Chicken And Drop Dumplings


Thinly sliced carrot and celery add flavor to this soupy twist on comforting chicken and dumplings with fluffy cornmeal dumplings.

Chicken and Drop Dumplings

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
55 mins

If I’m being totally honest, my grandmother would probably refuse to recognize this dish as chicken and dumplings! Her recipe for the South’s favorite comfort food was based on rolled dumplings, which are made in a similar fashion to biscuits. But the more I’ve traveled and met other families across the South, the more I’ve encountered these delicious “drop” dumplings, which are actually even easier to make!

For drop dumplings, the batter comes together much like another beloved Southern favorite—hushpuppies—but instead of getting fried, it gets dropped into the simmering broth and eventually cooks and puffs up into a light and fluffy dumpling.

Cornmeal is key here: It yields airy, lighter dumplings that are much less dense than my grandmother’s beloved rolled dumplings. But the truth is that no matter whether you roll or drop, chicken and whatever dumplings you desire are sure to be delicious!


  • 2 (1-lb.) bone-in chicken breasts

  • 6 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 small yellow onion, halved 2 medium celery stalks, divided (1 stalk is optional)

  • 2 large carrots, peeled, divided (1 carrot is optional)

  • 2 (5-inch) thyme or flat-leaf parsley sprigs, plus chopped leaves for garnish

  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, plus more for garnish

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup whole buttermilk

  • 2 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)

  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (optional)


  1. Place chicken, broth, and onion in a large Dutch oven. Cut 1 celery stalk and 1 carrot in half crosswise; add to Dutch oven with thyme or parsley sprigs, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil over high; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, undisturbed, until chicken is cooked through and easily pulls away from bone, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken; let cool slightly. Using 2 forks, pull chicken apart into bite-size pieces; discard skin and bones, herb sprigs, and cooked vegetables, reserving broth in Dutch oven.

  2. Prepare Drop Dumplings: Stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and kosher salt in a medium bowl. Stir in buttermilk and melted butter until dough comes together. Let stand 5 minutes.

  3. Return broth to a simmer over medium-low. Thinly slice remaining carrot and celery stalk, if desired; add to broth with pulled chicken. If desired, whisk together cream and flour in a small bowl until smooth; stir into broth. Gradually drop tablespoons of dough into broth. Cover and simmer gently over low, until dumplings are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Garnish with pepper and chopped thyme or parsley.

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