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Chicken and Dumplings

3-lbs chicken thighs
1-tbsp vegetable oil
2-carrots cut into chunks
2-celery stalks cut into chunks
1-onion, chopped
2-cloves garlic, minced
2-bay leaves
1-tsp dried thyme
1/2-tsp salt
1/2-tsp pepper
1/4-tsp dried marjoram
1-cup chicken broth
2-potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3-tbsp all-purpose flour

3/4-cup all-purpose flour
1/4-cup cornmeal
1-tsp baking powder
1/4-tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
2-tbsp cold butter, cubed
2/3-cup buttermilk
2-tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Trim the fat from the chicken pieces and place in slow cooker
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat
Fry the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt & pepper and marjoram, stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes
Scrape into slow cooker
Add 1 1/2-cups water to skillet and bring to a boil
Scrape up all the brown bits and pour into slow cooker
Add the broth and potatoes; stir to combine
Cover and cook on low until chicken juices run clear when pierced, about 3 to 4 hours
Discard bay leaf and skim off fat
Move chicken and vegetables to one side
In a bowl, whisk together the flour and 1/3-cup water until smooth, then whisk into slow cooker; stir gently

In a bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt
Using a pastry blender, cut the butter in until consistency of coarse crumbs
Add buttermilk and parsley; stir until it makes a smooth sticky dough
Drop spoonfuls of dumpling batter onto stew, should make about 8
Cover and cook on high until dumplings are no longer doughy underneath, about 20 minutes