Pages

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Slow Cooker Chicken with Drop Dumplings

From scratch, chicken and dumplings, made in a slow cooker and using a whole chicken for a homemade stock, a creamy roux base and drop dumplings.
From scratch, chicken and dumplings, made in a slow cooker and using a whole chicken for a homemade stock, a creamy roux base and drop dumplings.

Slow Cooker Chicken with Drop Dumplings

I love chicken and dumplings. Love it! It's one of my favorite dishes and that goes for any time of the year, not just winter.

While I do tend to follow the same basic guidelines, even with a variety of methods, I'm not married to any one of them. So many folks make chicken and dumplings one way all of their life, but I love playing around with it!

My first published recipe was for a shortcut version of chicken and dumplings, because, well, sometimes you want a pot of chicken and dumplings in a hurry! Rotisserie chicken, or even chicken that you've cooked and put up in the freezer, store-bought chicken stock and canned biscuits, make for a pretty darned good pot of chicken and dumplings.

A shortcut method of making chicken and dumplings that uses precooked chicken, commercial chicken broth and a can of flaky biscuits cut into strips for the dumplings.

P.S. Please don't let anybody tell you that you can't make dumplings with canned biscuits because oh yes you certainly can! What is dumpling dough but biscuit dough anyway?!

My favorite homemade recipe, at the risk of scolding from fellow southerners, is with drop dumplings,  because those are the ones I prefer and they still remain my favorite.

A classic southern comfort dish made of stewed chicken with fluffy drop dumplings.

There are a lot of folks who insist it's "not southern" unless it's rolled dumplings, so imagine my surprise when I've heard through all of these years of blogging, from hundreds of other southerners, that they too prefer the drop dumplings over a rolled one.

The now famous chicken and dumpling casserole was a hit from the start.

One of the most popular recipes on the site, this no-stir chicken and dumpling casserole, made with self rising flour, cream soup, and chicken broth, is reminiscent of the flavor of the real deal, but in an easy casserole form.

No, it's not exactly chicken and dumplings of course, but a baked casserole dish with the basic flavor of chicken and dumplings? I don't know about you, but I'm in! Lots of folks have agreed to date, as that recipe has been pinned nearly 200,000 times since I first published it here in 2009.

Then, for something a little different, I had heard many readers talk about using tortillas as dumplings. Wait, what?

A creamy chicken soup that uses strips of flour tortillas as a dumpling.

Of course, I had to try that! So I published a recipe for a chicken and dumpling soup - using flour tortillas for the dumplings. Well, I'll be y'all!

Then, I wrote a recipe that was my own version of the one served at Cracker Barrel, with more of a traditional style rolled dumpling in a creamy stew.

Homemade from scratch, Southern style chicken and dumplings, made from a whole chicken and rolled dumplings, and served here with steamed, buttered carrots, crowder peas and corn muffins.

I added detailed step by step instructions to that one to help teach anybody who wants to make a version like that. I also wrote an herb version of rolled dumplings - delicious!

And, most recently, I wanted to make a dumpling that was rolled but fluffy at the same time, so I wrote a recipe for that, and started that one with a browned chicken instead of a boiled chicken.

whole, cut-up chicken, browned in cooking oil, slow stewed and finished with fluffy, rolled dumplings.

Delicious.

Truth is, I love them all! Now, a lot of folks do make slow cooker chicken and dumplings using already cooked chicken, say from a rotisserie chicken from the deli, or with one part of the chicken, primarily boneless, skinless breasts or sometimes boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

Hey, it's all good, but I wanted to start with a whole chicken, just as with my stovetop version. Let's make some!

As always, you will find the full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step-by-step pictures below. 

Here's how to make my from scratch, Slow Cooker Chicken with Drop Dumplings.

Unwrap chicken and remove the neck and/or any giblets from the cavity, if they are there. I'm finding most whole chickens are short of those these days. Reserve for another use or discard. 


For a slow cooker version, I prefer to remove skin from most of chicken and then, rather than cook the chicken whole, I like to cut it into quarters - thigh/leg, breast/wing. 


Add to a 6-quart slow cooker.


I always have Better than Bouillon chicken base in the fridge, so I just used water.


And added the base.


Certainly substitute a quality brand of stock or broth if you don't keep chicken base on hand. I recommend Kitchen Basics brand - it's my favorite off the shelf stock!


For the stock seasoning vegetables. I'm using onion, carrots and celery.


