Try It Tuesday is a little late this week: baby number 2 was making me feel sick last night, and I decided it would be better if I just went to bed. However, I did make chicken and dumplings in the slow cooker. I picked this recipe because I’ve tried dumplings in the past and failed miserably. The dumplings dissolved into nothing. I’ve had a lot of success with other recipes from this particular cook book, so I decided to try again. The dumplings formed well, but the recipe disappointed my entire family. I thought a recipe with bread cooked right into it would be a hit with Vincent, but he made faces at every bite. My husband summed up both of our reactions pretty well: “It’s not bad, but it’s not spectacular.” Jake isn’t a fan of creamy sauces, so I wasn’t surprised at his ambivalent reaction. As for my own take, it was simply bland – even if the shredded chicken was perfectly tender.
Although I don’t plan on making it again, I’ll share the recipe. If anyone has any suggestions for how to make chicken and dumplings, I would love to read them and try again!
4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into long, wide strips
5 small white potatoes, cubed
3 medium carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning, divided
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt, divided
1 ½ cups milk, divided
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
½ tsp baking soda
Pepper to taste
Combine chicken, vegetables, 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning, salt, and bay leaf in a slow cooker. Pour in enough water to cover the food. Cook on high 4 hours.
Remove the chicken and shred on a cutting board. Set aside. Whisk together ½ cup milk and 1 cup flour in a small bowl. Add to the slow cooker and whisk again until clumps disappear. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker.
Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir to form a soft dough. Drop by rounded tablespoon full onto the chicken mixture. Cover and cook on high for at least 30 minutes.*
* I did make a few modifications to this recipe: less Italian seasoning and a specific amount of salt. The original recipe from the Crock-Pot company said to cook dumplings on low for 30 minutes, but the dumplings weren’t cooking well – perhaps because my slow cooker doesn’t seal quite as well as it used to. If you make this recipe and your slow cooker has latches or giant rubber band to ensure that the lid seals well, 30 minutes on low may suffice.