There’s something magical about a steaming bowl of chicken and dumplings, especially when it’s been simmering in a slow cooker all day. The savory aroma, the tender chunks of chicken, and the fluffy dumplings create a dish that’s the epitome of comfort food. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of making Slow-Cooker Chicken and Dumplings. We’ll explore the ingredients, equipment, detailed instructions, cooking notes, variations, and even provide keto and low-carb options. So, let’s embark on this culinary journey together to create a delicious and hearty meal.
Table of Contents:
- Cooking Notes
- Keto and Low-Carb Versions
Section 2: Ingredients
For the Chicken Stew:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups carrots, sliced
- 2 cups celery, sliced
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
For the Dumplings:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
Section 3: Equipment
Before you start cooking, ensure you have the necessary equipment:
- Slow cooker
- Cutting board and a sharp knife
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Pastry cutter or fork
- Cooking spoon
Section 4: Instructions
Let’s get started on the step-by-step process to create Slow-Cooker Chicken and Dumplings, divided into preparing the chicken stew and crafting the dumplings.
Preparing the Chicken Stew:
- Place the boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
- Add chicken broth, sliced carrots, sliced celery, finely chopped onion, minced garlic, dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and black pepper.
- Stir the ingredients in the slow cooker, ensuring they are well combined.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.
- Carefully remove the cooked chicken from the slow cooker and shred it using two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker.
- Pour in the heavy cream and add the frozen peas. Stir everything together and allow it to cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Creating the Dumplings:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add cold, cubed unsalted butter to the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter or fork to cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Gradually pour in the buttermilk, stirring until a soft dough forms.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/4-inch thick.
- Use a knife or a biscuit cutter to cut the dough into dumplings.
Adding Dumplings to the Stew:
- Carefully place the dumplings on top of the simmering chicken stew in the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on high for 30-45 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through and have expanded.
Section 5: Cooking Notes
To ensure your Slow-Cooker Chicken and Dumplings turn out perfectly, consider these cooking notes:
- Adjust Dumpling Thickness: The thickness of your dumplings can be adjusted to your preference. Thicker dumplings will take longer to cook and may be doughier, while thinner dumplings will cook faster.
- Don’t Overmix Dumplings: When making the dumplings, be cautious not to overmix the dough. Overmixing can result in tough dumplings.
- Extra Creaminess: For an even creamier stew, use half-and-half or whole milk instead of heavy cream.
- Fresh Herbs: While dried herbs work well, you can use fresh thyme and rosemary for a more intense flavor. Add them during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Section 6: Variations
Explore these variations to customize your Slow-Cooker Chicken and Dumplings:
- Veggie-Packed Stew: Boost the nutritional value by adding other vegetables like corn, green beans, or mushrooms.
- Spiced-Up Flavors: Experiment with spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, or poultry seasoning for a twist.
- Biscuit Topping: Instead of traditional dumplings, use canned biscuit dough for a quick and easy option.
Section 7: Keto and Low-Carb Versions
Keto-Friendly Chicken and Dumplings:
- Replace the all-purpose flour in the dumplings with almond flour or coconut flour.
- Opt for heavy cream to keep the carb count low.
- Use low-carb vegetables like zucchini or cauliflower.
Low-Carb Chicken and Dumplings:
- Substitute almond flour or coconut flour for the dumplings.
- Choose low-carb vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, or asparagus.
- Adjust the cream component to fit your preferred carb intake.
Section 8: Conclusion
In conclusion, Slow-Cooker Chicken and Dumplings is a beloved classic for a reason. Its heartwarming flavors and comforting textures make it an ideal meal for cold days or when you’re in need of some culinary TLC. The beauty of this recipe is its adaptability, allowing you to create the perfect version for your taste, whether that’s traditional, keto, or low-carb. So, take your time, savor each bite, and share this delightful dish with your loved ones. Enjoy the cozy embrace of Slow-Cooker Chicken and Dumplings, a timeless favorite.