Monday, June 18, 2012

Easy Homemade Slow-Cooker Chicken and Dumplings (great for the freezer!)

My husband's favorite meal is chicken and dumplings. I won't lie- it's one of my favorites as well. However, I am really picky about mine- when perusing all of the recipes online, I found myself becoming highly unsatisfied  with what I found in the slow-cooker department. Basically every recipe I came up with used canned biscuit dough for the dumplings. Now- I am all for easy dinners...

But if you are going to go to the bother of homemade chicken and dumplings... WHY would you skimp on the dumplings?? Why, in the name of all that is holy and right, would you skimp on the best part???

Beats me.

(That goes for Bisquik dumplings as well. You can do better than that. If you are already mixing stuff, mix up some stuff that tastes good.)

I also am not a big fan of veggie-heavy chicken and dumplings. I mean, if you want lots of veggies... well, that's what chicken SOUP is for, right? This is comfort food, people. Quit trying to healthify (I might have made that up) comfort food.

But I digress.

So here is the recipe I came up with. It is amazingly yummy, adaptable, and FREEZABLE. Yes, you make a double batch and stick that baby in the freezer for a grocery-money-is-tight or a I-don't-want-to-cook night. Not that we supermoms have any of those. Ahem.

Now, just like with all of my freezer recipes, this gets prepared up to the cooking stage and THEN frozen. Then you can thaw it in the fridge overnight, stick it in the crockpot in the morning, pop in the dumplings when you get home from work- and dinner is ready by the time homework is done! You can also cook this and freeze leftovers, but I don't know how well the cooked dumplings would freeze. Some people do it all the time, but I like my dumplings fresh.

Homemade Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings
(this makes ONE batch- make a double if you want to freeze some!).

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (salted and peppered)
4 cups chicken broth (I use homemade)
2 cans fat-free cream of chicken soup (there, I healthified it for you a little bit).
1 cup white cooking wine (NOTE: if you are freezing this, I would not add the cooking wine until you have defrosted and are ready to cook)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup of carrots, chopped
1 cup of celery, chopped (optional, depending on how veggie-heavy you like yours)
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp chicken bouillon granules

2 cups of flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup of milk
4 tablespoons melted butter

If you are going to go ahead and cook this, put the chicken on the bottom of the crockpot, salt and pepper, and then add liquids. I whisk my liquids together with the spices and the cream of chicken soup, and then pour over the chicken. Add the veggies. Cook on low for 8 hours. About an hour before the end of the cook time, remove chicken and shred it, and then add dumplings- drop them in and then sort of push them into the liquid so that they absorb some of the yummy broth. The dumplings are done when they look like biscuits on the inside. NOTE: I would recommend NOT lifting the lid and checking until at least 45 minutes after you put them in. You get lighter dumplings this way.

If you are freezing, add the chicken to a ziploc bag. Mix broth and cream of chicken soup (exclude wine), and spices. Pour into bag over chicken. Add veggies. Squeeze the air out, seal, date and label with name and cooking instructions.

Dumpling instructions:
Combine all dumpling ingredients- the mixture will be thick. Don't overmix. (Don't you hate that term?? What does that even MEAN?? I just threw it in there 'cause it makes me sound more professional, haha.) Form into medium-sized balls. If you are cooking now, drop them into your soup about an hour before the end of cook time. If freezing, flash-freeze the balls on a baking pan and then put in a ziploc bag (separate from the soup!). Defrost these in the fridge until you are ready to add them to the soup. NOTE: I always double this for a single meal, because as far as I'm concerned, there are never enough dumplings. :) I prefer "dumplings and chicken", but that's just me.
See how easy those dumplings were?? Why would you want canned biscuits when you can have these??

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Check out my other freezer recipes on the right side of the blog, or my instructions for freezer-cooking here!


Anonymous said...

Loved the dumplings. Never made them in the crock pot. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

After searching for an hour for a slow cooker recipe that didn't call for canned biscuits I came across your recipe ! Making it tonight for dinner! I personally hate the taste of canned biscuits so very thankful I found this lol

Stephanie said...

Trying your recipe tonight :)

Anonymous said...

Loved, loved, loved this recipe. My first time using my brand new crock pot and it's off to a great start!

