First of all, I would like to state for the record that I liked fall before it was cool. Before pumpkin spice lattes (which are… not my fav), tall boots (which you will pry from my cold, dead hands), and plaid (which I adore).
This is what you get when you move as a small child from a place with no seasons to a place where every single season strikes with a vengeance. Nova Scotia in fall is my favourite, the changing leaves, the crisp air, the smell of wood smoke… I cannot WAIT to be home for it this year! (And to stop sweating for the first time in three years, but that’s beside the point)
I also learned yesterday that blanket scarves were a thing last year and I am beyond psyched. They’re all I’ve ever wanted: to be completely draped in warm. I ordered flannel yesterday so I could follow this DIY tutorial and make myself some kick-ass blanket scarves at a fraction of the price.
So even though it’s 30 degrees outside (NEW YORK WHY), I’m sharing this recipe because I seriously just cannot wait any longer.
As always, the first thing I like to do is brown the onions and mushrooms really quick before I toss them in the slow cooker. It helps release some of the flavours (and makes my kitchen smell delicious). Now I know some people are not fans of these, in which case just cut them up really small. Most chicken and dumpling recipes call for cream of mushroom soup, but sadly my homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup doesn’t like the crockpot. All the cream separates during the long hours cooking, as cream is wont to do.
The two chicken breasts go on the bottom of the pot. You can toss them in frozen, but this will result in the chicken being slightly tougher. Plus it adds an hour to your cooking time, and why would you do that to yourself? But it is possible.
Now smother them with veggies. I’m adding a corn, carrots and peas frozen mix from the store. I find frozen mixes to be extremely convenient and always have one in the freezer ready to go for things like this. The vegetables are frozen at their peak ripeness, so no nutrients are lost. Yay!
And then top with our cooked mushrooms and onions.
Now the broth! I’ve used my Homemade Chicken Stock and Homemade Vegetable Broth, and it works wonderfully with both. If you are using a boxed broth, make sure to check the ingredients for things like ‘starch’, ‘vegetable starch’, and the ever so unhelpful ‘natural flavour’!
That cooks for approximately forever. Or 6 hours on high. But it will seem like forever. *Sigh*
Now to make our dumplings. The easiest ‘chicken and dumpling’ recipes I’ve seen just have you cutting up pre-made biscuits from Pillsbury. This is sketchy to me because a) they have something in them that makes Mr. Nomato sick, but isn’t listed, so I’m guessing there’s potato starch in them somewhere or god knows what. And b) they’re full of preservatives and other things, so I feel more confident making them at home. I use this recipe from AllRecipes.com which comes together really quickly.
You can use whole wheat or regular white flour for these. I haven’t tried any gluten-free flours to see how they hold up in the slow cooker, but maybe one of you has on a different recipe? The curious part of me wants to know!
These will be pretty sticky, but that’s okay! You want them to be sticky.
When your chicken concoction is about 1 and a half hours from the end, you’ll want to spoon globs of the dough into the slow cooker.
It will look gross. I promise you, and they’ll kind of weirdly attempt to meld together. Don’t worry, they won’t once they start cooking. And it will be delicious.
About 15 minutes before the end, add the cream. This way it will be cooked in, but won’t separate and be gross.
Toss all the chicken back in the pot, give it a stir so it’s distributed evenly. Obviously you want chicken in every bite!
I love this, it’s like a warm hug in a bowl.
What about you? What are you looking forward to this fall?
- 2 whole chicken breasts (you can use boneless thighs too!)
- 1 box chicken broth OR 4 cups homemade chicken (http://halifaxbloggers.ca/isaynomato/2015/01/07/homemade-chicken-stock/) or vegetable broth (http://halifaxbloggers.ca/isaynomato/2015/05/04/easy-homemade-vegetable-broth/)
- 1 small bag frozen mixed vegetables (~ 2 cups)
- 1 onion , chopped
- 4 oz . mushrooms (1/2 little blue box), chopped
- 1 cup cream
- dash each of salt and pepper , to taste
- 1 cup all purpose flour (whole wheat works too!)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp white sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp margarine
- ½ cup milk
Brown mushrooms and onions in a frying pan with a little oil or butter
Layer chicken breasts, frozen vegetables and cooked mushrooms and onions in the slow cooker, in that order.
Cover everything with the broth and set to cook for 6 hours on high (7 if using frozen chicken breasts)
In a separate bowl, mix dumpling ingredients together in the order listed. The dough will be a little sticky. (Note: I’ve doubled the recipe and frozen half of it before for convenience and it worked wonderfully)
½ hours from the end, drop the dough in spoonfuls into the crock pot. They will kind of glom onto each other and look gross, but don’t worry, as they cook they’ll separate again!
minutes from the end, add the cream and stir.
When the time is up, pull out and shred the chicken with two forks. This should be fairly easy as the chicken will just fall apart. Stir back in.
Serve hot! Enjoy!
This recipe was featured at the Throwback Thursday Link Party hosted by Tornadough Alli and the Free From Fridays Link Party hosted by The Free From Farm.