Chicken and Dumplings – Slow Cooker

Chicken & Dumplings

Who doesn’t want comfort food these days? Nobody, that’s who. What if I told you you could have serious comfort food for dinner, budget-friendly, with more than 90% of the work done by early afternoon, AND have it be healthy? It’s hard to eat healthy in trying times. I find myself leaning more toward comfort food, which is very often the antithesis of healthy. Granted, this isn’t a “dump & press start” meal, but it’s not at all difficult, and it’s so, so good! And I love having most of the work done early in the day. 

Do read through the recipe before starting, so you can plan your time accordingly. You’ll need to increase the heat about an hour before dinner, and add the dumpling batter half an hour after that. If your cooker heats slowly, you might need a whole hour between turning it up and adding the batter. 

Please don’t look at the number of steps and dismiss the recipe. I’ve adapted it from “Slow Cooker Revolution” (buy a copy if you love slow cookers — there are lots of great recipes in it). Most of the changes I made were to break the steps down into baby steps. Their recipes are usually pretty straightforward, but I find this one more efficient if it’s broken down a bit more. Another thing I did was cut back a bit on the dumplings. I did that by accident once and decided I liked it better that way because the dumplings had more room to expand, and they cooked through a bit more quickly. If you want to try it their way, just increase all the batter ingredients by twenty-five percent. No matter which way you make it, you’re sure to love this dish.

Ingredients:

For the Stew:

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed 

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

4 carrots, peeled

6 cloves garlic, peeled

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

2 onions

2 stalks of celery

1 tablespoon tomato paste

⅓ cup (80 g) all-purpose flour

¼ cup (60 ml) dry sherry

4 cups (1 litre) low sodium, fat-free chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 cup (130 g) frozen peas

small bunch fresh parsley

For the dumplings:

1½ cups (180 g) flour

2¼ tablespoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ cup (180 ml) whole milk

2¼ tablespoons butter

Preparation:

Note: If you’re cutting the veggies by hand, you’ll want to prep them before starting the chicken. If you’re using a food processor, there’s plenty of time while the chicken browns. 

1.) Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil starts shimmering, add half of the chicken. Lightly brown both sides, about 5 minutes or so. Transfer to a bowl. Add another tablespoon of the oil, and repeat with the remaining chicken. Transfer to the bowl. 

2.) While the chicken browns, use your food processor to slice the carrots ¼” (6 mm) thick (setting 8 on my Breville). Empty the bowl & set aside.

2 cd

3.) Switch to the metal blade. Place the garlic and thyme in the bowl and process to a fine mince. 

3a cd

4.) Without emptying the bowl, add the onions. Pulse to dice. 

4 cd

5.) Remove the metal blade and switch back to the slicing blade, then slice the celery ¼” (6 mm) thick. My food processor lets me do this without emptying the bowl, so I just set let the slices land right on top of the onions.

5 cd

6.) Heat the last tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic, thyme, onions, and celery. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until everything has softened and just begun to brown. Stir in the tomato paste.

7.) Stir in the 1/3 cup flour. Cook briefly, just to eliminate the raw taste, about a minute. 

7 cd

8.) Stir in the sherry and let it cook off. Add 1 cup of the broth, scraping up any remaining browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Whisk to remove any flour lumps. 

9.) Transfer pan contents to the slow cooker pot. Add the bay leaves and carrots. 

9 cd

10.) Deglaze the pan with some of the remaining broth, then add to the pot with the rest of the broth.

10 cd

11.) Nestle the chicken into the mixture along with any accumulated juices. Cover the pot and set for low heat, 4 to 6 hours.

12.) When the chicken is tender (the exact timing may vary depending on your cooker), transfer it to a cutting board and shred. Let the rest of the pot sit for five minutes, then remove any fat that’s floated to the top. Discard the bay leaves, then return the chicken to the pot.