Thank you!

Lovey Dove said...

Looks awesome...hope to make this really soon

mommybear said...

Your dumpling completely ruined it... I was originally going to use the canned biscuits but i decided to try something new.. I made the recipe exactly how you said and they all completely broke apart. Thank you...I spent all day cooking the chicken just to ruin the chicken and dumplings an hour before dinner.

This Mom's Heart said...

Wow. What a hateful comment. I am so sorry that I personally ruined your dinner. Thankfully I didn't manage to ruin anyone else's dinner, since everyone else has had good luck with the recipe. Indeed, I make it like this quite often and they are always perfect. Accept my apologies for posting a recipe I love on my own personal blog and then forcing you to make it. (Are you for real?? I mean, REALLY???)

Anonymous said...

Wow. Absolutely amazing that you would try this recipe and blame the outcome on the person who posted it. I bet it is a riot at your house when you break out the cookbooks. I wonder how many dinners Paula Dean or Betty Crocker has ruined for you?!? We all know how HORRENDOUS their food is.

Jennifer Logsdon said...

This was so good! I can't wait to make it for my family when they all come up for the pow wow! Keep the good recipes coming! You rock! Oh and don't let the haters get to you :-) its not your fault some people are too incompetent to read or follow simple directions :-) God bless you and these yummy dumplings!!!

Sarah said...

Could this be made on the stove top? Maybe just cook the chicken first then add everything else and still add the dumplings last?

Anonymous said...

We really liked this, but it was too salty for us. I will definitely make again, but figure out a way to cut down on the salt content.

This Mom's Heart said...

Of course. I've done that a number of times. Just simmer until ready and add the dumplings about 25-30 minutes before serving.

This Mom's Heart said...

It's never been salty when I've made it, but I guess it depends on the salt content of the broth/bouillon/ cream of chicken soup you use. There is only a teaspoon of celery salt (which you could certainly omit), plus one tsp in the dumplings (necessary to make them rise). I make my own stock and cream of chicken soup, so I don't naturally use a lot of salt. Perhaps you can look for a reduced-sodium version of what you are using.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if there is a way to speed up the cooking a little, could I put the crockpot on high for the first two hours then simmer like 4 or something, its just too good sounding and im already hungry. lol

Amanda Lohiser said...

I am an American expat living in Singapore. Cooking is one of my passions but is a bit more of a challenge (in a good way) over here due to cost of food (everything's imported) and brands I'm not used to. While I love being adventurous, today I was down for the count with a bad cold and had a mean craving for my mama's chicken 'n dumplings. I knew that the mix she used (and yes, she uses a mix as a starting point, and you can't not love your mama's dumplins!) wouldn't be available in the store, but after making chicken soup, I couldn't stop staring at the simmering surface of that golden broth and imagining happy white dumplings bobbing on the surface. So I found your blog. I reduced the recipe down to 1/4 of the ingredients and the batter blended like a dream. It tasted like home. (Yup - just the plain raw batter even tasted good!) It smells like home. The sight of those happy white dumplings bobbing on the surface of my crockpot chicken soup looks like home. Thank you, thank you! I haven't tasted them yet, but I know they'll be great. (And incidentally, if they're not perfect this first time around, I'll try, try again - because that's what cooking is all about - especially when trying a new recipe!) =)

Amanda Lohiser said...


Mama2Mischief said...

Made this tonight and the taste is AMAZING!! My whole family had at least two servings each. I did have a problem with the dumplings ... they completely disintegrated. Not that it bothered us at all, as is evidenced by the lack of leftovers LOL.... just found it odd. My "batter" was more like pie crust density, so I'm not sure what I did wrong. And I told Husband that I wonder if my soup wasn't hot enough when I dropped the biscuits in, like if they didn't seal off quickly enough in the cooler temp soup. Any thoughts? This is my first try at dumplings, so I'm clueless at this point and would love some guidance before I give it a second try. Thanks for any help!!

Mama2Mischief said...

After receiving your email response, I tried it again . And I'm so glad I did! As you suggested, I increased the liquid slightly and made sure the soup was boiling before adding the dumplings. PERFECT! They were super soft and fluffy bread blobs. :D Thank you so much for your help and a delicious recipe!