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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, flat 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!

Bowl of chicken and pastry on a wooden table
Table of Contents
  1. Homemade Chicken and Pastry Recipe
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to Make Chicken and Pastry
  4. How to Thicken Chicken and Pastry
  5. Good Sides to Serve with Chicken and Flat Dumplings
  6. Preparation and Storage
  7. Chicken and Dumplings Recipe Variations
  8. Tips for the Best Chicken and Pastry Recipe
  9. Southern Chicken and Pastry Recipe

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. The easy chicken and pastry is just good old Southern comfort food at its very best.

Process shot showing how to make southern chicken and pastry

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.

Shredded chicken in a bowl

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 flat dumplings, or chicken and slicks — this simple, cozy meal is absolutely delicious!

Process shot showing how to make flat dumplings

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 easy 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.
Rolling out flat dumplings

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. I’ve included the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post, but here’s the quick version:

  1. Prepare the pastry dough.
  2. Cook the chicken in broth.
  3. Roll out and cut the dumplings.
  4. Shred the chicken meat.
  5. Cook the pastry strips in the broth.
  6. Add the chicken to the pot and continue cooking. The broth should thicken and you’ll know the pastry is done when it doesn’t have a “doughy” taste anymore.
  7. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley or thyme, if desired.
Side shot of chicken and pastry in a bowl on a table with a chair in the foreground

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 have found that less broth (about 8 cups) and a shorter simmering time work 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!

Square overhead shot of a bowl of Southern chicken and pastry

Good Sides to Serve with Chicken and Flat Dumplings

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 shot of a bowl of chicken and flat dumplings with a side of cornbread

Preparation and Storage

Leftovers 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.

Side shot of a bowl of chicken and flat dumplings with cornbread and salad in the background

Chicken and Dumplings Recipe Variations

  • Cut the pastry dumplings 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.
Close up side shot of a bowl of southern chicken and flat dumplings

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 necessary will vary depending on your personal taste preference and on the broth that you use. Taste and season as you go!
  • 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.
Overhead shot of a bowl of chicken and pastry

More Chicken and Dumpling Recipes to Try

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumpling Soup

2 hours hrs 30 minutes mins

Chicken and Bisquick Dumplings

1 hour hr 15 minutes mins

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

4 hours hrs 15 minutes mins

Square overhead shot of a bowl of Southern chicken and pastry

Southern Chicken and Pastry

5 from 5 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:

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.
    Process shot showing how to make flat dumplings

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.
    Process shot showing how to make southern chicken and pastry

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.
    Rolling out flat dumplings

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.
    Shredded chicken in a bowl
  • 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.
    Bowl of chicken and pastry on a wooden table

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 necessary will vary depending on your personal taste preference and on the broth that you use. Taste and season as you go!
  • 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

This recipe was originally published in April, 2021. The photos were updated in February, 2023.

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!

Read More

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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!!

  4. 5 stars
    So easy and delicious! My husband ranted and raved and is looking forward to the leftovers! I made this for a friend who had surgery, and the single recipe was plenty for the two of them, my hubby and me, and leftovers for us. Adding this to my recipe stack!

  5. Chicken and pastry is my favorite meal. My nana was from NC and thought me to make the pastry using the fat from cooking the chicken.

  6. 5 stars
    My dad was from NC and my grandmother taught me how to make chicken pastry. Although she didn’t use baking powder in her dough. The dough was rolled somewhat thicker than 1/8 in and cut into wider rectangles (about 2 in wide). My southern aunt layered the chicken and pastry rectangles then poured the chicken broth into the pot (start with shredded chicken first). Simmered 15-25 minutes. She used a chefs knife to check if done. In my southern family there was always a few stray black eye peas and butter beans. It was your lucky day if you got one or two of those in your bowl.

    When I make it now I throw in whole carrots cut in half, celery stalks cut in half and quartered onions with the chicken then bring to a boil then simmer about 1.5 hrs. Remove chicken, strain broth and give my pups the carrots and throw away the other solids so what’s left is a flavorful clear broth. Then proceed with shredded chicken and pastry. Labor of love!

    1. Aren’t these old recipes with so many attached memories just the best, Sha? I love hearing your story. I bet your version is delicious!