Here, on the Eastern Shore, chicken & dumplings might as well be a food group. My mom made chicken or turkey and dumplings as I was growing up, but she made drop dumplings. Tender, biscuit-like little pillows. Fluffy dumplings. While they were delicious, they were never my favorite. My first “slick” dumpling was at the local Chincoteague Fire Department Pony Penning dinner. The Ladies Auxiliary sells tickets for a chicken & dumpling dinner, served immediately following the saltwater cowboy’s return to the carnival grounds with the wild horses that have made the swim. It’s really more like lunch, considering it’s served at around noon – but, here on the shore lunch is “dinner”, and dinner is “supper”.

After my first bite at the fair grounds, I was sold on rolled dumplings. Thick, chewy pieces of eggless pasta – swimming in a rich chicken broth, with lots of tender pieces of chicken. Comfort food at it’s finest! Once I married a man from the island, I knew I had to get my chicken & dumps recipe straight. Like I said before, for a Chincoteaguer, it’s almost a food group. For a couple of years I used dumplings I found in the freezer section, which is well and good. But, I knew I’d really take pride in making them from scratch. Flour, milk, and salt is all you need to make them happen. I usually do a double batch of the dumplings, as I’ve found this recipe doesn’t produce as many as I like. Homemade chicken stock is always your best bet, but a low-sodium store-bought stock is okay in a pinch. I’ll usually just pull the meat off a roasted chicken and refrigerate, make the stock from the carcass, and use the reserved chicken to combine with the dumplings.  A favorite dish in our home, it doesn’t get more comforting than this!

23 Comments

  1. Posted January 3, 2012 at 9:53 PM | Permalink

    I love chicken and dumplings! it’s one of my favorite thing in the world, yours look really really good

  2. Posted January 3, 2012 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

    these look so good!

  3. Posted January 3, 2012 at 11:42 PM | Permalink

    This looks amazing! I’m all for comfort food.

  4. Posted January 4, 2012 at 1:18 AM | Permalink

    I haven’t had these since I was a kid. My mom made the drop dumplings, but our neighbors made “slippery” dumplings.

  5. Posted January 4, 2012 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    YEP!!1 Chicken and dumplings week….totally! Yours look scrumptious too!

  6. Posted January 4, 2012 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    This dish looks delicious! Nicely done!

  7. Posted January 4, 2012 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    I like the sound of these slick dumplings!

  8. Posted January 12, 2012 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

    i’m going to have to try this! i normally make biscuit like dumplings but lately i’ve had a hankering for “slippery” dumplings! looks good!

  9. katherine
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

    I have found memories of my step-grandmother making “chicken and noodles” when I was a little girl. She would always make them at family events because she knew how much I loved them; they were always my “special request” that she was delighted to fill. She has since passed. I have tried to replicate her recipe over the years, but it’s never been quite right. Your recipe, however, is the perfect match. Thanks so much for posting it!

    • Laura
      Posted March 25, 2012 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

      That’s so wonderful Katherine, glad you found what you have been looking for!

  10. Alison
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:31 PM | Permalink

    My hubby is from Chincoteague and I and frm NC and after 12 years of marriage I still have not mastered “slick” dumplings like his mommom made!

    • Laura
      Posted October 20, 2012 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

      I’m sure our husbands probably know each other! Make the dumplings, they are killer – as good as any MomMom’s on the island, guaranteed :)

  11. Christian
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

    I 1st had this style of dumplings last week at bigs place in painter, va.
    I grew up in CA and on drop dumplings…it was a staple of my childhood.
    When I tasted these, it was a a moment of the past meeting the unknown future. I was floored.
    As a chef, 20+ years deep! my mind went into overtime trying to dissect the texture. And doing research, I’m amazed no one had mentioned this to me in the last 3 1/2 years that I’ve been living here in VA.
    So today, I am making this as an experiment as to see how I can make this for my lunch customers.
    Thanks so much for posting this, and by the way, I’ve married a ” from-here” myself…

    • Posted October 1, 2013 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

      Christian, I just visited Big’s for the first time this weekend myself! Killer food, killer desserts. I hope you enjoy as much as we do! Also good with beef (chuck roast).

  12. Christian
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    After making these dumplings a few dozen times sence my last comment, I’ve tweaked it some what.
    The dumplings, I’ve changed nothing in the recipe
    I’ve taken skin on, bone in chicken thighs, simply marinated, and caramelized them in a cast iron, and use that to build a stock, made of onion and garlic, water and white wine, simmering the thighs for about 2 hours, low and slow.
    I start with 2 gallons and reduce to 1.
    Once the thighs are fork tender I remove and pull the meat.
    Then I basically blanch the dumplings in the reducing soup, and reserve them.
    I then fry the dumplings in a little butter, as like one would do with a gnocchi.
    All of these steps are something I can get away with in a professional kitchen, but if one has the time, and plan ahead, it’s easy to do at home, like I’m doing right now…
    Think you for such a solid recipe. I really appreciate it…

  13. Missy
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    Yummmm…this looks delicious! I am putting this on the menu next week!!

  14. Maryellen
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    This looks so awesome and easy but you know I don’t have my stand mixer can I do this by hand or will that be too hard. I do have Jimmy who will help mix but will it work? Any ideas for me if it will not work?

    • Posted January 28, 2014 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

      Of course you can do it by hand, just will take a little more elbow grease!

  15. Posted January 29, 2014 at 3:27 AM | Permalink

    I have never tried chicken with flat dumplings before. It’s quite an intriguing dish and I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for sharing and some great inspiration.

  16. Mary Emily Twilley
    Posted February 15, 2014 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

    I am in my 80’s and have loved slippery dumplings all my life. But I do not use baking powder but do add shortening, about the size of a walnut, to the dough. The hardest part of the whole “mess” is rolling and rolling and rolling them until they get to the right thinness. And I always mix with my fingers. I moved to FL a few years ago after my husband passed away. Thus dish is foreign to many of the transplants down here. Also try them in English peas for a delicious soup.

    • Posted February 15, 2014 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

      Mary, I’ve been wanting to try peas and dumplings. Thank you for the reminder! :)

  17. Pam
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    My Mommom Daugherty used to make these to have with a deer roast or roast beef. So delicious! She used hot broth as her liquid and a heaping spoon of shortning, no baking soda, a teaspoon of salt and a couple cups of all purpose flour. Not much measuring. She made the best I ever tasted. My other Mommom made the best Maryland fried chicken. This was Salisbury, Maryland eastern shore, but still eastern shore all the way! What good memories you stirred up! Thank you!

    • Posted April 1, 2014 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

      You’re more than welcome! I’m about 40 minutes south of Salisbury, spend a good deal of time up there. Thanks for the comment! :)

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