I am usually one to make every aspect of chicken and dumplings from scratch. And, I'm not sure that I had ever made them in the slow cooker before testing this recipe. I, normally, like to start with a fresh, whole chicken. I use the meat and stock from boiling the chicken for my traditional recipe. And, I like to make my dumplings from scratch.
Our family loved it. The slow cooker did all of the work. The result was still that comfort food that we know and love. I will say that chicken and dumplings is not a dish that photographs well, so the photos really don't do it justice, as they say. But, please trust me that this recipe is one to have in your back pocket when you may be short on time, but still are wanting something lovely and pleasing on a chilly day.
NOTE: I have found that using buttermilk biscuits yields a dumpling that is oddly too sweet for this recipe. Therefore, I highly recommend using an original-style flavor of biscuit.
Yields 4 - 6 servings.
2 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts, each cut in half
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of dried thyme (optional)
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can (8 count) Grands large-style biscuits (original - not buttermilk style)
Add the cream of chicken soup to slow cooker. Add in 4 cans worth of water using the soup can for measuring. Drop in the bouillon cubes. Sprinkle in the garlic powder and thyme. Use a fork or small whisk to blend everything together right in the slow cooker.
Season chicken slightly with salt and pepper. Place in slow cooker.
Cook on low for 5 - 6 hours. Then, break the chicken up a bit using two forks ... you can remove the chicken or do this right in the slow cooker. Shred or break it up as much as you'd like.
Cut each biscuit into 8 - 10 pieces. (Clean kitchen scissors work well for this task.) Drop the pieces into the slow cooker one at a time. As you do so, let each piece "dip" or "plunge" into the liquid so that each dough piece gets a full coating of gravy on the surface. (This will ensure that the pieces of dough stay somewhat separate and don't stick together as much.) Stir gently once all of the dough is in the slow cooker.
Cover and cook for an additional 2 hours. If the biscuit pieces stick to the sides of your insert or some are starting to brown/crisp up, you can press them down or very gently stir them into the liquid during the cooking process. Once or twice during the cooking process, very gently move the dumplings around as needed with a spoon.
A little more water (hot) can be stirred in once the dumplings are cooked if your gravy is a little too thick for your liking.
Give everything a slight stir before serving. Garnish with a little more thyme, if desired.
Excellent served with or over mashed potatoes.
03/10/16: Updated photos. Made clarifications within the post and recipe directions.