If Your Copycat Cracker Barrel Dumplings Dough Is Too Dry, Just Add Milk

Cracker Barrel may be known as a breakfast chain and a darn good one, too – not only is it one of our top picks, but its breakfast food also rates highly with wrestling legend Chris Jericho and what's good enough for Le Champion is more than good enough for the rest of us mere mortals. Cracker Barrel does actually have lunch and dinner foods, too, one of them being a pretty decant chicken and dumplings. The dumplings are also available as a solo side, one that recipe developer Erin Johnson claims as "a family favorite comfort food." Her copycat Cracker Barrel dumplings, she says, "instantly take me back to family road trips with stops at Cracker Barrel."

Unlike many Asian and Eastern European-style dumplings, Cracker Barrel's (and these copycat ones) don't have any filling so they get both flavor and moisture from the chicken stock in which they're cooked. You still won't want the dough itself to be dry, though, since dry dough might not shape up or hold together like it's supposed to. If this dumpling dough does seem dry as you're stirring it up, Johnson advises adding a little bit of milk – she says a tablespoon ought to do it.

What to do with your dumplings when you're done

Johnson uses chicken stock to boil these dumplings, but she allows that "you can easily substitute vegetable stock if you want to keep this vegetarian." Beef stock or broth would be an option as well since she notes that "Adding shredded cooked chicken or beef are the traditional go-tos" for making dumplings into a complete meal. Johnson, however, seems to favor sticking with chicken as she suggests plopping a few chicken breasts into the pot to cook before you add the dumplings. Take the chicken out before dropping the dumplings in the broth, then let it cool before shredding it. Stir it back in once the dumplings are done and you'll have what Johnson describes as "easy chicken and dumplings."

The dumplings can also be eaten by themselves if you want something on the plain side – in fact, they might be just the thing when you're recovering from an upset stomach or if a toothache has you in need of something soft and easy to chew. Dumplings can also be used as a side dish for most types of meat or fish since, in Johnson's opinion, they "go great with everything" and they do not have a strong flavor that's likely to clash with the entree.