Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings
8 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 2 cups, plus extra for rolling
2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1/2 cup skim milk, chilled
8-10 bone in chicken thighs
2 teaspoons sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon olive oil
8-10 cups water
For Rolled Dumplings:
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of the salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Rub the shortening into the flour mixture using your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk, 1-ounce at a time, just until you have a rough ball of workable dough. Knead the dough 3 to 4 times, until it is mostly smooth, but do not overwork.
Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough, using a floured rolling pin, to a sheet about 1/16-inch thick, on floured piece of waxed paper or parchment paper.
Cover the dough, still on the waxed paper or parchment, with a tea towel, and dry for at least 8 hours. This can be done the night before or early in the morning.
Slow Cooker Chicken
Preheat slow cooker on the brown/saute setting and heat olive oil just to smoking point. Salt and pepper chicken thighs generously and brown well beginning with skin side down (you will probably need to do this in several batches). Be sure not to overcrowd the pan or the chicken will steam rather than brown.
When the chicken is finished browning, drain all but about 1 teaspoon of fat and add the onion. Saute until just golden brown. Switch the cooker to the slow cook setting and add back the chicken with the remaining ingredients. Add approximately 8-10 cups of water (enough to cover). Allow to cook on high for approximately 4 hours or 6-8 hours on low. When the chicken is easily removed from the bone, remove all of the chicken skin and bones and cut into bite size pieces and set aside.
At this point you can strain your broth or leave the veggies in like I did. Bring broth to a boil.
Cut the dough into 1/2-inch wide strips, break into 1 1/2-inch long pieces, and drop into the boiling broth. When all the dough has been used, gently push all of the dumplings down into the broth with a slotted spoon. Do not stir the dumplings. Cook the dumplings until they are cooked through, but not falling apart, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the meat. Adjust for salt and serve in bowls with fresh cracked pepper. (I had some left over peas so what the heck in they went!)
Note: If you don't have slow cooker with a brown/saute feature, this can be done in a pan. Just be sure that you transfer all of that browned goodness to your slow cooker!