How To Make Chicken And Dumplings In Crock Pot [COMPLETE GUIDE]

Chicken and dumplings is a comforting and delicious dish that is perfect for a cozy meal at home. It combines tender chicken, flavorful broth, and fluffy dumplings for a hearty and satisfying meal. While traditionally cooked on the stovetop, you can also make chicken and dumplings in a crock pot for a more convenient and hands-off cooking experience. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making chicken and dumplings in a crock pot, including the required cooking times and troubleshooting common issues.

Quick Answer: How Long To Make Chicken And Dumplings In Crock Pot

When making chicken and dumplings in a crock pot, the recommended cooking time is 4-6 hours on low heat or 2-3 hours on high heat. This may vary slightly depending on your specific crock pot model and the size of your chicken pieces. It’s important to ensure that the chicken is fully cooked and the dumplings are cooked through before serving.

Selection

To make the best chicken and dumplings in a crock pot, it’s important to select the right ingredients. Here are some tips:

  1. Chicken: Choose bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces like thighs or drumsticks for the best flavor and tenderness. You can use either fresh or frozen chicken, but make sure to thaw frozen chicken before cooking.

  2. Vegetables: Classic chicken and dumplings typically include onions, carrots, and celery. You can also add other vegetables like peas or corn for added flavor and texture.

  3. Broth: Use a good-quality chicken broth or stock for the base of your dish. You can also use a combination of broth and water for a lighter flavor.

  4. Dumplings: For the dumplings, you can either make them from scratch or use store-bought biscuit dough. Both options work well and will result in fluffy dumplings.

Preparation

Before you start cooking, it’s important to prepare the ingredients and your crock pot:

  1. Chicken prep: If using frozen chicken, make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Trim any excess fat from the chicken pieces and season them with salt and pepper. You can also add additional herbs and spices to enhance the flavor.

  2. Vegetable prep: Peel and chop the onions, carrots, and celery into bite-sized pieces. If using other vegetables like peas or corn, prepare them as well.

  3. Crock pot prep: Grease the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray or a small amount of oil to prevent sticking. This will make clean up easier later on.

Crock Pot Cooking Times For Chicken And Dumplings

The cooking times for chicken and dumplings in a crock pot can vary depending on factors such as the size of the chicken pieces and your specific crock pot model. However, we can provide you with general guidelines to help you achieve perfectly cooked chicken and tender dumplings:

  • Low heat: Cooking on low heat is recommended for a longer cooking time, allowing the flavors to develop and the chicken to become fork-tender. This method usually takes around 4-6 hours.

  • High heat: If you’re short on time, cooking on high heat is an option. It will result in slightly less tender chicken, but still delicious chicken and dumplings. Cooking on high heat usually takes around 2-3 hours.

Regardless of the cooking method you choose, it’s crucial to check for doneness before serving. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C), and the dumplings should be fully cooked and not doughy in the center.

How To Make Chicken And Dumplings In Crock Pot

Now that you have all the necessary information, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making chicken and dumplings in a crock pot:

  1. Place your seasoned chicken pieces in the greased crock pot. Arrange them in a single layer for even cooking.

  2. Add the chopped onions, carrots, and celery on top of the chicken. These vegetables will not only enhance the flavor but also provide a delicious base for your broth.

  3. Pour your choice of chicken broth or stock over the chicken and vegetables. The liquid should cover the chicken pieces, but don’t fill the crock pot to the brim to leave room for the dumplings.

  4. Cover the crock pot with its lid and set the heat to either low or high, depending on your desired cooking time.

  5. Let the chicken and vegetables cook for the recommended cooking time. Resist the temptation to lift the lid during the cooking process, as this will release the heat and extend the cooking time.

  6. After the chicken has cooked for the appropriate amount of time, it’s time to add the dumplings. You can either make your own dumplings or use store-bought biscuit dough for convenience.

  7. If making your own dumplings, prepare the dough according to your preferred recipe. Roll it out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch and cut it into small squares or circles.

  8. Gently place the dumplings on top of the cooked chicken and broth in the crock pot. Make sure they are evenly spaced to allow for even and thorough cooking.

  9. Cover the crock pot again and continue cooking for an additional 30-45 minutes. This will give the dumplings time to cook and become light and fluffy.

  10. Once the dumplings are cooked through and the chicken is tender, your chicken and dumplings are ready to be served. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve hot and enjoy a comforting and delicious meal.

