With weather temperatures in the heart of Texas dropping to the lower teens and even into single digits, we Texans think about what we're going to dine on to keep us warm. A few days ago on one of our social media pages, I asked the question, which do you prefer - soup, stew, or chili, and what kind?

While I felt I knew what the overwhelming answer was going to be, I was surprised that it wasn't as overwhelming as I anticipated. I thought the answer from most would be good ole beef chili, because Texans are all about our beef chili with NO beans.

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Chili won, but not by a wide margin. It's really pretty neck and neck when it comes  to 2nd place for the choice between soup or stew. Nonetheless, both came in tied for second behind chili. And yes, most said there are NO beans in chili!

While I have given out my recipe for The Fearless Dragon's Breath Chili in previous articles, this time I will share with you my favorite soup and its recipe. Now, the recipe is not mine; it comes from my wife's side of the family and has been prepared for over a century.

My question is though, does chicken-and-dumplings fall under stew or soup? For the sake of the argument, I'm going to say it's a stew. When it comes to finding the best chicken-and-dumplings, it's in my kitchen when my wife puts together what her grandmother taught her beginning at the age of 12. Her grandmother called it "Cowboy Dumplings".

The recipe is attached below, but here are some of the replies we received from on the station's Facebook page answering my 'Cray Cray Question of the Day Day'.

Which do you prefer - soup, stew, or chili, and what kind?

  • Akvilė Demarco - Aaahhh!!!! Made some mulled wine last night to enjoy while sitting by the fireplace!
  • Deanna Krach - Chili and cornbread
  • Sassie Schnabes - Chili
  • Kathy Taylor - Homemade potato soup
  • Amber Redman - Beef stew
  • Shannon Eggleston - Pasta e Fagioli
  • Shelley Edmondson - Just made some chicken tortilla soup
  • Hazel Cole - Stew homemade with beef
  • Robin LeMieux - All of the above! Chili has meat and beans
  • Scot Michaels - Chicken Noodle Soup!!
  • Ricardo Martinez - Caldo De Rez
  • Robert Sudbury - Simmered all-day beans and cornbread
  • Lupe Garcia Gutierrez - Green chile stew
  • Michele Taylor Green - Chili NO BEANS
  • Dale Harris - Rudy’s Famous Chili!!!
  • Chris Villalobos - Menudo!
  • Cindy Pitts Starbuck - Hamburger Stew
  • Jody Winstead - Chicken Gumbo
  • Connie Blaylock - Dale’s famous potato soup…it is comfort food
  • Rita Clark Purcell - Green Chicken Enchilada Soup
  • Sandy Beggs - Homemade Gumbo
  • Billy Walker Jr - Chicken and dumplings

If you're in the mood for my wife's famous Cowboy Dumplings, here you go:


Two 8-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 chicken thighs
1/2 stick butter
6 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 teaspoons of salt for the chicken

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt for the dumpling mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk


Boil the chicken breasts and thighs in water with the bones still in them until the chicken is tender. This should take about 15-20 minutes. Cool and shred the chicken, removing the bones and skin.
In a stock pot, combine the heavy cream and the chicken broth from where you boiled your chicken. Keep the heat medium and stir constantly to avoid burning the cream. Add the shredded chicken to the broth.
Now, mix the dry ingredients and cut in some softened cold butter. After the butter has been cut into the flour, make a well in the center. Drop your large egg in and whisk it into the flour. Add your buttermilk and mix well. Knead the dough vigorously 15 or 20 times until your dough is soft. You'll want to see little chunks of butter in it. Pinch off about 1-inch pieces until there is none left. Your dumplings are ready to go!
Add the dumplings a few at a time. DO NOT dump them in all at one time as they tend to stick together. Add half a dozen in at a time, stir, and keep adding until they are all swimming together in there. Simmer, stirring constantly, for 7 to 10 minutes.
Add the cold water to the cornstarch and stir into the broth at the very end. This thickens the soup a little and adds the perfect creamy texture. Bon appetit!

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Gallery Credit: Charlotte Barnett

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