Dinner, Meat, Slow Cooker, Soups

Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings

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This month I’ve decided to feature slow cooker recipes. As we ease into the fall months, they provide a level of comfort and efficiency in cooking that’s hard to beat. Though to be honest, I love mine year round for making chili, soups, stews, and a variety of meals because let’s face it, turning on the oven in the summer can be brutal. One of my favorite slow cooker meals is chicken and dumplings.

Chicken and dumplings is the ultimate comfort food with a southern twist. It’s one of those childhood nostalgia dishes where no matter what kind of day you had, everything can still be right with the world. I love the rich soup flavor that the evaporated milk, veggies, and herbs provide. The dumplings and chicken are extremely filling as well, which means we’ll sometimes have leftovers for days.

Start by chopping the onions and celery into small pieces and mincing the garlic. Spray the inside of your slow cooker sleeve with nonstick spray or wipe down with lard to prevent burning. Place the chicken on the bottom of the slow cooker, then add the chopped onion, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, pepper, parsley, and garlic salt. Pour in chicken broth or chicken stock and cover the crockpot to cook on High for 3 hours or Low for 7 hours.

Once the cooking time has finished, remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred on a plate. Return it to the slow cooker and set the heat on High if not already on the High temp setting for the remaining cooking time.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the evaporated milk with the cornstarch. Whisk it quickly until it’s smooth. The cornstarch will act as a thickening agent for the soup as it cooks, while the evaporated milk provides a creamy base.

Stir in the evaporated milk mixture, then add the remaining evaporated milk to the crockpot. Cover the slow cooker with the lid while preparing the dumplings in this next step.

In a large mixing bowl, add together the flour, baking powder, pepper, salt, and thyme. You can use fresh or dried thyme for this, but if you choose dried it’s recommended to use only 1 teaspoon instead of a full tablespoon. Stir until combined with a wooden spoon, then melt the butter.

Create a well in the center of the flour mixture with the wooden spoon, then pour in the melted butter and milk. Whole milk is best for this instead of skim due to the fat content providing a better flavor and texture. Stir with a wooden spoon until just blended.

Scoop the dumpling batter with a cookie scoop or medium-sized spoon into dough balls, and drop them gently into the slow cooker soup mixture. Place them all around the slow cooker so they’re touching each other as little as possible. There will be a few that stick together, which is totally okay. Gently push each dumpling down to coat the top of each in the soup mixture to prevent them from drying out, then cover with the slow cooker lid.

Cook for an additional hour on the High heat setting of your slow cooker before serving. If you’re unsure if they’re finished, cut open a dumpling to confirm it’s been cooked through. They will have a cake-like texture inside once they are fully cooked. Serve chicken and dumplings immediately, or refrigerate for up to three days. I wouldn’t recommend freezing this recipe as milk-based soups don’t reheat as well. Let me know how it turns out!


Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings

Course: DinnerCuisine: SouthernDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking Time

8

hours

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion

  • 1 cup matchstick carrots

  • 1 cup diced celery

  • 4 cloves minced garlic

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme

  • 2 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tsp parsley

  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt

  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth

  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch

  • 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

  • Dumplings:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme

  • 3/4 cup whole milk

  • 4 Tbsp melted butter

Directions

  • Spray the crock pot sleeve with nonstick cooking spray. Chop onion, celery,and thyme and mince garlic.
  • Place chicken breasts in bottom of crock pot. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, pepper, parsley, and garlic salt and pour in chicken stock or broth. Cover and cook for 3 hours on High or 7 hours on Low.
  • Transfer chicken to plate after cooking and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and set to cook on High if on Low.
  • In a small bowl, add cornstarch and 1/2 cup of evaporated milk and whisk until smooth. Stir mixture into soup, then stir in remaining evaporated milk and cover.
  • Prepare the dumplings by combining flour, baking powder, pepper, salt, and thyme in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in milk and butter. Stir with a wooden spoon until soft dough forms.
  • Scoop dough with a medium cookie scoop or spoon and drop gently into crock pot soup. Place around the pot so they’re minimally touching each other as possible.
  • Gently press down dough balls in soup to just cover with soup and cover slow cooker with lid. Cook for 1 hour on High. Dumpling balls will be cooked through when finished, top with parsley if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  • If your dumplings are a little dry when mixing the batter, add a splash of milk to help the flour mixture stick together.
  • Use evaporated milk, but not sweetened condensed milk for this recipe.
  • While this recipe is delicious fresh or refrigerated for up to three days, I don’t recommend storing it in the freezer due to its milk base.

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