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A&E >  Food

Dorothy Dean presents: Slow cooker chicken and dumplings

UPDATED: Tue., Oct. 2, 2018

By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

Never having chicken and dumplings my whole life, I didn’t know what to expect when my girlfriend, Jill, handed me a warm bowl full of the stuff on a cold fall day.

We were nearing 30 and had been friends since we were 21. I had been known as quite the chef, but her, not so much. Boxed mac and cheese was her thing, along with PB&J. Yes, she has the palate of a toddler.

This was the first time she had actually cooked a meal for me, so I can honestly say I was a bit apprehensive about that first bite.

“Did you try it?” Jill asked.

“Trying now,” I nervously replied as I raised a spoonful timidly to my mouth.

And wow! Was I ever surprised!

The flavors were delicious. The dish was rich, creamy and oh-so-comforting. Her eyes lit up when I exclaimed how good it was. I remember her making some snarky comment like, “Well you’re not the only chef around here.”

These days, a crisp chill in the air brings cravings of that hearty, warm bowl of chicken and dumplings.

This version, made in a slow cooker, creates chicken so tender is falls apart in a comforting, delicious gravy swimming with veggies and moist, cloud-like dumplings.

While the recipe calls for chicken breasts, chicken thighs can be used instead. And I load mine up with veggies, but feel free to leave them out. I just love the added flavor, texture and much needed color they bring.

The dumplings are made from refrigerated biscuit dough. You could use your own biscuit recipe if you’d like, or use a biscuit mix. But I’d stick with the canned ones, they’re just as tasty – without the extra work.

Slow-cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Adapted from allrecipes.com

2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken breast, skinless and boneless

2 cups carrots, sliced

2 cups celery, sliced

1 cup onion, diced

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of celery soup

2 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 bay leaves

1 can refrigerated biscuit dough (country, homestyle or buttermilk)

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, divided

Spray a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add in chicken breasts, carrots, celery and onion. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup, cream of celery soup, chicken stock and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour mixture over chicken and veggies and add in bay leaves. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours. An hour before serving, (after 4 hours of cooking time), flatten biscuits and cut each into 4 strips. Add peas and 2 tablespoons of parsley to slow cooker and stir. Then add biscuit strips on top and quickly put lid back on. Before serving, slightly shred chicken breasts and stir. Serve topped with a sprinkle of remaining parsley.

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