Slow cookers and comfort food go together like, well, chicken and dumplings! Juicy chicken is cooked to fall-apart perfection in the crock pot filled with hearty veggies, rich gravy, and shortcut dumplings with just the right amount of chew.
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Whether you grew up in the Appalachian region and know this dish as “chicken and sliders”, come from the Carolinas where you enjoyed “chicken and pastry”, or had a French Canadian upbringing noshing on “chicken and pastry”, you probably have childhood memories of digging into a steaming bowl of chicken and dumplings–and begging for seconds.
Beyond the name, there’s some controversy over dropped, ball-shaped dumplings, or rolled out strips that are almost like thick noodles. Whatever form you choose, our recipe makes dumplings insanely easy with a canned biscuit dough hack. We stirred in bit of heavy cream and an easy homemade roux to thicken the broth to creamy–never gloppy–perfection. Don’t let that long cook time fool you into thinking that you have to spend a day living in the kitchen to have chicken and dumplings; you can throw everything into the slow cooker in the morning, then finish off the final steps when you get home from work. It really only takes a few minutes of effort to serve up a crock pot full of comfort!
Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings
Makes 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
- 1½ pounds chicken, cubed (white or dark meat)
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1½ cups potato, diced small (about ½ pound)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 (16 oz) can refrigerated biscuit dough (8 biscuits)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ¼ cup heavy cream (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (optional garnish)
- In a 6-quart slow cooker, add the chicken, carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, garlic, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and chicken broth.
- Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on high heat for 2-3 hours, or on low heat for 5-6 hours.
- In a small bowl, combine the softened butter and flour until it forms a thick paste, and set aside.
- While the chicken is cooking, separate the biscuit dough and, using a rolling pin or your hands, flatten each piece into a thin disc about ¼-inch thick. Cut each biscuit into strips or quarters and set aside.
- After the chicken is cooked, remove the lid from the slow cooker and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Whisk in the flour paste 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Drop in the prepared biscuits and stir in the frozen peas. Cook on high heat for another hour or on low heat for another 2 hours (or until the biscuits are cooked and the sauce has thickened).
- Before serving, remove the bay leaves and stir in the heavy cream and chopped fresh herbs, if using.
Chicken and dumplings have such a rich history, and we want to hear about your own memories of this classic dish. What did your mom call chicken and dumplings when you were growing up? And do you swear by rolling up the dumps into little balls, or is it your tradition to cut them into long strips?