Arkansas Chicken and Dumplings

Arkansas chicken and dumplings serves up a warm helping of southern comfort food. In short, just start with a whole chicken and roll your pastry into thick, wide, luscious noodles.

Arkansas chicken and dumplings with our cheese garlic biscuits

Dumpling Differences

In any case, you may have noticed that dumplings in chicken and dumplings recipes from Northern states vary from those in recipes from Southern states. Northern recipes, in general, use dropped dumplings (boiled balls of dough). Since the 1890s, most Northern dumplings have been dropped on top of the chicken and any accompanying vegetables. Hence, they are a steamed, not boiled dumpling. Southern recipes, in contrast, call for rolled dumplings (boiled noodles that are rolled and cut flat, thick and wide).

Strips of Southern dumpling dough on a floured gray countertop with a black rolling pin in the background
rolled Southern dumplings

Given that our recipe hails from Arkansas, it features rolled, noodle-like dumplings. You will find Arkansas chicken and dumplings and over 400 more recipes from our staff in “Bronner’s Flavorful Favorites, Book 2.”

Arkansas Chicken and Dumplings*

Lorette Pirkle
Arkansas chicken and dumplings serves up a warm helping of southern comfort food.
5 from 1 vote
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 3 to 4 lbs. whole chicken boil and debone to bite-sized pieces, saving broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. Crisco shortening
  • 2/3 c. ice cold water
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 stick margarine
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Sift together salt, baking powder and flour.
  • Cut Crisco into flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal. 
  •  Add the ice water and mix until moistened.
  • Do not overmix or it makes tough dumplings.
  • Roll out on a floured board and cut into 6-inch strips 1 inch wide.
  • Bring broth to a boil and put dumplings in. 
  • Broth must be kept boiling. 
  • Stir once and boil for 10 minutes.
  •  Turn off heat.
  •  Stir in the milk and the margarine.
  •  Add the chicken, and salt and pepper to taste.


Keyword chicken and dumplings, comfort food, Dumplings, Southern comfort food

Substitutions and Sides

Moreover, you can substitute a store-bought rotisserie chicken and prepared chicken broth if you wish. By the same token, you can debone the rotisserie chicken and boil the carcass in water to make stock while you are mixing and cutting your dumplings.

Undoubtedly, you’ll want to serve your Arkansas chicken and dumplings with a delicious side or two. Consider a fresh green salad, grape salad or fruit salad. By and large, green beans or brussels sprouts also compliment a hearty bowl of chicken and dumplings. If you wish to keep your tastes Southern, choose fried okra, cornbread, corn pudding or fried apples. In similar fashion, this corn casserole recipe by Irene Bronner makes a great side.

Single serving of Irene Bronner's corn casserole with a fork on a small white plate on a dark wood table with a blue and white striped kitchen towel
Irene Bronner’s corn casserole

2 thoughts on “Arkansas Chicken and Dumplings

  • October 30, 2022 at 11:16 pm

    5 stars
    I have searched for years to find how my grandmother made her dumplings. I knew she used crisco and ice water and could never find a recipe. I’ve tried tons of recipes over the years. But THIS is THE recipe. So comforting and delicious. I love the flavor of the softer dumplings and it’s so easy to cook.


    • October 31, 2022 at 11:11 am

      We’re so glad, Stefanie, that this recipe is a match to your grandmother’s dumplings! So glad you can enjoy them now whenever you like.


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