Chicken and dumplings

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Chicken and Southern Meatballs is another name for the Cracker Barrel Chicken and Meatballs recipe. Pin It I'm not sure what part of the country (or even what country) it is from, but let me tell you something.

Chicken & Dumplings are not just for southerners or country grandmothers for cooking.

They are practically the most delicious form of comfort food that one could make. They are better than mashed potatoes and sauce. Better than macaroni and cheese. Yes, better than plain chicken noodle soup. These things are like a magical mixture of crack and fairy dust. They are also so addicting.

In the past, I have been known to use canned cookie dough for my meatballs. No no no no. This was wrong. And bad. Should be punished. Spank me? There are plenty of good things to do with canned cookie dough, especially sloppy pie. But for these meatballs, made from scratch is the way to go.

From now on, I promise to make my own meatballs from scratch, let's face it, they are ridiculously easy and blow the variety of meatball cookies straight out of the chicken broth.

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Meatballs Recipe

For those of you with southern grandmothers, you know what I'm talking about. If you're not lucky enough to have a southern grandmother, you might have tried this chicken and meatball recipe at Cracker Barrel. And, if you are lucky enough not to have eaten chicken and meatballs like this, please become your New Years Resolution to try them out.

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Try my chicken gnocchi soup too! 🙂

This is my new favorite dinner, all of you. It's cheap (under $ 8 for a family of four), doesn't require many hands on time, and everyone in my house loved these chicken and meatballs. I served them with a large salad and a side of roasted broccoli. Everyone cheers on the chicken and meatballs.

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Chicken and dumplings

Preparation time

2 hours

Time to cook

30 minutes

Total time

2 hours and 30 minutes

Servings: 8 servings


Main dish



Calories: 477 kcal

Chicken and Southern Meatballs is another name for the Cracker Barrel Chicken and Meatballs recipe.


  • 1 chicken fryer 4-5 lbs., Neck and gizzards removed

  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut in half

  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces

  • 3 celery stalks cut into large pieces

  • Salt and pepper taste

  • 3 cups flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 4 1/2 tablespoons shortening

  • 1 cup milk


  1. Place the chicken, onion, carrots, celery, and a teaspoon of salt and pepper in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover the chicken.

  2. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  3. About 45 minutes before the chicken is done boiling, prepare the meatballs by stirring the flour, baking powder, and salt.

  4. Cut the butter using a dough cutter, two knives, or your fingers.

  5. Slowly add milk, 1/4 cup at a time, just until a shaggy dough forms. You may not need a full cup of milk. Do not over mix the dough.

  6. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut 1-inch-long long strips. Cut the dough in the other direction into 1-inch squares.

  7. Place the meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet to dry for 30 minutes.

  8. When the chicken is done cooking (it should fall off the bone), remove it to a large plate and, when it is cold enough to handle (or use forks), remove the meat from the bones and into small pieces.

  9. Pour the broth from the pot through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Discard the vegetables. Return 6 cups of the stock to the stock pot and refrigerate or freeze the remaining stock for another use.

  10. Bring the broth to a simmer and add the meatballs, one at a time so they don't stick. Cook for 6-7 minutes.

  11. Add the chicken back to the pot and stir to combine. Continue cooking for 20 minutes. The broth should thicken.

  12. Add more salt and pepper as needed and go deeper.

recipe from Back to cutting board

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