Add those to the slow cooker along with the seasonings. I'm using salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf.


Though I had a sprig of fresh rosemary on hand, I wrote the recipe for dried, since that's what's most common in most folks pantry, including mine!


Cover and cook on low 6 to 7 hours, or high for 3 to 4, or until chicken is tender and cooked through, and internal temperature reads 175 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh.


Meanwhile make a roux in a saucepan or skillet on the stovetop by melting fat over medium heat and stirring the flour in.


Cook, stirring constantly for about 4 minutes. I like incorporating a roux because I prefer my chicken and dumplings to be creamy, and not thin and clear, like with a chicken soup.


When chicken is ready, remove from the cooker and set aside. These kitchen spiders are super handy for doing that. Set aside 1-1/2 cups of the stock. 


Slowly add the reserved broth to the roux, a little at a time.


Until a thick gravy begins to form.


Add the additional chicken stock or broth until fully incorporated.


Then stir in milk and heat through.


Transfer roux to the stock in the slow cooker. 


Discard bones and any remaining skin from chicken and pull into chunky pieces once cooled enough to handle. 


Stir chicken into stew, taste and adjust seasonings. Turn cooker to high.


Cover and continue cooking while you mix the dumpling dough. Combine ingredients for dumplings. Most often I use flour, but I'm using baking mix today since a) so many of you on my Facebook page swear by it for dumplings, and b) I had some to use up anyway. I mixed that with a little poultry seasoning, dried parsley and dried chives to add some flavor.


Add the milk.


And stir until a soft, spoonable dough is formed.


I use a small 1-1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop for convenience, or you can also just use two soup spoons to drop dough into broth.


Gently stir to coat dough, then cover and continue cooking on high for about 40 minutes, or until dough is puffed and cooked through.



Slow Cooker Chicken with Drop Dumplings

Slow Cooker Chicken with Drop Dumplings

Yield: About 4 to 6 Servings
Author: Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 45 MinInactive time: 7 HourTotal time: 8 Hour
From scratch, chicken and dumplings, made in a slow cooker and using a whole chicken for a homemade stock, a creamy roux base and drop dumplings.

Ingredients

For the Stew:
  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) whole chicken
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 heaping tablespoons chicken base (like Better than Bouillon - or substitute low sodium chicken stock or broth for the water/base)
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery with tops
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning, or to taste, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
For the Gravy:
  • 1/4 cup bacon drippings, butter or oil
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups of drippings from the slow cooker
  • 2 cups additional chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup milk, half and half or heavy cream
For the Dumplings:
  • 2 cups baking mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried chives
  • 2/3 cup milk

Instructions

For the Stew:
  1. Remove skin from most of chicken, cut into quarters and add to a 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. Add all of the chopped vegetables and seasonings and water with base or chicken stock/broth.
  3. Cover and cook on low 6 to 7 hours, or high for 3 to 4 hours, until chicken is tender and cooked through, and internal temperature reads 175 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh.
  4. When chicken is ready, remove from the cooker and set aside. Set aside 1-1/2 cups of broth from the cooker.
  5. Discard bones and any remaining skin and pull chicken into pieces once cooled enough to handle; set aside.
For the Gravy:
  1. Make a roux in a saucepan or skillet on the stovetop by melting fat over medium heat and stirring the flour in. Cook, stirring constantly for 4 minutes.
  2. Slowly add the reserved broth, a little at a time, until incorporated. Add the additional chicken stock or broth until a gravy forms; stir in milk and warm through.
  3. Turn slow cooker to high, transfer gravy to the slow cooker, stir chicken into the slow cooker; taste and adjust seasonings; cover and continue cooking while you mix up the dumpling dough.
For the Dumplings:
  1. Combine ingredients for dumplings. 
  2. Use a small, 1-1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop or two soup spoons to drop dough into broth, gently stir to coat dough.
  3. Cover and continue cooking on high for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until dough is puffed and cooked through.

Notes:

You may substitute 2 cans of original (Great for Cooking version) condensed cream soup for the gravy. Cream of chicken and cream of celery are both commonly used. Be mindful of adding any additional salt until tasting however, due to the sodium present in condensed soup, as well as other products used.

Chicken and Dumplings,Chicken,Whole Chicken,Main Dish,Southern Classics,Southern Favorites,Stew,Soup,Soups and Stews,Comfort Food
Dinner
American, Southern
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @DeepSouthDish on instagram and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish
Created using The Recipes Generator


Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.


161022/120708