This copycat recipe for Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings is comfort food at its best.
Nothing beats a warm and hearty soup to soothe your heart and satisfy your belly on a gloomy day. Cracker Barrel dishes will do exactly that.
With this recipe, you can make the popular soup at home any time, any day.
Soft and pillowy dumplings and tender chicken swimming in a savory broth is the epitome of delicious food.
The level of coziness this soup brings is truly unparalleled.
Above all else, it’s affordable and easy to make. Who says you need to go to Cracker Barrel to enjoy a good bowl of chicken and dumplings?
This copycat chicken and dumpling recipe is all you’ll need.
Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings
If you’ve ever been to Cracker Barrel, you know very well how indescribably delicious their chicken and dumplings are.
Apart from the chewy, fluffy dumplings and savory chicken, the thick, umami-rich broth also hits the spot.
The combination of flavors and textures creates such a beautiful balance that makes your taste buds go wild.
Chicken and dumplings are such a classic food, and you can never go wrong in making this irresistible dish.
This recipe so easy, but the flavor is so on point. It tastes just like Cracker Barrel’s.
- All-Purpose Flour. The base of the dumplings, and also what thickens the soup. The recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but you can also use gluten-free. The dumplings will be a bit grittier, though.
- Baking Powder. The leavening agent that makes the dough rise into puffy dumplings.
- Butter. For a rich, umami flavor.
- Milk. You’ll need liquid to saturate the flour and turn it into a dough. Any kind of milk works, so use whatever you have available. You can also use water, but the dumplings will be a tad drier.
- Chicken Broth. You can use either store-bought or homemade.
- Shredded Chicken. The more, the better! You can use white or dark meat, or a combination of both.
How to Make Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings
Here are the steps for making this terrific copycat recipe:
1. Make the dough. In a large bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, and salt until combined.
Then, mix in the butter with a fork or a pastry blender until incorporated. Pour in the milk and stir with a fork until the mixture forms a ball.
2. Make the dumplings. Dust a clean, dry work surface with flour. Roll the dough flat with a rolling pin.
Slice with a pizza cutter or a knife into 2×2-inch squares. Coat the blade with flour in between cuts to prevent sticking.
Finally, place the dumplings onto a floured plate.
3. Cook the dumplings. In a large pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Drop the dumplings one at a time, stirring carefully while adding.
4. Finish the dish. Cover the pot and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a dumpling comes out clean.
Add the shredded chicken and stir until warmed through. Serve in bowls. Enjoy!
Tips for the Best Dish
- Don’t over-mix the dough. If you do, the dumplings will be way too dense and chewy.
- Make the dumplings extra fluffy. For especially pillowy dumplings, let them sit out on the countertop for 30 minutes before cooking.
- Make the dumplings extra fluffy -tip 2. Use buttermilk instead of milk. Buttermilk is more acidic than regular milk, which means it reacts better with baking soda.
- Don’t over-cook the dumplings. If you cook them too long, they’ll disintegrate into the soup. Don’t stir them, either. Let them cook with the lid on in peace!
- Don’t undercook the dumplings. Undercooking the dumplings will leave them tasting like raw flour. Just because they’re floating, doesn’t mean they’re done. The best way to check is by sticking a toothpick into the center of a dumpling. If it comes out clean, the dumplings are done.
- Save time with Bisquick. Instead of making the dumplings from scratch, you can use a biscuit baking mix (Bisquick). Feel free to choose from its many flavor variants.
What Is The Difference Between Noodle and Drop Dumplings?
The primary difference between these two is their shape. The dough you use to make them is the same, but the shape is different.
Noodle dumplings are formed by shaping the dough into thick, long strands that resemble, well, noodles.
Because of their shape, noodle dumplings are softer and more delicate than drop dumplings.
Drop dumplings are either round or square-shaped. They puff up as they cook, giving them a chewy and bread-like texture.
Either way, they’ll surely delight the palate.
This recipe may be simple, but it hits all the right notes. If you want to dress it up, though, here are some suggestions:
- Add herbs and spices for more flavor. Thyme, chives, parsley, cayenne powder, rosemary, garlic, paprika, sage, and Italian seasoning all add a fresh and earthy taste to the dish.
- Start with a mirepoix. A mirepoix a mixture of sliced celery, carrots, and onions. This base is used to add flavor and aroma to soups and other dishes.
- Add more veggies. Adding corn, mushrooms, and peas to the soup will give the dish a nice texture and flavor contrast.
- Make it cheesy. If you’re a cheese lover, add freshly grated parmesan or cheddar cheese to the broth. The richness makes this classic comfort food even more irresistible.
- Add something green. Add shredded zucchini into the dumplings for a healthier dish! The kids won’t even notice it.
- Swap out the meat. Instead of chicken, you can also use ham, turkey, beef, or other meats. Now’s the time to raid your fridge for leftovers!
Oh, and if you’re wondering what to serve with chicken and dumplings, I’ve got a whole list of ideas just waiting for you.
How to Store Chicken and Dumplings
Store leftover chicken and dumplings for up to 3 to 4 days in the fridge.
Keep leftovers in an air-tight container to prevent them from absorbing the flavor and aroma from other items in your fridge.
Keep in mind that the more often you reheat this dish, the more likely the dumplings will disintegrate.
Can You Freeze Chicken and Dumplings?
Believe it or not, you can freeze chicken and dumplings! Simply place them in a freezer-safe container and store for up to 6 months.
Defrost at room temperature and reheat in the stove or microwave.
More Cracker Barrel Recipes to Try
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