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Food & Recipes

Loretta Lynn’s Famous Chicken and Dumplings Recipe Is Southern Comfort in a Bowl

Winner winner chicken and dumplings dinner.

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The perfect fall and winter stew is one that’s both hearty and filling. For me, chicken and dumplings fits that bill perfectly. You can’t go wrong with shredded chicken and pillowy dumplings smothered in a gravy-like broth — and you really can’t go wrong with a recipe that has bona fide southern roots. Enter Loretta Lynn‘s famous chicken and dumplings recipe. The beloved country music icon was a fan of this beloved dish, and her traditional take on it yields delicious results every time.

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Loretta Lynn’s Homemade Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Lynn’s love for this dish knew no bounds. In 2020, she revealed to Woman’s World magazine that the southern specialty was a personal favorite. “I love to make chicken and dumplings for people when they come over,” she shared in the interview. “I roll them out and drop them in one at a time. I use a whole chicken — the fatter the chicken, the better the dumplings.” Though she’s, of course, better known for her country music legacy, Lynn’s favorite meals live on in her cookbook, You’re Cookin’ it Country. Her chicken and dumplings recipe features flat dumplings — which, as opposed to the fluffier variety, are unique to southern preparations of the dish — and yields eight servings. (Be sure to leave room for leftovers!) The recipe doesn’t dictate how thick or wide the dough should be, so follow your gut when the instructions tell you to “roll the dough onto a floured surface” and “cut the dough into strips.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 large chicken (I used a 4.8-pound chicken)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
  • Black pepper

Directions:

  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 20 mins 
  • Total time: 2 hrs 50 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
  1. For chicken: Place chicken and garlic in large pot, and fill with enough water to cover chicken. Bring to boil, then cover and cook 2 hours, adding additional water, if needed.
  2. Remove chicken from pot and allow broth to cool before straining, skimming fat, and storing.
  3. For dumplings: In large bowl, sift together flour and salt; gradually stir in one cup waterv before adding egg. Mix and knead dough thoroughly. Roll onto floured surface and cut dough into strips.
  4. In second pot, bring 6 to 8 cups chicken broth to boil. Drop dumplings into boiling broth, then cover and simmer about 10 minutes.
  5. Add cream and chicken pieces to second pot; simmer 5 to 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For thicker consistency, mix two tablespoons creamy broth and cornstarch in small bowl. Pour cornstarch mixture into pot and simmer until it’s thickened.
  6. Serve in bowls and enjoy.

My Taste Test

I enjoyed every step of making this recipe, from shredding the boiled chicken to mixing the dumpling dough. Working the dough and watching the dumplings bubble and whir in the boiling water was soul satisfying, and the result of my efforts was a tender chicken, soft dumplings, and an intensely savory sauce. One adjustment I’ll make for next time is adding fresh dill and carrots to the mix. 

The dish is rich, which meant that one generous serving was more than enough to fill me up. Ultimately, it checks both of my boxes: simple to make, and comforting to eat. I’ll definitely be making it a mealtime staple this winter.

My test of Loretta Lynn's recipe for homemade chicken and dumplings
Alexandria Brooks
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