Most-Requested Item on the Menu: Chicken Dumplings


It is a fact that large families have lots of birthdays.  September and October have more than their share in our family so we’ve been in birthday mode lately.  When one of our three college guys comes home for a weekend or their birthday, they request their favorite meal. Is it steak and potatoes or shrimp and lobster?  No, my friends.  They want a politically and nutritionally incorrect meal, the ultimate comfort food:  Chicken Dumplings.


Not just any dumplings, Mom’s recipe that they have eaten all of their lives.  The kind that is NOT served in college cafeterias or health food restaurants.  This recipe was originally developed pre-children and has stood the test of time.  This Lovely Place has quite a repetoire of cheap and easy meals and Chicken Dumplings are no exception.


The recipe that follows would feed a few people.  Alas, I am not familiar with “feeds four” recipes so I’m not sure how many people.  All I know is that I triple the recipe if it’s just 8 of us at home, quadruple it if a few grown children are home, and quintuple it if they bring friends.  A really big stock pot is necessary when it’s time to pull out the big guns.  In fact, that pot cooks dumplings for 30 when I take a meal to the local faith-based student center on our university campus.


I can get two batches of Chicken Dumplings out of a 3-pound bag of frozen chicken breasts.  My favorite way to cook the breasts is in a crock pot on high for a few hours, with 2 cups of broth or boullion-flavored water.  Use 2 forks to chop up the meat and you have chicken and broth for Chicken Taco Soup, Chicken Tacos, Chicken Noodles or Chicken Dumplings.


Cooking things like dumplings or soup is an inexact science, so pardon the vague references:


Chicken Dumplings


A few chicken breasts (I like white meat!), cooked and chopped
Between 1/2 to 2/3 pan full of chicken broth (I usually add bouillon powder, salt and pepper to taste)
Bring to a boil.
Mix dumplings:
3 T. shortening
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. milk
and the secret ingredient:  1 tsp. celery seed


Cut shortening into flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir in milk.  Drop dough by spoonfuls into boiling broth and chicken.  If you dip the spoon down into the broth, the dough rolls off easily. Mixture thickens as it cooks, don’t let it scorch.  Cook uncovered about 7 minutes for lightness and about 7 minutes covered to cook them through.  Test a dumpling by cutting it and chewing. If it looks like bread and tastes light, it’s done.  If it looks and tastes dough-y, cook longer. If you cook them too long, the dumplings will dissolve and disappear.


Add some cornbread or biscuits, a nice tablecloth and candlelight, and you have the makings of a homey family meal. This is a perfect meal for a cold, rainy day!  A hot homemade meal and a pretty table go a long ways toward building memories and keeping your family’s hearts at home.


  1. Marymommy22 says:

    Thanks for the recipe. Sounds yummy! Especially love the last paragraph. You are such an encourager, Charlotte!!

  2. Casaslack says:

    As my family gets smaller, I cherish more and more the privilege to cook for them! It’s wonderful to have Bethany and Rachael calling home wanting to know how to cook their favorites!

  3. Thanks Charlotte! I’m going to print this one out. Sounds yummy. 🙂

  4. Creating “moments” with our family IS what lasts in the minds of our children. “Only one life which soon is past, only what’s done with love will last” -anonymous
    Thanks for the recipe Charlotte!

  5. Mmmm…we love a variation of your dish, chicken and dumplin’ stew, with carrots, onion and celery. Sounds like great family memories! Birthday season begins in our home tomorrow, and a favorite birthday dish requested by the kids is homemade macaroni and cheese.
    “Atmosphere points” 🙂 I like that.

  6. I love the sentiment of this, Charlotte – of creating memories for our children. Thanks for the gentle reminder… ;o)

  7. Angelambrooks says:

    My kids love my dumplings – and there are never any left overs!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Perfect story, perfectly written, perfect message! I am printing the recipe and will let you know if that too is perfect…although I am sure it will be coming from you Charlotte!

  9. Sometimes I get tired of cooking, but never of eating good, clean, wholesome, nutritious food – AND serving it to my family and knowing that I am providing them with good nutrition as a basis for good health, and good habits that will last them a lifetime!

  10. I love this post!! July is our big birthday month… there are 5 birthdays in July in my family! I am the oldest girl of 10 children and I often helped my mother prepare meals. All 12 of us were expected to be in our seats around the table at dinner time. When I first got married… I didn’t know how to cook for just the two of us. I still used my mom’s recipe for spaghetti sauce made with 5 lbs. of ground beef. Needless to say, we had tons of leftovers to eat. Hmmm… maybe that’s why 36 years later spaghetti is my husband’s least favorite food!;-)

  11. Donnella Looger says:

    I just printed this one. Reminded me of my Grandma Hart’s recipe. Thanks Charlotte.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Very warm post. I can smell the chicken n dumplings.

  13. Beau Henderson says:

    You are so right Charlotte. We often remember the smaller unique experience that make life wonderful. I got hungry just reading this…..

  14. I don’t know how you do it, you are amazing. Thanks for sharing your recipe and I love love your humour! I can hardly wait to make this! Hugs


  16. I made these today and my kids loved them! I sauteed a small leek, a carrot, an onion and some cellery root in butter, poured the broth over it, added peas and chicken meat to the soup, then dropped the dumplings in. The flour makes the soup thick and yummy!

    I had some dumpling dough left over which I baked. The kids loved dipping the baked biscuits in the soup, so next time I’ll make some more dumpling dough for biscuits to go with it.

    My 9-year-old asked if I could make this more often. A winner!

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Woo-hoo! Glad you like them! Great idea on the extra dumpling dough–although I usually quadruple the recipe and they eat every bite as dumplings! But next time I’ll make 5x!

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