rectangular dumplings.
- Drop the dumplings one at a time into the simmering broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, shred the cooled chicken. Add the chicken pieces to the pot with the dumplings and cook until heated through, for about 5 minutes.
Serving Chicken and Dumplings
- Ladle broth, chicken, and dumplings into a bowl, and serve with a side of biscuits or bread.
- To shred the chicken, use one fork to hold the chicken steady, and use another fork to scrape and tear the chicken into small, shredded pieces.
- Before rolling out the dough, be sure to sprinkle flour on your countertop surface so the dough doesn’t stick.
- Be sure your broth is still simmering when you drop the dumplings in, so they cook properly.
- You can also prepare biscuits using the same dough used to make the dumplings.