Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings with green beans on plate

Chicken and Dumplings

Recipe by Melissa Nicholson Course: Dinner

6 – 8

Prep time


Cooking time



This is the ultimate comfort food. I lived in the South for a while, and that was the first place I ever had chicken and dumplings. I make mine a little different, mainly the dumplings. I grew up in the Midwest in the 70s and 80s when Bisquick was king in our mother’s kitchens. I loved Mom’s Bisquick dumplings, and I still do, so that’s what I use for this recipe.


  • Whole young chicken (about 5 pounds), cooked and deboned

  • 8 cups water

  • 4 cups whole milk

  • 2 tbsp thyme

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 2 tsp black pepper

  • 4 tsp chicken flavored Better than Boullion or 4 bouillon cubes

  • To thicken the gravy:
  • 3/4 cup cold water

  • 6 tbsp cornstarch

  • Dumplings:
  • 4 cups Bisquick

  • 1 1/3 cups milk


  • Make sure the chicken is cut into pieces that are easy to bite or at least cut in half. When I take mine off the bone, I tear them into pieces that are a little bigger than bite size. They cut easily when served, so tiny bite-sized pieces aren’t necessary, but you don’t want huge chunks either. Set the chicken aside.
  • For the gravy, add 8 cups of water to a large saucepan. Add the boullion and bring it to a boil.
  • Add 4 cups whole milk and stir.
  • Add the thyme, salt, and pepper. Season to taste if you want more or less.
  • Once everything is combined, turn down the heat to a simmer while you stir the cornstarch into the 3/4 cup cold water until smooth.
  • Turn the heat to medium/high and wait for the mixture to boil. Once it’s boiling, whisk in the cornstarch mixture. You’ll feel the gravy thickening. As it starts to feel thick, turn it down to simmer. Stir or whisk constantly until it’s the thickness you like. Turn off the heat.
  • Using a crockpot on the warm setting, mix together the chicken and gravy in the crockpot. This will keep it warm and tender while you make the dumplings. Don’t rinse out the gravy pot. You’ll use it next for the dumplings.
  • Dumplings
  • Mix together the Bisquick and 1 1/3 cups of milk to form the dumpling dough.
  • Fill the saucepan you used for the gravy with about 8 cups of water or simply fill it a little less than halfway. You’re creating some hot liquid to dump the dumplings into, so it’s nothing too technical. The leftover bits from the gravy you made will give it enough flavor.
  • Bring the water to a boil.
  • Using a large cookie scoop or a tablespoon, drop scoops of the dumpling dough into the boiling water.
  • Once the surface of the water is full of dumplings, turn the heat to medium/low and let cook for 10 minutes. Do not stir. If you still have dough left, which you should, don’t worry; you’ll go through this process twice to get them all done. As an alternative, you can have two pots going. I prefer watching and cleaning only one.
  • After 10 minutes, cover and cook 10 more minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove each dumpling from the pot. I place them in a 9×13 pan and cover them with foil while I repeat the steps for the rest of the dough.
  • Repeat until all the dumplings are made.
  • Serving
  • Place a couple of yummy dumplings on a plate and cover them with the chicken and gravy.


  • This is a time-consuming meal; however, you can easily make it ahead of time and warm it all up in the crockpot the next day. Either way, it’s so worth it. Also, everyone has different seasoning tastes. The last time I made this, I added much more pepper than usual, and we liked it, but I missed tasting more of the thyme. The recipe feeds a crowd. I had to guess the servings. It really depends on if you have teenagers who eat you out of house and home, or little ones who eat like birds. You’ll get about 24 dumplings, and with the chicken in a good amount of gravy, you can really stretch this. Enjoy!


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Meet Melissa

Bourbon stole my heart a few years ago when I had several opportunities to write about it. Food stole my heart when I was lucky enough to be raised by a mom who managed to make nearly everything from scratch when we were growing up.