This easy Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings recipe has become the unofficial snow day dinner in our house. When the weatherman so much as hints at a flurry or two (a big deal in SC!), I make sure I have all the ingredients I need on hand. Nothing warms you like a big ole bowl of creamy dumplings, so even if the forecasted flurries turn out to be nothing more than cold rain, our bellies are still full and happy.
It snowed yesterday!!!! The second snow of the year (probably the last), and the biggest one so far. The temperature never made it below 32 degrees, so there was hardly any accumulation, but the flakes were big and fat and my daughter was able to make a tiny snowman with snow from the top of the car. It was a good day!
To celebrate, I slaved away in the kitchen rolling out dumplings from scratch from dusk till dawn.
I threw all the ingredients for chicken and dumplings in the crockpot, sat by the fire, and watched Kung Fu Panda 2 with my family. Correction, it was a great day.
This is how I make it.
These are the ingredients for the ‘soup’ portion of the meal. The most labor intensive part of the whole meal is chopping the vegetables, which I don’t mind. IMO chopping vegetables with a good knife is somewhat relaxing.
Once the slicing and dicing is done, we can layer everything into the crockpot. Dumping everything in would probably work just as well, but it will not be as pretty. Seasoning properly is also a lot harder that way.
Begin by placing the chicken in the bottom of the crockpot and seasoning with salt and pepper. Top with the can of cream of chicken soup, followed by the vegetables, garlic, 1 teaspoon of chicken base, and one tablespoon of butter. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, and cover everything with the carton (4 cups) of chicken stock. Place the lid on and cook on high for 3-5 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.
Once the chicken and vegetables are cooked, remove the chicken thighs and shred.
Chicken thighs are so buttery and delicious cooked this way. Chicken breast will work, but try the thighs. They taste so much better!
Moving on to the dumplings. Grab two small cans, or one normal size can of ‘junior’ size biscuits with flaky layers. This matters. ‘Grand’ sized biscuits are too big. They swell to the size of golf balls, and the insides are dry, with the texture of, well, biscuits. The inside of proper southern dumplings should be similar to gnocchi. Light and fluffy, but moist. It should not be like biting into a wet biscuit.
Remove the biscuits from the can, and pull the biscuit layers apart. Then tear each layer into thirds.
With the crockpot on high, drop the biscuit pieces into the simmering liquid, making sure to spread them around so they do not stick together. Do not stir anymore than you have to, or the dumplings will fall apart. I usually swirl the pan after a few biscuits to prevent sticking, or use a ladle to find an empty hole to drop the biscuit dough pieces in.
Cover the crockpot, and cook for 30 minutes.
Return the shredded chicken to the pot and check for seasoning. Stir and serve.
Buttery, creamy, comforting. Homestyle decadence in a bowl.
THE perfect snow day food!
- 1.25 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 small carrots, sliced
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 tsp chicken base
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 small cans (or one normal can) 'Junior flaky layer' style biscuits
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Layer all ingredients, except biscuits, in a crockpot making sure to season the chicken and vegetables with salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the crockpot, shred and set aside.
- Pull each biscuit into two-to-three 'layers.' Tear each 'layer' into three pieces.
- With the crockpot on high, drop the biscuit dough pieces into the simmering liquid, making sure to spread them around so that they do not stick.
- Cover the crockpot and cook for 30 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the crockpot and check for seasoning. Stir and serve.