Slow Cooker – Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

Slow Cooker - Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings recipe | TeenieCakes.com

Do you have fond childhood memories of a simmering bowl of chicken and dumplings made by your mom, grandmother, or some other angelic person that was present in your younger years? A brisk autumn day with a bowl of comfort and goodness – good old-fashioned chicken and dumplings.

Sounds quintessential, doesn’t it? My first chicken and dumpling experience was as a young adult. Nope, no childhood memories include this Southern, Midwestern-American favorite. With the right recipe and marriage of flavors, it can quickly become your favorite and evoke memories of goodness too…

Several years ago I featured a post for a Chicken and Dumpling Casserole. That was about the extent of recipes tried on my end for this comfort-food classic. As mentioned earlier this month, the slow cooker is hard at work these days. Yesterday’s low-and-slow cooking was this gem of a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen’s, Slow Cooker Revolution (2011). This is not a cookbook review, but it absolutely deserves mention that this is one good recipe (and I’m luvin’ this cookbook)!

Slow Cooking and Prep Time Investment

I’ve had my slow cooker for awhile now, but haven’t nearly made enough use of it that it deserves. There was a time when I searched high and low for good recipes and cookbooks using this hefty kitchen appliance. I was generally disappointed by the ingredient lists using canned this and canned or instant that to throw in the cooker. I’ve never been under the illusion that it’s a “throw it all in the pot and it magically creates this amazing meal” without any prep. It’s laughable when you read cookbook reviews on Amazon.com for slow cooker cookbooks and folks complain about prep time. They want something short of a genie to magically and effortless create this sensational meal for you! Yes, for many recipes there is prep time. Cutting up ingredients, browning meats and poultry, etc.

The investment in time is a subjective matter. I like to have more (if not total) control of the ingredients, fat content and salt usage in my cooking and baking. In all honesty though, I don’t always feel like doing the time (in prep-time, that is!). That being said, there is prep time involved with this recipe – browning up the chicken, cutting up, measuring and precooking the vegetables before it finally gets to the slow cooker for this recipe. It’s worth it…it’s good!

About the recipe

The recipe calls for tomato paste, which may seem a bit of an odd ingredient for traditionalist. The tomato paste really adds to the depth of flavor, as does the splash of dry cooking sherry you’ll include. I ended up with a few more dumplings that was yielded and initially didn’t have enough room to finish the rest of the dough. After I served initial helpings of the chicken and dumplings, I added the rest of the dough to the stew.

The consistency thickens up towards the end and as it cools. Another cup-and-a-1/2 of broth was added towards the end. If you try this or whenever you’re making things in the slow cooker, remember to warm up the ingredient(s), especially if you’re adding juices or liquid towards the end of the cooking time. Otherwise, you’ll bring the temperature of the contents down and it will take some time for the cooker to catch up and get back up to temperature.

I’m including a list of the ingredients for a shopping list or pantry check, along with some tidbit cooking notes. However, when visiting the America’s Test Kitchen Website, I noticed they have some recipes available for visitors, but many others are under some kind of premium content service. So with that discovery, I’ll include a link to the full recipe at their site (that is accessible as a paid service BUT you can try it for FREE FOR 14-days), but impart with you the ingredients for you to decide if it’s worth further pursuing for your ultimate dining pleasure. :)

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with America’s Test Kitchen and was not provided their cookbook or service for mention or use of their cookbook or recipe.

Slow Cooker - Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings recipe | TeenieCakes.com

From the archives – similar features:

Teenie Notes
  • Used chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs.
  • Don’t trim off any fat or shreds of skin left on the chicken UNTIL the shredding step. Adds to the stew.
  • When portioning out the dumplings use a small cookie/ice cream scoop.
  • Increased the frozen peas from 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups.
  • Didn’t have whole milk, so used 1/2 cup 2% low-fat milk -and- 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • Used an additional 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, added at the end of cooking time. Be sure to warm up the broth before adding to the cooker
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges on the side.


Slow Cooker - Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings | TeenieCakes.com
Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

Serves 6-8

Stew Ingredients: What You’ll Need

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, minced
2 celery ribs
6 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 carrots
2 bay leaves
1 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, plus more for garnishing

lemon wedges for garnishing (optional)

Dumpling Ingredients: What You’ll Need

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Teenie Notes
  • Used chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs.
  • Don’t trim off any fat or shreds of skin left on the chicken UNTIL the shredding step. Adds to the stew.
  • When portioning out the dumplings use a small cookie/ice cream scoop.
  • Increased the frozen peas from 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups.
  • Didn’t have whole milk, so used 1/2 cup 2% low-fat milk -and- 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • Used an additional 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, added at the end of cooking time. Be sure to warm up the broth before adding to the cooker
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
modified from America’s Test Kitchen, Slow Cooker Revolution, vol. 1 (2011)
October 25, 2013
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  1. says

    I love that hearty soup and it is such a comfort dish. I just hope that bowl is not tiny as I would definitely ask for a second serving. :) Wish you a great week, Cristina!

  2. RKM says

    This looks delicious! I can taste all the flavors in that bowl. This is perfect for the holidays, thanks for sharing this Cristina.