Saturday, November 28, 2015

Crock-pot Chicken and Dumplings with Biscuit Topping

This is good way to warm up the family on a chilly autumn evening, and it's so very simple to prepare. In fact, you put it in a slow cooker (Crock-pot) about 4-5 hours before dinner and pretty much forget it until it's nearly dinner time. I'm baking all day today so the options are out for dinner tonight or something simple. As the weather is miserable, I'll put this in the Crock-pot and when dinner time arrives it will be ready.

Julian's Crock-Pot Chicken and Dumplings with Biscuit
Oven Version: If you prefer to make this in a baking dish in the oven rather than the Crock-pot, remember the high setting is about 300 degrees Fahrenheit. You will also need to increase the amount of water used, since the Crock-pot retains all moisture that usually evaporates when cooking in the oven. Check your the baking dish several times during cooking to see if more liquid is needed. If so stir in. For a great conversion table and other related tips see this Crock-pot conversion table.

Biscuit Note: You'll see I recommend browning the biscuits in the oven. Actually the biscuit topping is completely optional, and if you prefer dumplings you can just add all of them to the mixture that way. It makes the dish even easier to prepare. All Crock-Pot® brand slow cooker removable crockery inserts (without lid) may be used safely in the oven up to 400°F. If you own another slow cooker brand, please refer to your owner's manual for specific crockery cooking tolerances.

The mixture before cooking.
Leftovers:  In the top photo you can see I made two individual portions for serving. I did this because the biscuits do not reheat well (the ones you place on top) because of the time it takes to reheat the chicken base.  So if you are going to have leftovers, set aside the raw biscuits you will use for a future meal by placing them in a zippered storage bag in the refrigerator. Then re-heat the chicken mixture until it's hot, then place the unbaked biscuit on top and bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes until the biscuit is browned. If you will eat all of the meal. place all of the biscuits on top and serve family style.

Chicken: When selecting the chicken breast halves, note that they are served one per person. Some chicken breasts in the store are huge, so you may need to cut those in half or just look for pieces that are not so large when making your purchase.

Ingredients (serves 4)
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 can of condensed Cream of Chicken soup
1 soup can of water
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
16 ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables
12-16 sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 tube of Pillsbury Grands biscuits

Turn the slow cooker to high. Pour a little of the melted butter in the bottom of the vessel and place the chicken on top and pour the remaining butter on the breasts. Sprinkle with a good coating of freshly ground black pepper. In a separate bowl, mix together the soup and water until blended. Stir in the onion, frozen vegetables and optional mushrooms. Pour the mixture over top of the chicken, spreading to cover the chicken. There is sufficient salt in the soup that no additional is needed.

Put the lid on the Crock-pot and cook for 4 hours on high. Open and stir once or twice during cooking if you walk by. If the sauce is too thick add a little more water.

Take half of the biscuits and cut each into 6 pieces and place in the mixture and stir well to distribute the biscuit pieces in the sauce (these are the dumplings). Let cook for 30 minutes more stirring once during cooking.

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and top the mixture with the remaining biscuits. Turn off the crock pot and, if your Crock-pot bowl is oven safe, remove the bowl from the Crock-pot heating element using oven mitts and place it into the oven for 10-15 minutes so that the biscuits can rise and brown. Please note that this is an optional step and should not be used if the Crock-pot vessel is not oven safe.

Remove Crock-pot bowl from oven and serve, one piece of chicken per person in shallow bowls.

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