Using biscuit baking mix—Bisquick, Pioneer, etc.—makes this recipe for chicken and dumplings easier than most, and chicken breasts keep it low in fat. The dumplings in this version are shaped into small balls and added to the boiling chicken broth. One taste will show you why chicken and dumplings is one of the South's most iconic comfort foods.
For more flavor, add about 1/2 to 1 cup each of diced carrots, celery, and onion to the pot along with the chicken, along with a bay leaf. If you have a few thyme leaves or sprigs of parsley, throw them into the pot. Or use a cut-up chicken for more robust chicken flavor (see the tips).
- 8 chicken breast halves (boneless, without skin)
- 1 quart chicken stock (preferably unsalted)
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Dash black pepper (or to taste)
- 4 cups biscuit baking mix (e.g., Bisquick)
- 1 1/2 cups milk (or as called for on biscuit mix package)
- 1/2 cup flour (approximate, for rollilng)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
Place the chicken breasts in a large Dutch oven or stockpot; add the stock and enough water to cover the chicken pieces. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to low and simmer until chicken is done (about 30 minutes). Remove the chicken and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Place chicken pieces back in broth and prepare the dumplings.
Using the biscuit mix and milk, prepare as much dumpling mix as you want (as many as your pot will hold) following the package instructions. Coat your hands with flour, sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Add a little more flour when the dumpling mix begins to stick to your hands. When you're almost finished rolling the dumplings, turn up the heat under the chicken and broth and bring it to a gentle boil.
Drop the dumplings into boiling broth. Make sure the dumplings submerge. They'll pop back up, but keep pushing them down so they stay wet. Once all of the dumplings are in the broth, add 1/2 cup of milk and the butter and push the dumplings down into the broth again. To keep the dumplings from breaking up, avoid stirring until they are thoroughly cooked. Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally but gently to keep the chicken from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- If the broth lacks flavor, add some chicken bouillon granules, to taste.
- For more chicken flavor, replace the chicken breasts with about 4 pounds of cut-up chicken pieces. Cook the chicken in the broth for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours and then strain and skim excess fat from the broth. Remove the chicken from the bones. Dice the chicken and return it to the broth. Continue with the dumplings.