Sometimes you just need to dive into a bowl of comfort. This is true whether the temps outside are dipping a little too low for your preference or you need to speak to some food about your emotions.
Chicken and dumplings is a perfect vehicle, and Atlanta is no stranger to the dish. These chicken and dumplings will give you a big ol' bear hug of comfort.
1198 Howell Mill Rd #18, Atlanta, GA 30318; 404-355-2252, www.jctkitchen.com/
Ford Fry’s original building block of his ever-expanding restaurant empire, JCT Kitchen continues to be a cozy gathering place. Since opening in 2007, they continue to put out classic Southern food with incredible consistency.
Among the classic dishes is Fry’s chicken and dumplings. The kitchen starts by slow roasting a chicken leg and serving it with buttery dumplings, a dark and rich broth and local veggies.
Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall
684 John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312; 404-458-3838, www.ladybirdatlanta.com/
With a menu based on campfire fare, it’s no surprise that comfort food plays a huge role at Ladybird. As is typical, their version of chicken and dumplings is big on personality. Arriving in a cast iron skillet, a roasted chicken leg quarter sits atop a thick roux and is surrounded by small, flavorful dumplings.
The dish isn’t always on the menu, so be sure to call ahead.
Ration & Dram
130 Arizona Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307; 678-974-8380, www.rationanddram.com/
Ration & Dram is known for their cocktails. The menu is full of dark spirits that lend themselves to quiet conversations at the cozy bar. To keep those chats – not to mention those stiff drinks – going, you’ll need some equally comforting food. Look no further than the chicken and dumplings. They use Darby Farms chicken for both the meat and the stock. The dish is made creamy with Swiss Dairy milk and biscuit dumplings. It all comes together for a powerful hug on a chilly night.
3315 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30326; 404-946-9070, http://southernart.com/
Everyone thinks their mama has the best food. Well, Southern Art’s Art Smith put his money where his mouth is: Addie Mae’s Soup is named after his mother and honors her classic recipe.
It’s all about the ingredients. Beginning with a nice chicken, he pairs it with a great house-made broth and fluffy dumplings. The end result is more like a thick chicken soup. It’s every bit as warm as Addie Mae herself.
Watershed on Peachtree
1820 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30309; 404-809-3561, http://watershedrestaurant.com/
Watershed has a storied history in Atlanta. While it has changed chefs and even moved to a new part of town, the soul has not changed.
When Zeb Stevenson took over the kitchen, he made sure to honor that history while adding his own touch. He learned how to make chicken and dumplings from his mother, and gives it the same love that she undoubtedly did. Thick broth holds the large dumplings and strips of chicken. Fresh herbs and local veggies balance the richness perfectly.
If you want to recreate them at home, local meal delivery company PeachDish has his recipe on their menu. They’ll send you the recipe and all of the ingredients necessary to recreate it at home.