Now that the weather has started to get colder, my crockpot is busy most days. I have been making soup, stews and all in one dinners in the crockpot. Crockpot cooking is simple and requires very little attention during the cooking process. The only thing different about crockpot cooking is getting all the ingredients into the crock early in the day, so that they will have enough lazy time to cook and be ready in time for dinner.
This recipe for chicken with dumplings is one of those comfort dishes that never fails to impress. It warms the soul on those cold, dark wintry evenings. It is simple, but really packs a satisfying bite. The chicken can be cooked with the vegetables and served without the dumplings. The dumplings soak up much of the liquid and make this dish extra hearty.
1-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, uncooked
2-3 cups chicken broth or water
3-4 cloves garlic or garlic powder
4 stalks celery
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cups water
1 cup all-purpose flour
Combine all ingredients in the crockpot and gently stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours.
One to two hours before serving, prepare dumplings:
In a medium bowl, stir water, egg, oil, salt, and pepper. Gradually add flour, and stir until thick. Drop dumplings into the crockpot using a spoon or a fork. Do not stir until ready to serve. Gently ladle out portions.
Know your crockpot and which settings to use. I cook my soup on the high setting of my six quart crockpot for about 6 hours and only turn it down to low or auto once the soup has been completed. Your crockpot may need to be set to auto for the duration of the cooking. If you are not sure, start your soup at high. Check on the soup after 3 hours. If it tastes ready, then turn it down to auto or low until serving. If not, cook the soup for longer, checking every hour.
This recipe can easily be made with bone-in chicken and can be adapted to incorporate your favorite vegetables.
When I anticipate preparing something in the crockpot, but know that my morning will be hectic, I prepare the ingredients (including seasonings and liquid) in the crock the night before. I store the crock filled with ingredients in the refrigerator overnight. To be safe, I usually keep the poultry ingredients separate until ready to cook. Then, all I have to do is place the crock into the pot and plug in the next morning. It eliminates the stressful morning rush and offers me a hearty cooked dinner several hours later. This recipe will require you to prepare the dumplings 1-2 hours before serving. The dumpling dough is very forgiving and can be prepared the night before and just added to the crock 1-2 hours before serving.