If you’re looking for comfort food at its finest, it’s hard to get any better than chicken and dumplings. This old-school recipe is decidedly at home in 2017 and, with all-natural ingredients, you can make an delicious version at home that’s also gluten-free. I predict it’ll be one of those crockpot chicken recipes that you’ll make again and again.
What is Chicken and Dumplings?
Often called a Depression-era dish from the South, chicken and dumplings have actually been around since well before that time. The folks at Serious Eats have a fascinating account of the dish; it wasn’t until the 1960s, when mass chicken production began, that the birds were readily available at prices normal folks could afford. Before then, having a “chicken in every pot” in America was something to aspire to.
Chicken and dumplings make their first appearance in American cookbooks in the mid-1800s. By the 1890s, the dish was quite common in the North, where “dropped” dumplings were favored. In the South, the more complicated rolled dumpling was favored.
But in both instances, rich chicken was mixed with silky dumplings in a flavorful broth to produce a memorable meal. And that’s exactly what we’ll do with this homemade chicken and dumplings recipe.
How to Make Chicken and Dumplings
If you search for classic chicken and dumplings recipes, you’ll find that many varieties include “cream of” soups. But there’s no need for those with this easy chicken and dumplings recipe.
While it might seem labor intensive, a lot of the cooking time is hands off. You’ll start with a crockpot chicken recipe that requires little attention once it’s all assembled.
While those wrap up, you’ll make the second half of the recipe — the dumplings! There’s nothing like homemade dumplings, and these Northern-style flat dumplings are super simple to make.
This is a family dinner that takes a lot less effort than it looks like, and that will absolutely be a favorite. After all, who can resist chicken and dumplings?!
We’ll start by adding all the chicken ingredients to the crockpot.
Peas, carrots and onions are going to add a lot of flavor and some veggie goodness to this meal.
You can use plain chicken broth in this portion, but why would you opt out of being able to up the protein quotient of this dish and use bone broth protein powder instead? When mixed with water, it creates the perfect broth for these chicken and dumplings, with extra nutritional power.
Once all of the chicken ingredients are added to the crockpot, set it on low and let the mixture cook for the next 8 hours.
In the meantime, get your dumplings ingredients ready. Did I mention that this chicken and dumplings recipe is completely gluten-free? That’s right! Homemade dumplings with zero gluten — so much better than a restaurant!
At the 6-hour chicken-cooking mark, it’s time to get the dumplings going. Mix all the dumpling ingredients into a medium bowl and form into a dough. Then cover the bowl and let it chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
At this point, you should have about 1.5 hours left for the chicken to finish cooking. It’s almost time for the dumplings to make their debut into the crockpot. Grab the bowl from the fridge and dust flour on a flat surface.
Then, using either your hands or a rolling pin, flatten the dumpling dough until it’s about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into rectangles.
Add the dumplings to the crockpot, stirring them in until well combined. Let them cook with the chicken mixture for the remainder of the time.
When the chicken and dumplings are ready after the 8 hours, ladle the mix into a bowl and enjoy.