My mother is an ah-mazing cook. Now, I know what you’re thinking – everyone says that about their moms, but no really, she actually is phenomenal at whipping up delicious dishes out of minimal ingredients. A long time favorite of my brother and mine is her fabulous chicken and dumpling stew. She would spend hours laboring over the stove, peering into a large pot, filling the kitchen with the smell of sweet herbs and vegetables.
When I was in college, living off pizza and macaroni and cheese, my sweet mother gifted me a crock pot. Naturally, at the time I thought it was lame. When was I actually going to make food? But then, on a day when I had nothing to do, I decided to use it. I stumbled upon a chicken and dumpling recipe and challenged myself to make a stew via crock pot that topped my mother’s stove top one. 6 years later, I still use the same recipe…and now she does too.
Okay, in a 4-quart crock pot:
- 3 small, red potatoes, diced (it doesn’t matter if you peel them or not)
- 3(ish) cups of peeled, chopped carrots
- 4 celery sticks, cut
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2-3 whole chicken breasts
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 42 oz chicken stock
- 1 cup of water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Put the vegetables in the crock pot first and mix them together.
- Place the chicken breasts on top and pour in the water and chicken stock. And here’s a tip about the chicken stock: don’t get the cheapest thing you can find. I usually buy organic, and it makes a huge difference. If you buy the store brand, it’s usually much saltier and cheapens the taste of the stew.
- Add in the herbs, salt, and pepper, then set the temperature to low.
- Let it cook between 8-9 hours.
- The chicken will naturally pull itself apart. You can help it along if you want, but you really don’t need to.
After your stew has been cooking good and long (8-9 hours), you can prepare the dumplings:
- 2 cups Bisquick
- ½ cup water
- 2 tsp Parsley
- In a bowl, mix these together. Some people use milk instead of water, but I feel that the water works just fine to produce creamy dumplings.
- With a spoon, dollop the Bisquick mixture on top of the soup, put the cover back in place, and crank the heat up to high.
- Let this cook for about an hour, or until the dumplings appear cooked all the way through.
- Let it cool, ladle that hot goodness into some bowls, and enjoy.