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This easy, homemade Chicken and Pastry recipe is Southern comfort food at its best! Some might call the hearty twist on chicken soup “Chicken and Dumplings,” but Southern Chicken and Pastry includes thin strips of a basic flour dough, rather than puffy biscuit-like dumplings. Serve a warm bowl with a side salad, green beans, fried okra, fried apples, or a wedge of cornbread for a delicious family-friendly meal!

Overhead shot of two bowls of Southern chicken and pastry on a wooden table

Homemade Chicken and Pastry Recipe

This recipe comes from my friend Sallie’s mom, Debbie, who received it from her friend in North Carolina. I’ve tweaked it a little bit, but the basics remain the same. This easy chicken and pastry is just good old Southern comfort food at its very best. Tender, flavorful, and juicy bone-in chicken pieces cook in broth, and then the same rich broth is used to boil wide, flat strips of pastry. The broth becomes nice and thick (thanks to the extra flour and starch from the dough), resulting in a hearty bowl of goodness that’s a nice cross between a soup and a stew.

What is the difference between chicken and dumplings and chicken and pastry?

While some might know this meal as “Chicken and Dumplings,” there is a distinction. “Chicken and Pastry” or simply “Chicken Pastry” is a variation of chicken and dumplings that features wide, flat noodles rolled from a simple flour dough (source). By contrast, a more traditional chicken and dumplings recipe is known for small balls of dough rather than flat strips. In the Appalachian region of the United States, this preparation is called chicken and slicks, while the Pennsylvania Dutch version is known as bott boi. No matter what you call it — Chicken and Pastry, Chicken and Dumplings or Chicken and Slicks — this simple, cozy meal is absolutely delicious!

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for the homemade chicken and pastry recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • All-purpose flour: the base of the homemade pastry dough.
  • Baking powder: helps the flat pastry “puff” a little bit when it cooks in the broth.
  • Water: to bring the dough together and to thin the broth.
  • Butter: a little bit of fat in the pastry dough adds flavor and makes the dough more supple and easier to roll out.
  • Salt and pepper: to enhance the flavors in the dish.
  • Chicken: I prefer bone-in chicken breasts or thighs, but you can see my notes below for boneless, skinless chicken or rotisserie chicken variations.
  • Chicken broth: homemade broth or a high-quality store-bought broth will both work well.
  • Parsley or thyme: an optional garnish that adds a bit of freshness and a bright touch of color.
Square image of two bowls of hearty chicken and dumplings made from scratch

How to Make Chicken and Pastry

This easy chicken and pastry is the perfect Sunday supper when you have some time to let it simmer on the stovetop. Here’s how to do it step by step:

  1. Stir together the pastry dough, then knead on the counter for about 1 minute.
  2. Return the dough to the large bowl, cover, and set aside to rest while you prepare the chicken.
  3. Place the chicken in a large Dutch oven, then cover with broth.
  4. Bring the liquid to a boil; reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer the chicken for about 25-30 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.
  5. While the chicken simmers, roll out the pastry dough on a floured surface so that it’s about 1/8-inch thick.
  6. Use a sharp knife, pastry cutter, or pizza cutter to slice the pastry into strips.
  7. Remove the cooked chicken to a plate or bowl and set aside.
  8. Return the broth to a boil, add the pastry strips, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer the pastry for about 15 minutes (or until it’s just about tender). The broth will start to thicken (from the starch and flour in the pastry), and the dumplings may sink to the bottom as they soak up the broth.
  9. While the pastry cooks, remove the meat from the chicken and discard the skin and bones. Shred the meat with two forks.
  10. Add the chicken to the pot and continue cooking the chicken and pastry uncovered for about 5-10 more minutes. The broth should continue to thicken and you’ll know the pastry is done when it doesn’t have a “doughy” taste anymore.
  11. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  12. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley or thyme, if desired.
Overhead shot of ingredients for homemade chicken and pastry
Process shot showing how to make dumplings with flour
Two chicken breasts in a pot of broth
Process shot showing how to make pastry for chicken and pastry
Shredding cooked chicken in a bowl
Overhead horizontal shot of an easy chicken and pastry recipe in a Dutch oven

How to Thicken Chicken and Pastry

Debbie starts with more broth, but she also simmers the pastry for about an hour to let the broth cook down and thicken. If you want to thicken your broth even more at the end, you can just simmer the pot (uncovered) until it reaches the desired consistency. I found that less broth (about 8 cups) and a shorter simmering time worked best because the pastry isn’t too overdone or mushy, but the broth still has a chance to thicken. Feel free to adjust the simmering time to suit your preferences, though!

What goes with Chicken and Pastry?

It’s nice to add a couple of sides with a bowl of chicken and pastry, so here are some easy options that go well with the dish:

Overhead image of two servings of homemade Southern chicken and dumplings on a wooden table with a checked napkin

Storage

Leftover chicken and pastry will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat the mixture in a saucepan or Dutch oven over low heat, just until warmed through. You can also microwave individual bowls for about 1 minute.

Can you freeze chicken and pastry?

Yes! Store the chicken and pastry in an airtight container or Ziploc freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then transfer to a Dutch oven or saucepan and warm over low heat.

