Sooooo. Does it still count as an anniversary meal if you eat it two weeks before?

Easy Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings I

Because we did. I’m not sure. I think yes. You probably think no. But if there is one thing I’ve learned in four years of marriage, it’s that um… you should probably pick and choose your battles.

Almost four years ago today, err, okay – maybe four years plus one week ago today, I remember exactly where I was first thing in the morning. My husband walked into the room wrapped in two of these insanely fluffy towels that we had been gifted at our wedding shower, and well, for lack of a better word… I went apeshit.

I know. Towels, you ask? Yes… towels. I was already less than thrilled about moving into his serious bachelor pad that yesI’mnotkidding had framed pictures of WWF wrestlers hanging on the walls along with a whole slew of other collectibles that were way before my time, and the towels… well, the towels just made me lose my mind.

I knew that in a few weeks or months we would probably be moving to a new place, and I figured that we could save these gorgeous post-shower puffy clouds until then. So, you know… we’d use our NEW towels in our NEW place. It would just be fun! I mean, I had never bought nice towels before and I definitely was wary about using them in one of the scariest showers I’d ever seen along with some lovely mushed pea green carpet. They were just… so fluffy and soft. I figured they’d be perfect in a nice, bright, clean and female-dominant bathroom.

Easy Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings I

Welp. I guess I didn’t properly communicate my… ideas? Because when he walked into the room wrapped in those towels, I sort of hit the roof. In an OMG-I-can’t-believe-you-used-our-new-towels-you-seriously-don’t-even-love-me-and-how-can-I-realistically-cohabit-with-another-person-for-the-rest-of-my-life kind of way.

Yeah. Not crazy or anything. I can only imagine how thrilled he was that morning that he’d got himself into a mostly permanent situation. Lovely.

ANYWAY. Within 24 hours or less I came to my senses. It was a momentary lapse of sanity most likely brought on by the fact that I had just woken up a few minutes prior to a dresser covered in die cast cars to my left and a large and dusty stuffed turkey in front of me. Wouldn’t that make YOU crazy? Unless you’re like 14 years old and probably… a boy.

The thing is… he never used the nice towels again! I think I scarred the guy for life. And seriously, my flip out wasn’t THAT bad. It was more like ridiculous whiney tears. And to this day… he still won’t use the towels. He insists on using these super old towels that he bought years and years and years ago, and while I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with my medusa moment and everything to do with his longtime grief of leaving his sweet man cave and having to live amongst flowered bedspreads and feminine products… it still drives me batty. So now, I constantly nag him for NOT using the towels.

Riddle me that.

Easy Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings I

In four years, that only scrapes the bottom of what has REALLY gone on is this relationship. While some are justified, most are just plain insane. A little over two years ago I could not for the LIFE of me figure out why he wasn’t talking to me one morning. And as I was shouting to him while he was in the shower, badgering the crap out of him as to WHY he could possibly be mad at me, he opened the door and screamed “can’t you just EVER turn the lights out in the garage? Like ever? I come home, they’re on. I wake up, they’re on. Why can’t you just TURN OUT THE LIGHTS?”

To which I immediately burst in to tears and wailed because I’m scared of the dark and there are bugs and most likely monsters in the basement!

That… is real life. In four years… even two years… heck, even ONE year, I can’t tell you how much we’ve grown and have learn to pick our battles and respect what makes each other tick. And now, when he asks for chicken for dinner, I don’t make chicken stuffed with peaches and bacon and goat cheese, covered in arugula and drizzled with garlic oil. Because clearly people, that isn’t “chicken.”

Instead I make chicken like this. Bowls of comfort, bowls that taste like home. This crockpot version is super easy with a few extra minutes taken to ensure everything is homemade. If you’re short on time, you can most likely use canned biscuits for the dumplings too. And then you can serve it as soup, or as I prefer… a big bowl of chicken and dumplings with just a little broth to float in. This… always wins a battle.

