Chicken and Dumplings – The old fashioned way!

Gladys Bryan made the best chicken and dumplings I have ever eaten.  She taught me how to cook them the old fashioned way and I try to put as much love into making chicken and dumplings as she did.  This is her recipe.  

You want to be careful that you don’t boil all of your liquid out before you get your dumplings in it. 

1 chicken, cut into pieces  (during the holidays you can get a fresh hen)
2 quarts cold water (always put your raw chicken in cold water – you’ll get a much richer broth)
1 tablespoon salt
1 whole red or white onion
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 stick butter and 1 can evaporated milk

  • Add the chicken to the stew pot.
  • Add salt, onion, carrot, celery, and black pepper.
  • Cover with cold water and bring to a low boil. 
  • Foam will form on the water as it begins to boil. 
  • Skim the foam from the water.
  • Stew chicken until tender with the salt, onion, carrot and celery ribs, about 40 – 60  minutes after liquid gets to a low boil.  Cooking time depends on the size of your chicken or hen.
  • Remove the chicken from the broth and discard the vegetables. 
  • Cool and remove chicken from the bones. 
  • Cut or pull the chicken into desired-size pieces.  
  • Add pepper and butter to broth and heat to simmering.  Broth should look peppery and taste great.
  • Add 1 can evaporated milk to broth.



2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening

5-7 tablespoons cold water


  • Work the dough and roll out on a floured surface.
  • Roll out the dough very thin about ⅛”. 
  • Cut into 1″ wide strips and let dry for about 30 minutes.
  • Before adding your dumplings to the milk broth, add a touch of grated nutmeg to the broth.  
  • Add the chicken pieces and heat.  (Broth needs to be several inches above the chicken for the dumplings to have enough room to cook.) 
  • Add the dumplings to the low boiling broth a few at a time to keep the broth at a boil. 
  • Cook 10 minutes in the low boiling broth.  (If you boil your broth too high, your dumplings will disappear or clump together.)
  • Remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes and serve.


Filed under Celebration, Chicken, Entree, Holiday, Soup

17 responses to “Chicken and Dumplings – The old fashioned way!

  1. Maribel

    I looked and looked for A recipe that was “old fashion” and I tried this one! I’ve never ever made Chicken & Dumplings! These came out almost perfect! Next time I need to use less broth. They were delicious! This is one I will make over and over again! Thank you!

  2. Kenneth Jones

    Have never added milk or nutmeg before. Tried it and the taste is very good.Ken

    • Patti Adley Bryan

      Thank you Ken. Nutmeg rounds out the flavor very well. Often times people will say – “I don’t know what you’ve put in this – it’s wonderful”. Most times it’s a touch of nutmeg.

  3. Gotta try this. My Amish family love to eat Penna. Dutch “Pot Pie”. This sounds much like it. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Dona D.

    Much better if you add peas and precooked carrots to the gravy.

  5. Every time I make this the butter and milk separate and looks disgusting

    • Patti Adley Bryan

      I have no idea why this is happening. I have not experienced this problem.
      If I find out a solution, I’ll let you know.

      • Patti Adley Bryan

        Ginger, Sorry for the delay in replying. I used canned milk (Pet Milk) and it’s best not to the heat too high. Were you using regular, pasteurized milk?

  6. They’re WONDERFUL! I cook them at least once a week. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Nicole Itsabrandnewday Pargo

    Been wanting to try making this for so long. I use to watch my grandma roll the dough for dumplings and play with the leftovers. Her dumplings were the best and they looked like these. I hope I can pull it off!

  8. Amy Beth

    Chicken & dumplings is (hmmm…are?) one of my absolute favorite meals in the world. My Grandmother’s were heavenly and since she died I’ve not had decent chicken & dumplings. Now days it seems everyone insists on using refrigerated biscuit dough for the dumplings saying that you can’t tell the difference, but I can. So thanks for posting this. I am going to give it a try!

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