What You Didn't Know About Cracker Barrel's Chicken N' Dumplings

You can't think of Cracker Barrel without thinking of Southern comfort food. Creamy mashed potatoes smothered in butter, fluffy biscuits drowning in sausage gravy and finger-licking good fried chicken. There's no shortage of indulgent, calorie-laden dishes on the menu at the popular chain. Some would say the food is just like mama made it. In that same category of stick-to-your-ribs good old-fashioned home cooking, is Cracker Barrel's Chicken n' Dumplins

According to Taste of Home, Cracker Barrel sells over 11 million orders of chicken and dumplings each year. That's a lot of chicken and a lot of dumplings. While the traditional dish (whose origin is up for debate between the Midwest and the South) has been around since the beginning of the national restaurant chain some 50 years ago, it wasn't always what it is today. Here's what even the biggest Cracker Barrel fans probably didn't know about the dish we all love to dig into.

Chicken and dumplings was once considered a delicacy

These days, a dish as humble as Cracker Barrel's Chicken n' Dumplins is very affordable and budget-friendly, made with basic ingredients like chicken, flour and buttermilk. But Wide Open Eats explains that wasn't the case when it first became popular prior to the 1960's. According to the outlet, chicken and dumplings was once thought of as a delicacy in the U.S. because chicken was actually one of the more expensive meats to buy (compared to other cuts like veal or beef). Serious Eats even calls what some consider a Depression-era dish a "luxurious treat."

Fortunately, with the start of industrialized farming, chicken became cheaper, making it popular on tables across the country — including the red-checkered ones at Cracker Barrel. The chicken and dumplings we all know and love now is made with juicy white meat chicken and flat strips of chewy dough, all doused with a hearty helping of the creamiest, richest chicken broth.