4 carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 1 1/2 cups)
Salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 to 2pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
4cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1cup frozen peas
1 1/2cups unbleached all-purpose flour (You can sub white whole wheat flour, but we do not recommend subbing whole wheat flour.)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
3/4cup milk (sub: plain, unsweetened almond milk or oat milk)
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Make It Now
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. Watch to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Remove from the heat. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
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.
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.
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).
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. (Wet your hands to prevent sticking and use them to help slide the batter off the spoon and into the stew.) Try to spread the dumplings out so they cover the whole surface and aren’t on top of one another. Get the lid back on the cooker as soon as possible. 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.
Meanwhile, shred or chop the chicken into bite-size pieces and set aside.
When the dumplings are done, gently stir the chicken and peas into the stew. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
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.
ShortcutTip: Instead of sautéing the veggies over the stove, place all the chopped veggies in a microwave safe bowl. Add the butter (or olive oil) and stir. Cover with a napkin and microwave for 4-5 minutes, until tender.
Can I Make This Gluten-Free? While I haven’t tested gluten-free flour for the dumplings, our readers have reported trying without much success. The dumplings seemed to fall apart for them and melt into the soup. Your best bet may be to make the stew, leaving off the dumplings, and make some gluten-free biscuits to serve on the side.
Where We Get Our Chicken: We get our chicken from ButcherBox. The chicken is organic and curated from trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat–like uncured bacon, grass-fed beef, and wild salmon–and have used it for years ourselves.