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Chicken and Dumplings is such a comfort food. With homemade stock (it has very real healing properties) to the creamy dumplings and tasty chicken, it's one of my favorites.

Big Mama’s Southern Chicken and Buttermilk Dumplings

I'm super excited to report that this Southern Chicken and Buttermilk Dumpling Recipe straight from  my book, Harvest, won all the taste tests in my home of 9 judges; no changes necessary.
4.4 from 10 votes
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 8


Stock Ingredients

  • 1 whole free range organic chicken
  • 4 quarts 1 gallon water
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 Vidalia or yellow onion chopped
  • 5 sprigs parsley
  • 5 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon pepper


  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk plus more if dough is too dry


  • Bring chicken, water, celery, carrots, onion, parsley, rosemary, garlic, and butter to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for at least 3 hours or until the chicken falls off the bones. Make sure to skim the foam as needed.
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut shortening into flour until fully incorporated. Add buttermilk slowly into the flour a little at the time. When the dough is easily formed into a ball, knead the dough.
  • Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/16 of an inch or even thinner. Pinch or cut into 1 inch squares (I use a pizza cutter for this). Set aside.
  • When chicken is falling off the bone, remove the pieces to a plate. Strain the broth throwing away vegetables and herbs.
  • Add broth back to the pot and add butter, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Pull all the meat from the chicken and shred. Return chicken to the broth.
  • Add the dumplings to the broth and bring to a hard boil. Allow them to boil about 2 minutes and turn off the heat. Stir gently with a wooden spoon every few minutes for the next 30 minutes. This step releases the starch in the dumplings, promotes creaminess, and intensifies the buttery flavors!


Note: If you are using an organic chicken as opposed to a rooster or old hen, you may only need to simmer chicken for one hour.
Note: To reheat sprinkle a little water into your microwavable bowl and microwave until hot. Stop every minute or so and stir as gently as possible.
Tim's Note: If it’s too dry, add a little buttermilk; too wet, dust with flour and continue to knead. It’s ok to overwork dumpling dough.
Courtesy of Stacy Lyn's Harvest Cookbook!
Keyword chicken and dumplings, chicken soup, stacey lyn, stacey lynn, stacy lyn, stacy lynn
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!