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Troubleshooting Common Issues

While making chicken and dumplings in a crock pot is relatively straightforward, you may encounter some issues along the way. Here are a few common problems and their solutions:

  1. Chicken not tender: If your chicken is not as tender as you’d like, it might not have cooked long enough. Increase the cooking time and check for doneness with a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C).

  2. Dumplings not cooked through: If your dumplings are still doughy in the center, they may not have cooked long enough. Make sure to give them sufficient cooking time, and if necessary, increase the cooking temperature slightly.

  3. Broth too thin: If you prefer a thicker broth, you can thicken it by mixing cornstarch with a small amount of cold water to create a slurry. Stir the slurry into the crock pot and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes until the broth thickens.

  4. Broth too thick: Conversely, if your broth is too thick, you can thin it out by adding more chicken broth or water. Start with a small amount and adjust to your desired consistency.

  5. Dumplings sticking to the pot: To prevent dumplings from sticking to the crock pot, ensure that you grease the pot adequately before adding the chicken and vegetables. You can also lightly flour the dumplings before placing them on top of the chicken to reduce sticking.

Making chicken and dumplings in a crock pot is a convenient and delicious way to prepare this comforting dish. By following the recommended cooking times and preparing the ingredients properly, you can achieve tender chicken and fluffy dumplings with minimal effort. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors and vegetables to customize the dish to your taste. Enjoy this comforting meal that will warm your heart and fill your belly.

Achieving Perfect Texture

Chicken and dumplings is a comforting and delicious dish that is perfect for a cozy family meal or gathering with friends. Traditionally, chicken and dumplings is made by simmering chicken, vegetables, and dumplings in a flavorful broth on the stovetop. However, using a crock pot or slow cooker can make the process even easier and more convenient.

One of the challenges in making chicken and dumplings is achieving the perfect texture for both the chicken and the dumplings. With a crock pot, this can be effortlessly accomplished.

For tender and juicy chicken, it is important to use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces such as thighs or drumsticks. The bone and skin help to infuse flavor and maintain moisture during the slow cooking process. The chicken should be placed at the bottom of the crock pot, ensuring that it is submerged in the liquid to avoid drying out.

Dumplings are a key component of chicken and dumplings, and their texture can make or break the dish. To achieve light and fluffy dumplings in the crock pot, it is crucial to add them at the right time. Dumplings should be dropped into the liquid during the last hour of cooking to prevent them from becoming mushy and overcooked. This ensures that they cook through properly, while still maintaining their delicate texture.

Flavor Infusion

One of the benefits of using a crock pot is the ability to infuse deep and complex flavors into the dish. The long, slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a rich and flavorful chicken and dumplings.

To enhance the flavor of the broth, it is important to season the chicken well before adding it to the crock pot. A simple combination of salt, pepper, and your choice of herbs and spices can go a long way in elevating the dish. Additionally, adding aromatics such as onions, garlic, and celery to the crock pot can create a flavorful base.

For an even more intense flavor, consider searing the chicken pieces in a hot skillet before transferring them to the crock pot. This step caramelizes the skin and adds a deeper layer of flavor to the dish. Once seared, the chicken can be placed directly into the crock pot to continue cooking.

Aroma

One of the joys of cooking chicken and dumplings is the tantalizing aroma that fills the kitchen. With a crock pot, this aroma can linger throughout the day, creating anticipation for a delicious meal.

To enhance the aroma of your chicken and dumplings, consider incorporating herbs and spices that have a strong and pleasing fragrance. Popular choices include thyme, rosemary, sage, and bay leaves. These herbs can be added to the crock pot along with the chicken and vegetables, infusing the dish with their delightful scents.

Additionally, the aroma can be enhanced by allowing the dish to cook on a low setting for a longer period of time. This slow cooking method releases the fragrant aromatics, creating a mouthwatering scent that will have everyone eagerly awaiting the meal.

Cooking Techniques

Cooking chicken and dumplings in a crock pot requires a few specific techniques to ensure a successful outcome. By following these techniques, you can create a dish that is both delicious and effortless.

First, it is important to layer the ingredients properly in the crock pot. Start by placing the chicken pieces at the bottom, followed by the vegetables and aromatics. This ensures that the chicken is fully submerged in the liquid, allowing it to cook evenly and remain juicy.

Next, it is crucial to choose the right cooking time and temperature. Most crock pot recipes for chicken and dumplings recommend cooking on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours. However, it is important to adjust the cooking time based on the size and type of your crock pot. It is always better to check for doneness with a meat thermometer, as cooking times can vary.

