Chicken & Dumplings with Secret Sauce

“I developed the recipe for ‘Secret Sauce’ trying to perfect a flavorful chicken gravy. Most chicken gravies are so bland. My husband started calling it ‘secret sauce’ and the name stuck. It is best made with chicken base, but if you must use bouillon, make sure it is low salt, so that the chicken flavor comes through and the gravy isn’t too salty. You don’t find too many low fat gravies. In fact, the definition of a gravy includes some sort of fat, so while this isn’t a true gravy, it is the next best thing and a nice healthy alternative.” – Calla Ferre

“One of the family favorites. It began just as a sauce for chicken, but remembering my Mom occasionally making dumplings when I was little from Baking Powder Biscuits, I requested them with this meal. I specifically remember helping to cut out the biscuits from the dough with a small glass. I was in Goodwill one time during Grad School and found the exact same type of glass we use to use. I picked it up for nostalgia’s sake, and still use it for cutting my biscuits.” – April Ferre

Chicken & Dumplings with Secret Sauce

Course: Main Courses – Poultry


  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Granulated Onion
  • 1 1/2 Medium Onion Chopped
  • 3/4 Cup Carrot Shredded
  • 1 1/3 Cup Water
  • 4 Teaspoons Chicken Base
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • Parsley Flakes As Desired
  • 1 Recipe Baking Powder Biscuits
  • – Or 1 16.3-Ounce Can Prepared Biscuits Pillsbury
  • Paprika


  • Chicken: Sprinkle chicken breasts with granulated garlic and onion. Brown in large frying pan. Place in glass baking pan and add water halfway to cover. Bake in 375 degree oven until tender.
  • Secret Sauce: Drain fat from frying pan and deglaze. Sauté onion and carrot. Add water and chicken base. Stir until well mixed. Add milk and parsley flakes. Thicken with flour/water mixture.
  • Dumplings: Sprinkle biscuits with a little paprika and place in pan of secret sauce. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, then uncover and cook 15 minutes more. During last 5 minutes, spoon sauce over dumplings.
  • To serve: Remove chicken and dumplings to serving plate and spoon over copious amounts of secret sauce.

1998 Original Recipe – Calla Ferre

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