Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken and Dumplings
Rule #219: There’s nothing more American than mixing salsa verde with the comfort food goodness of chicken and dumplings.
This recipe is full of fresh, flavorful ingredients that you can throw together in the morning and enjoy in the evening. The cooking time says 8 hours on low, but if you need to let it cook longer than that, it’s all good (see my long list of “make it your way” info at the bottom of the post). Definitely give yourself some time for the dumplings to cook though (about an hour and a half). You can also leave out the dumplings altogether and maybe serve this dish over rice or by itself!
You’ll need 1/2 a red onion and 1 jalapeño (take out the seeds and membranes) diced. You can do that the night before and keep it covered in the fridge until the morning. Make sure your rinse and drain your chickpeas, too!
I used 2 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you’re welcome to use boneless chicken thighs if that’s your thing. I also forgot to thaw both my stock and my chicken, so I threw it all in there still frozen. It cooked just fine!
I always use the Herdez brand Salsa Verde for recipes that call for it (like this one). I’ve found that it tastes very authentic and fresh, just like if I’d made it homemade myself but without all of the mess and fuss!
The chicken and sauce mixture is very much a dump-and-go situation. Throw in your chickpeas, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, salsa verde, chicken breast…
a little salt and peppa…
and your chicken stock. Like I said, mine is still nice and snowman like.
Cover and cook it for at least 8 hours on low (longer is totally okay).
Now then, to the dumplings. Start making these fellas about an hour and half before serving (or skip all this mess and serve the chicken and sauce over rice). Pulse together flour + baking powder + baking soda + salt.
Cut up 1/2 stick of butter and pulse that in until it forms little pea-sized bits.
Slowly pulse in 1/2 cup milk.
Pulse until the whole mixture comes together in a “ball” or an unnamed shape like this:
Transfer to a bowl…
tear off little golf-ball (ish) sized pieces… roll into balls…
plop them into the ole Crock Pot.
Cook for at least 1 hour (flipping halfway through – pictured below at the halfway mark) or until they’re cooked through.
Serve with some good-sized ladles of chicken, sauce, and a couple of dumplings. Garnish with crumbled cotija cheese and cilantro leaves. Maybe a lime wedge if you’re feeling super fancy.
Thank you, Crock Pot Gods.
So, to recap the few alterations that I know will make life better for you:
1) You want it with very little heat – use less salsa verde and more chicken stock.
2) You need to lessen the cook time – turn the Crock Pot to high and cook for 4 hours. Cook the dumplings for 45.
3) You need to lengthen the cook time – just let the chicken + sauce cook as long as you need on low (probably not longer than 10 hours) before adding the dumplings. Still cook the dumplings for at least an hour.
4) You want it healthier – definitely skip the heavy cream + the dumplings. Serve over sautéed zucchini noodles or by itself.
5) You want to make it as easy as possible – skip the dumplings and just serve it over rice or maybe even egg noodles.
Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken and Dumplings
For the Chicken and Sauce:
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 large red onion (or 1 small), diced
1 jalapeño, seeded, membranes removed, diced
1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 (24-oz.) jar Salsa Verde (mild or medium)
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, plus more to garnish
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. Kosher salt
8 cups (2 quarts) chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
Cotija cheese crumbles, to garnish
For the Dumplings**:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
4 tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2” cubes
1/2 cup milk
Combine all ingredients from chicken breast to chicken stock in a slow cooker on low heat. Stir to combine and cook on low for at 6-8* hours. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Stir in the heavy cream about 5 minutes before adding the dumplings.
Make the dumpling dough about an hour and a half before serving. In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and Kosher salt. Add butter and pulse again until just combined. Add the milk and pulse just until mixture comes together and forms a ball. Remove to a work surface or bowl.
Tear off golf ball-sized pieces of dough, roll into balls, and drop into the slow cooker. Continue until all the dough is in the pot. Be careful not to overcrowd the dumplings. Cover and continue to cook for 1 hour or until dumplings are cooked through, flipping once halfway through cooking.
Ladle soup into bowls with a couple of dumplings per serving. Garnish with cilantro and cotija cheese.
*It will not hurt anything if you cook the chicken longer than 8 hours.
**Dumplings can be made the night before. Store covered in the fridge until ready to use.