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Finally, for the dumplings, it is essential to add them at the appropriate time. As mentioned earlier, dumplings should be added during the last hour of cooking to ensure that they are cooked through but not overdone. Dropping the dumplings directly into the liquid allows them to steam and cook evenly.

Crock Pot Tips For Chicken And Dumplings

When making chicken and dumplings in a crock pot, there are a few additional tips and tricks that can help you achieve the best results:

  1. Use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces for the most flavorful and tender meat.
  2. Season the chicken well with salt, pepper, and your choice of spices before adding it to the crock pot.
  3. Sear the chicken in a hot skillet before transferring it to the crock pot for added depth of flavor.
  4. Layer the ingredients in the crock pot in the proper order: chicken at the bottom, followed by vegetables and aromatics.
  5. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours, adjusting the cooking time based on your specific crock pot.
  6. Add the dumplings during the last hour of cooking to ensure fluffy and tender results.
  7. To thicken the broth, mix flour or cornstarch with water and stir it into the crock pot during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  8. For a richer flavor, add a splash of heavy cream or milk to the broth before serving.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your chicken and dumplings turn out perfectly every time.

Creative Crock Pot Chicken And Dumplings Recipes

While the traditional chicken and dumplings recipe is undeniably delicious, there are also plenty of creative variations that you can try in the crock pot. These recipes infuse new flavors and textures into the classic dish, adding an exciting twist to your meal.

  1. Creamy Mushroom Chicken and Dumplings: This recipe adds earthy mushrooms and a creamy sauce to the traditional dish. Sauté sliced mushrooms and onions before adding them to the crock pot with the chicken. In the last hour of cooking, stir in a mixture of cream and flour to create a rich and velvety sauce.

  2. Tomato Basil Chicken and Dumplings: For a fresh and vibrant twist, this recipe incorporates tomatoes and basil into the dish. Use canned diced tomatoes and chopped fresh basil to infuse the broth with a burst of flavor. Add the dumplings during the last hour of cooking as usual.

  3. Spicy Southwest Chicken and Dumplings: For those who enjoy a kick of heat, this recipe brings a southwestern flair to the dish. Add diced jalapeños, cumin, paprika, and a squeeze of lime juice to the crock pot along with the chicken. The dumplings can be garnished with chopped cilantro for added freshness.

  4. Lemon Herb Chicken and Dumplings: This recipe brightens up the dish with the addition of lemon and fresh herbs. Add thinly sliced lemon rounds and a mixture of chopped thyme and parsley to the crock pot. The result is a refreshing and flavorful twist on the classic comfort food.

  5. Barbecue Chicken and Dumplings: For a barbecue-inspired variation, this recipe adds smoky and tangy flavors to the dish. Make a homemade barbecue sauce using ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and spices such as paprika and garlic powder. Coat the chicken with the sauce before adding it to the crock pot. Serve with a sprinkle of chopped green onions for added freshness.

These creative crock pot chicken and dumplings recipes allow you to explore new flavors while still enjoying the comforting essence of the traditional dish.

Conclusion

Making chicken and dumplings in a crock pot is a convenient and delicious way to enjoy this classic dish. By following the techniques and tips outlined in this article, you can achieve the perfect texture, infuse deep flavors, and create an enticing aroma that will have everyone eager to dig in. Whether you stick with the traditional recipe or try one of the creative variations, using a crock pot ensures a stress-free and satisfying meal. So go ahead, gather your ingredients, and let your crock pot work its magic in creating a hearty and comforting chicken and dumplings dish.

FAQS

What Ingredients Do I Need To Make Chicken And Dumplings In A Crock Pot?

You will need boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, butter, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, milk, and frozen vegetables (optional).

How Do I Prepare The Chicken For The Crock Pot?

Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season them with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the chicken until browned, then transfer it to the crock pot.

What Is The Process For Making The Dumplings?

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter with a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the milk until just combined. Drop the dumpling batter by spoonfuls onto the top of the chicken mixture in the crock pot.

What Is The Optimal Cooking Time For Chicken And Dumplings In A Crock Pot?

Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours, until the dumplings are cooked through and the chicken is tender.

Can I Add Frozen Vegetables To The Chicken And Dumplings In The Crock Pot?

Yes, you can add frozen vegetables like carrots, peas, and green beans to the crock pot during the last hour of cooking. This will make the dish a more complete meal and add some extra nutrition.