Recipe Variations

  • Cut the pastry into squares or diamonds rather than strips. You can make them as wide or as thin as you like.
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast: Debbie makes her chicken and pastry with 2-3 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You will lose some of the flavor from the skin and bones on the chicken, but this is still a good option if you don’t like to mess with those extras.
  • Rotisserie Chicken: For a shortcut, use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken and skip the 25 minutes of simmering time otherwise required to cook the meat. Again, you’ll lose some of the flavor that you would otherwise get from simmering the chicken with its skin and bones in the broth; however, a high-quality broth will still yield a delicious pot of chicken and pastry. Plus, rotisserie chicken is often seasoned and more flavorful than plain chicken, so that will make up for some of the lost flavor.
  • Bouillon Cubes: Debbie’s friend uses bouillon cubes and water instead of chicken broth in this recipe. If you choose to do the same, you’ll need about 2-3 of the larger cubes for this dish, but you can adjust to suit your taste.
Ladle in a pot of homemade Chicken and Pastry

Tips for the Best Chicken and Pastry Recipe

  • If you have the time, make homemade chicken broth to use in this recipe. You can also use the meat from the broth in this dish.
  • Use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces for the most flavor. I used white meat chicken breasts here, but chicken thighs also work great. The dark meat tends to stay more moist and juicy when it’s cooked.
  • Stir the pot as you’re adding the pastry to the broth, and continue to stir occasionally as the pastry simmers. This will prevent the strips of dough from sticking to each other.
  • The total amount of salt will vary depending on your personal taste preferences and on the broth that you use. Taste the broth regularly as you’re preparing the dish and adjust with additional salt and pepper, as needed.
  • For a thicker broth, simmer the chicken and pastry uncovered for a little bit longer.
  • Garnish each bowl with fresh parsley or thyme for a bright, colorful touch.
Close overhead image of Southern Chicken Pastry in a bowl with a side of bread

More Comfort Food Chicken Recipes to Try

Overhead shot of two bowls of Southern chicken and pastry on a wooden table

Southern Chicken and Pastry

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 414 kcal
Sometimes called "Chicken and Dumplings," this homemade Chicken and Pastry is classic Southern comfort food at its best!

Ingredients
  

FOR THE PASTRY:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup water, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • 3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or thighs
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth (or enough to cover the chicken)
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley or thyme

Instructions

PREPARE THE PASTRY:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk together water and melted butter. Using a rubber spatula, stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture just until incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for about 1 minute, adding additional flour to the counter and to your hands, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Return the dough to the large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside while you prepare the chicken.

PREPARE THE CHICKEN:

  • Place the chicken in a large Dutch oven. Add enough chicken broth to cover the meat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

ROLL OUT THE PASTRY:

  • While the chicken simmers, roll out the pastry on a floured surface so that it’s ⅛-inch thick. Using a sharp knife, a pastry cutter or a pizza cutter, slice the pastry into ½-inch wide and 3-inch long strips.

SHRED CHICKEN:

  • Remove the chicken to a plate or large bowl. Set aside.
  • Return broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Add pastry strips, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pastry is tender, about 15 minutes. While the pastry cooks, use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-size pieces, discarding the skin and bones.
  • Add the chicken to the pot and cook, uncovered, for about 5-10 more minutes, or until the broth is thick. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Garnish with parsley or thyme and serve.

Notes

  • If you have the time, make homemade chicken broth to use in this recipe. You can also use the meat from the broth in this dish.
  • Use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces for the most flavor. I used white meat chicken breasts here, but chicken thighs also work great. The dark meat tends to stay more moist and juicy when it’s cooked.
  • Stir the pot as you’re adding the pastry to the broth, and continue to stir occasionally as the pastry simmers. This will prevent the strips of dough from sticking to each other.
  • The total amount of salt will vary depending on your personal taste preferences and on the broth that you use. Taste the broth regularly as you’re preparing the dish and adjust with additional salt and pepper, as needed.
  • For a thicker broth, simmer the chicken and pastry uncovered for a little bit longer.
  • Garnish each bowl with fresh parsley or thyme for a bright, colorful touch.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 414kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 41gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 299mgPotassium: 1011mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 220IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 112mgIron: 3mg
Keyword: braided chicken pastry, chicken and dumplings, chicken and pastry
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Hi, Blair! Your pastry strips here are exactly how my grandmothers (one in north Georgia and the other in east Tennessee) made dumplings! The only difference is that the strips were wider. To us, this IS chicken and dumplings! I remember being surprised when, once I grew up, I’d see recipes calling for biscuit like “dumplings.” I tried those recipes, and they’re good, too, but I much prefer this kind!

    1. Hi, Ellen! That’s great! Yes, you can definitely cut the strips wider if you like. I love this version of “dumplings” too! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    These were THE BEST I’ve ever made! My husband really loved them too. I can’t wait to make them again. Thank you for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    Yay! This is how my family makes “pot pie”, as we are from PA Dutch country, and I’m sure this is the Americanized way of saying Bott Boi. It’s wonderful to see this so nicely described. The only thing that we do differently is add celery, onion, carrot and potatoes. I love the attention to detail that you go into when describing your recipes. Thank you!!