Click to View Latest IssueClick to View Latest Issue

Jack’s Chicken and Dumplings Stew for the Slow Cooker

By  0 Comments

As we shared recently on the Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family TV show during a cooking segment, one of our favorite aspects of our jobs as bloggers and cookbook authors is involving our families in the work. Our kids provide inspiration for our recipes, and we joke (kind of) that they are our harshest food critics.

When we set out to write our newest cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker, my (Rachel’s) preteen son insisted that we include a version of one of his most coveted meals, Chicken and Dumplings. To our surprise, we learned through our tests that this dish turns out perhaps better in a slow cooker than the traditional way! Note: This version works best in a 6-quart crockpot that has a wide surface, so the dumplings don’t get too overcrowded.

We hope you enjoy this warm and cozy recipe shared from our cookbook on one of these last cold winter nights.

Makes: 6 Servings

1 to 2 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 celery stalks, sliced ¼ inch thick
4 carrots, sliced ¼ inch thick (about 1½ cups)
Salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
3 garlic cloves, minced
1½ to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, homemade or store-bought
2 bay leaves
1 cup frozen peas
1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon sugar
1½ teaspoons dried parsley
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
¾ cup milk


Make it now:
1. For the stew: In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until they just begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper and stirring in the poultry seasoning and garlic during the last 30 to 60 seconds of cooking. Remove from the heat. (Freezing instructions begin here.)

2. Transfer the vegetables to the slow cooker. Lightly season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker. Add the broth and bay leaves and stir to combine.

3. Cover and cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours. The chicken is done when it registers 165°F internally. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaves; make sure to return the lid to the cooker quickly. Set the slow cooker to High.

4. For the dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and parsley. In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the butter and milk together until warm, about 1 minute, then whisk to melt the butter and combine. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until just combined; do not overmix.

5. Working quickly and using a soup spoon or tablespoon, uncover the slow cooker, scoop out heaping tablespoons of dumpling batter, and drop into the stew. Try to spread the dumplings out so they cover the whole surface. Replace the lid quickly. Cook on High for 30 to 40 minutes or until the dumplings have doubled in size and a toothpick inserted into the center of a dumpling comes out clean.

6. Meanwhile, shred or chop the chicken into bite-size pieces and set aside.

7. When the dumplings are done, gently stir the chicken and peas into the stew. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve.

Freeze for later:
Follow step 1. Let the veggies cool. Season both sides of the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and place the chicken in a gallon-size freezer bag or container. Add the broth, bay leaves, and cooled veggies. Seal and freeze. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and parsley in a quart-size freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze alongside the stew.

Prepare from frozen:
Note: You will need to have butter, milk, and frozen peas on hand to complete this meal. Thaw. Transfer the chicken-vegetable mixture to the slow cooker and follow steps 3 through 7, using the bag of dry mix to make the dumplings in step 4.

Reprinted from From Freezer to Cooker. Copyright © 2020 by Polly Conner and Rachel Tiemeyer. Published by Rodale Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Written by: Polly Conner and Rachel Tiemeyer

As food bloggers, cookbook authors, and freezer cooking evangelists, these local moms are on a mission to “help your home thrive, one delicious meal at a time”. Their popular website,, and cookbooks, including From Freezer to Table (2017) and From Freezer to Cooker (2020), help bring busy families together over healthy, homemade meals.