It’s Back to School time once again and my schedule is totally in chaos. I am never going to get used to that 6 am alarm and the child zombies I have to wake up for school. Coffee has yet to be made or consumed before the school bus comes, so I feel like it’s a mini celebrations every morning when we get to the corner on time!
But there is something so indulgent about the 7 am hour now… it’s quiet. I can take just a few minutes to get all the food into the crock pot and have dinner started for the day. If your chaos continues until you go to work/gym/meetings/etc. you can prep parts of this meal the night before, to make it even easier. Cut the veggies and refrigerate. I’m a big fan of measuring out all of the seasonings and putting them in one of these so you can just dump them in the morning with much less effort. (THIS IS ALSO A GREAT TRAVEL TIP– PRE-MEASURE SEASONINGS AND STORE IN THESE CONTAINERS FOR MEALS YOU ARE MAKING AWAY FROM HOME!) I’m also in the habit of using crock pot liners so I don’t have to even deal with a messy clean-up. After dinner, I just throw the bag away and wipe out the crock pot… this is a huge benefit when I’m using the same crock pot multiple days in a row.
You can vary what veggies you put in this dish; we like carrot and onions, but you can also add cut up celery, frozen peas or green beans if you’d like. It will make the dish more like a pot pie, but there is nothing wrong with that! Having no veggies is totally acceptable too!
I try to cook from scratch, but I did opt to use one cream soup in this dish. It just helps with the flavor and thickening the sauce. If you prefer, you can buy organic concentrated soup to keep the ingredient list limited to words you can pronounce. You can also substitute chicken stock for the water, but it’s not necessary. If you do use boxed stock, I would recommend leaving out the teaspoon of salt.
This dish is great for a weeknight meal that also doubles as delicious leftovers for lunch. It also freezes well, so go ahead and make a full batch and save the excess for another time. Hope your Back to School chaos is manageable and those early alarm clocks someday get a little easier. At least dinner is set to be low and slow!
Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4-5 hours
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1/2 lb baby carrots, cut into thirds
1 t. prepped minced garlic or 1 clove, minced
1 t. dried basil
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried dill
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3 c. water
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (approx 4 pieces)
2 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 T. softened butter
3/4 cold milk mixed with 1/4 cup cold water
1 t. dried parsley flakes
1 t. dried dill
Put veggies, seasonings, condensed soup and water into the crock pot and give it a stir to combine. Place chicken pieces in next and push down to submerge as much as possible. Cook on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken and shred in a bowl, then add back to crock pot and stir. Set to high for another hour and bring back to a simmer while you make the dumpling dough. Combine all dumpling ingredients in a separate bowl and then slowly drop by tablespoon into the crock pot. Do this step quickly so the crock pot retains as much heat as possible. After all dumplings are dropped, put lid on a cook for 20-30 minutes. Dumplings should plump up and be soft and moist. Serve 1-2 dumplings with each bowl of dish.