Chicken and dumplings, a beloved comfort food, have been gracing dinner tables for generations. This timeless dish evokes warm memories of home-cooked meals and family gatherings. While the traditional preparation involves simmering chicken and dumplings on the stovetop, today we’ll introduce you to a modern twist – a savory slow-cooker version that captures all the comforting flavors with minimal effort. This recipe promises tender chicken, flavorful broth, and fluffy dumplings that will make your taste buds dance with delight.
The origins of chicken and dumplings can be traced back to medieval Europe, where variations of this dish were enjoyed by both peasants and nobility. Over time, it crossed the Atlantic and became a staple in American Southern cuisine. In the United States, chicken and dumplings have taken on various regional variations, from creamy to brothy, with thick or flat dumplings. Today, we’ll create a hearty, savory version with a slow-cooker twist.
Step 1: Prep the Chicken Stew
Begin by preparing your vegetables. Slice the carrots, celery, and finely chop the onion. Mince the garlic cloves.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken broth, carrots, celery, onion, minced garlic, bay leaf, dried thyme, salt, and pepper.
Place the boneless, skinless chicken thighs at the bottom of your slow cooker.
Pour the vegetable and broth mixture over the chicken. Make sure the chicken is submerged in the liquid.
Step 2: Slow Cook the Chicken Stew
Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on low heat for 6 hours. This slow cooking process will allow the chicken to become incredibly tender and infuse the broth with flavor.
About 30 minutes before the stew is done, stir in the frozen peas if you choose to use them. This adds a pop of color and freshness to the dish.
Step 3: Prepare the Dumpling Dough
While the chicken stew is cooking, it’s time to make the dumplings. In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add the cold, cubed butter to the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Gradually add the milk to the mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms.
Step 4: Add the Dumplings
Once the chicken stew has cooked for 6 hours and the chicken is tender, it’s time to add the dumplings. Drop spoonfuls of the dumpling dough on top of the stew.
Cover the slow cooker again and let the dumplings cook for an additional 30 minutes. The dumplings will puff up and become fluffy.
Step 5: Serve and Enjoy
After the dumplings have cooked, remove the bay leaf from the stew and discard it.
Ladle generous servings of the savory slow-cooker chicken and dumplings into bowls.
Garnish with freshly chopped parsley to add a burst of color and flavor.
Serve piping hot and savor the delightful aroma and taste of this modern take on a classic comfort food.
This savory slow-cooker chicken and dumplings recipe offers all the comforting flavors of the traditional dish with the convenience of modern cooking. The tender chicken, aromatic broth, and fluffy dumplings make it a perfect choice for a hearty family dinner or a cozy evening in. As you enjoy each bite, you’ll appreciate how history and innovation come together to create a timeless and delicious meal. So, fire up your slow cooker and savor the magic of chicken and dumplings, reimagined for today’s kitchen.