Mama’s Chicken and Dumplings

  • Pin It
  • print
  • email to a friend
By Kimberly Schlapman

The measure of a mother’s love… Almost everything I learned about cooking, I learned from my mama. Growing up in small-town Georgia, my mother was at the door of anyone who had a birth or death in their family, got a promotion, lost a job, or just broke a bone - with a homemade casserole or pie in hand. She took care of people through food. Still does! Her greatest claim to fame is her mouth-watering chicken & dumplings. It is out of this world & the birthday or celebration dinner request of everyone in our family. She kept her secret from my sister & me for a long time, saying that those dumplings were what kept us coming home. Recently she opened up her recipe box, so to speak, & let us in on her secrets! I then came up with my own version of her masterpiece & served them to her when she visited me in Nashville. I had butterflies when she took her first bite wondering if she would approve. She did! Whew!

So I’m sharing with you my take on what Mama thinks keeps me coming home…

Mama-love is what keeps me coming home; my precious mama, my sweetheart of a daddy - ok, and your dumplings!

Chicken and Dumplings
Serves 6

4 Chicken breasts with skin, boneless
2 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
½ cup carrot, finely diced
½ cup celery, finely diced
2 jalapenos, finely diced
¼ tsp cayenne
1 tbsp thyme, minced
6 cups chicken stock
½ cup heavy cream
3 cups self-rising flour
3 tbsp Crisco, cold
¾ -1 cup cold milk

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven and brown the chicken. Remove the chicken from the pot and add the onions, carrots celery, jalapenos, thyme and cayenne. Stir and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add chicken back into the pan. Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.

In the meantime make the dumpling dough. In a bowl add the flour, Crisco and milk. Using your hands mix until it forms a dough. Knead it a few times to ensure it comes together. Set aside.

Remove the cooked chicken from pan. Remove the skin and discard. Using 2 forks shred the chicken and place it back in the pan. Add ½ cup of heavy cream. Stir and make sure it is mixed well. Using a tablespoon scoop 16 dumplings and drop them into the pot. Cover half way with the lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

For the past thirteen years, Kimberly Schlapman has brightened stages worldwide as a member of country foursome Little Big Town. This March, she’ll fulfill a lifelong dream with the second season airing of Kimberly’s Simply Southern, a half-hour cooking show on GAC.

Kimberly grew up in the northern foothills of Georgia where cooking was an enormous part of Kimberly’s upbringing. She calls both of her grandmothers “incredible” cooks but it was her mother who taught her not just how to cook, but how to take care of people with food.

In 1987, Kimberly left home to attend Samford University, where she met fellow vocalist Karen Fairchild. After graduation, both women moved to Nashville, which is where the idea for Little Big Town was born. The addition of Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet filled out their signature harmonic sound and five albums later; they’re still going strong.

Kimberly currently lives in Nashville with husband Stephen and daughter Daisy Pearl.

Read More From Blogs.

You May Also Like These Blogs:

You May Also Like These Recipes:

  • Winter Fruit Shortcakes Winter Fruit Shortcakes
    View Now
  • Peach Cream Tart Peach Cream Tart
    View Now
  • Bobby’s Lighter Tastes Like Lasagna Soup Bobby’s Lighter Tastes Like Lasagna Soup
    View Now
  • The Deen Bros. Lighter Smokey Barbecue Pork Sandwiches The Deen Bros. Lighter Smokey Barbecue Pork Sandwiches
    View Now

Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:


If I can not find self-raising flour what should i use instead to make the dumplings? Thank-you in advance.

By Elizabeth Dick on January 20, 2013


Question: It seems that there is a part of the directions missing on how to shape the dumpings before putting them in the chicken broth. Do you roll the dough, cut in strips and lengths and then set to rest awhile before putting them in the "rolling" chicken broth? Or are the dumplings like small biscuit dough balls dropped into the broth? I've been hungry for chicken 'n' dumplings and usually prefer the wide rolled pieces for dumplings. They are not so "doughy"

By Esther McCormack on January 15, 2013


Paula, I love you, your shows are wonderful and oh how I would love to meet you and your boys. That lady Debra Meyn really got on my last nerve talking about you messing in your boys lives. I think it is wonderful that you and the guys cook together. I think she has a real problem and must not be close to her family. When she talks about you and Jamie and Bobby, it really makes me angry. my mother passed away on Dec. 25th 2009 and she was 92 years old. She had four children, 2 boys and 2 girls. the two boys passed away before she did. The boys were in the kitchen with mama many days and when the first one got married, his wife did not know how to cook, so guess who cooked? You must be a weird person. Paula i love you and your boys, do not listen to this woman. Love you from Augusta Ga. Anne Bishop

By Patricia Bishop on January 15, 2013


I've been looking for a Chicken & Dumplings recipe with a little more flavor and this one sounds like it would fit the bill! It's method and ingredients are different and I can't wait to try it! Thanks! Love your faith, your music and now your recipe! Sherry

By Sherry Dunn on January 15, 2013

Paula Deen
Paula Deen
The Lady's Blog
The Queen of Southern Cuisine muses about her recipes, life and family. See Posts

Brooke Deen
Brooke Deen
Deen Mother
Advice on raising two boys (three counting Jamie). See Posts

Brandon Branch
Brandon Branch
Southern Style
Decorating Inspiration from Paula's Design Director. See Posts

Julia Sayers
Julia Sayers
Hot off the Press
Step behind the pages and let the Associate Editor of Cooking with Paula Deen fill you in on what goes into creating every issue. See Posts

Lisa Scarbrough
Lisa Scarbrough
Thrift Store Mommy
Mom on a dime advice from Paula's Digital Properties Manager. See Posts

Andrea Goto
Andrea Goto
Mom 2.0
Tips from a real-world mom with comedic tendencies. See Posts

Martha Lee
Martha Lee
Earth Mother
Practical, earth-conscious ways to live and parent in the 21st century. See Posts

Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
Bubbles' Corner
Ideas and advice from a 21st Century young at heart Grandmother. See Posts

Cindy Edwards
Cindy Edwards
Southern Proper
Etiquette advice from a true Southern belle. See Posts


Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm