When I think about love and showing love, food is one of my favorite ways to show my love. I so enjoy cooking and cooking for other people is top of my list of satisfying ways to spend my time and energy. Watching someone I love eat delicious things I've made is just the best!
Chicken and dumplings is one of those stick to your ribs, warm in your tummy, love filled foods that just make you feel all snuggly. My dear friend Carolyn was visiting from LA and came up to visit with my sister. My birthday was on Sunday and they came to help us celebrate and to ring in my last year in my twenties.
We wanted to go out for most of the day (hiking, touring, havocing, etc.) so the crock pot was the way to make this delicious meal. Four skin-on chicken thighs and a chicken breast went in on the bottom.
1 can cream of mushroom and 1 cup chopped onion went in next.
1 cup chopped celery and 1 cup chopped carrots added some amazing color and flavor. About 3 cups of chicken broth, and if you have it, a chicken bullion cube are crucial for the rich chicken flavor.
Mix it all up and cook on high for 6 hours.
It was so pretty cooking there. I love my crock pot and Andrew and I use it regularly. It makes the whole house smell good and it is a breeze for cleaning up.
It cooked down quite a bit and the chicken thighs fell off the bone. I turned off the crock pot and removed the bones and the skin from the mix. Once it had cooled a bit, I skimmed off some of the fat.
The dumpling mix included an egg white which Cooks Illustrated says helps hold the dumplings together.
In order to get the dumplings to cook, the broth should be simmering. Rather than waiting for the soupy stuff to re-warm in the crock pot, I threw it in a pan and cranked it up. So pretty!
The dumplings took longer to cook up than I thought, and the waiting was near painful, but man oh man was it worth it. After a day of rock clamoring and walking against the wind, this was perfect. It was a wonderful birthday dinner and I was most certainly surrounded by love.