12b cd

13.) Chop the parsley. Add it and the peas to the pot, add more salt and pepper to taste, cover, and turn the pot to its highest setting. Let it cook until it comes to a simmer. My slow cooker takes 30 to 45 minutes for this. 

14.) While the pot reheats, prepare the dumpling mixture. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Microwave together the milk and butter until just warm, about 1 minute (don’t overheat.) Whisk to melt the butter.

15.) Once the pot has reached a simmer, stir (don’t whisk) the milk mixture into the flour mixture until just blended. Some small lumps are okay; it doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth. 

15 cd

16.) Drop the batter in golf-ball-size portions across the top of the stew, leaving about ¼” (6 mm) in between. There should be 15 to 18 dumplings. Cover and cook another half hour or so, until dumplings have doubled in size. Serve hot.  

 

c&dNutritionLabel

Chicken and Dumplings

Ingredients

For the Stew:

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

4 carrots, peeled

6 cloves garlic, peeled

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

2 onions

2 stalks of celery

1 tablespoon tomato paste

⅓ cup (80 g) all-purpose flour

¼ cup (60 ml) dry sherry

4 cups (1 litre) low sodium, fat-free chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 cup (130 g) frozen peas

small bunch fresh parsley

For the dumplings:

1½ cups (180 g) flour

2¼ tablespoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ cup (180 ml) whole milk

2¼ tablespoons butter

Directions

Note: If you’re cutting the veggies by hand, you’ll want to prep them before starting the chicken. If you’re using a food processor, there’s plenty of time while the chicken browns.

1.) Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil starts shimmering, add half of the chicken. Lightly brown both sides, about 5 minutes or so. Transfer to a bowl. Add another tablespoon of the oil, and repeat with the remaining chicken. Transfer to the bowl.

2.) While the chicken browns, use your food processor to slice the carrots ¼” (6 mm) thick (setting 8 on my Breville). Empty the bowl & set aside.

3.) Switch to the metal blade. Place the garlic and thyme in the bowl and process to a fine mince.

4.) Without emptying the bowl, add the onions. Pulse to dice.

5.) Remove the metal blade and switch back to the slicing blade, then slice the celery ¼” (6 mm) thick. My food processor lets me do this without emptying the bowl, so I just set let the slices land right on top of the onions.

6.) Heat the last tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic, thyme, onions, and celery. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until everything has softened and just begun to brown. Stir in the tomato paste.

7.) Stir in the 1/3 cup flour. Cook briefly, just to eliminate the raw taste, about a minute.

8.) Stir in the sherry and let it cook off. Add 1 cup of the broth, scraping up any remaining browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Whisk to remove any flour lumps.

9.) Transfer pan contents to the slow cooker pot. Add the bay leaves and carrots.

10.) Deglaze the pan with some of the remaining broth, then add to the pot with the rest of the broth.

11.) Nestle the chicken into the mixture along with any accumulated juices. Cover the pot and set for low heat, 4 to 6 hours.

12.) When the chicken is tender (the exact timing may vary depending on your cooker), transfer it to a cutting board and shred. Let the rest of the pot sit for five minutes, then remove any fat that’s floated to the top. Discard the bay leaves, then return the chicken to the pot.

13.) Chop the parsley. Add it and the peas to the pot, add more salt and pepper to taste, cover, and turn the pot to its highest setting. Let it cook until it comes to a simmer. My slow cooker takes 30 to 45 minutes for this.

14.) While the pot reheats, prepare the dumpling mixture. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Microwave together the milk and butter until just warm, about 1 minute (don’t overheat.) Whisk to melt the butter.

15.) Once the pot has reached a simmer, stir (don’t whisk) the milk mixture into the flour mixture until just blended. Some small lumps are okay; it doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth.

16.) Drop the batter in golf-ball-size portions across the top of the stew, leaving about ¼” (6 mm) in between. There should be 15 to 18 dumplings. Cover and cook another half hour or so, until dumplings have doubled in size. Serve hot.

 

One Comment Add yours

Questions? Comments? Funny Remarks? I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.