Easy Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings I


Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

Yield: serves 4-6

Prep Time: 30 minuets

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8.5 hours


1 sweet onion, diced
1 cup chopped carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced
2.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon flour
56 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup half and half

1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup milk (whole, 2% or 1%)


In the bottom of your crockpot, layer onions, carrots and garlic. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper then lay them on top.

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Once sizzling, whisk in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes to create a roux, until it's golden in color. Add in 2 cups of chicken stock and mix well, bringing to a boil. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring, then remove from heat and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Add remaining chicken stock, put the lid on and cook on low for 6 hours.

After 6 hours, turn the crockpot heat onto high. Using forks or kitchen tongs, lightly shred the chicken breasts. (This should be easy since they have cooked so long.) Stir half and half into the crockpot, then recover while you make the dumplings. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper. Crumble in butter with your fingers and rub into the flour until evenly dispersed and coarse crumbs form. Add in milk, stirring well just until a sticky dough forms. Use a tablespoon measure and add small scoops of the dough into the crockpot, starting by placing them around the outside first, then the inside. Cover and cook for another 1-1.5 hours, until dumplings are cooked but soft and not longer raw in the middle. Taste and season additionally if desired.

Serve immediately!

Easy Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings I

Yep. Totally counts.

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130 Responses to “Easy Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings.”

  1. #
    Villy @ For the love of Feeding — October 10, 2012 @ 7:06 am

    This is awesome. I want this right now. Hot, to burn my tongue.
    Oh, and Happy Anniversary season! :)


  2. #
    Erika - The Teenage Taste — October 10, 2012 @ 7:10 am

    I am a firm believer that there is no food more comforting than a bowl of good chicken and dumplings (except mac n’ cheese and hot brownies!) I love that use made the dumplings big – I hate when I get skimpy little pea-sized dumplings in my soup!
    Happy Anniversary!


  3. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — October 10, 2012 @ 7:24 am

    Fabulous recipe! I love all the recipes that you have been posting! I like that they are a bit more healthier! This soup sounds amazing!!!!! That’s one thing all about this time of year, SOUP!!!


  4. #
    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — October 10, 2012 @ 7:26 am

    Chicken and dumplings make everything better – even using the towels you aren’t supposed to use and forgetting the garage lights (which I have done for 17 years and counting).


  5. #
    Liz — October 10, 2012 @ 7:32 am

    I’d say it still counts :) Looks delicious! Perfect for these cooler temperatures.


  6. #
    Amy m — October 10, 2012 @ 7:37 am

    Yup definitely learning how to pick battles after three years of marriage….also learning how to fight without either shutting down or exploding…so difficult but you can’t beat the feeling of actually working through stuff


  7. #
    luv what you do — October 10, 2012 @ 7:38 am

    I have totally had towel moments before. There is nothing worse than moving a lifetime of treasured delicate girly posessions into a man cave! Lessons are learned and tears are shed and then you both come together over a heart warming home cooked meal to share your day and you can almost forget about the WWE posters or the rubberband balls of the past…


  8. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — October 10, 2012 @ 7:46 am

    Looks delicious! Jess, you have no idea how much I wish your life could be turned into a reality tv show. I don’t even watch tv but if The Real Life of Mr and Mrs How Sweet was on, I’d be tuning in every time!


  9. #
    DessertForTwo — October 10, 2012 @ 7:48 am

    Awwww, I love reading about y’all’s relationship. The Mr. and I have a few more years to go. We definitely pick our battles these days.
    Recently, he built a shed to store things in. One of the things he wanted to store in there is our trash can & recycle bin. It’s a good idea because our HOA won’t allow them to be stored in public, but seriously, I have to walk through the mud, unlock it, move 4 door stops to take out the trash?! Instead of starting a huge fight, I just smiled sweetly and said “you’re on trash duty from now on, ok?” Worked like a charm, fight derailed. Until next time…. lol :)

    PS Chicken & dumplins is my favorite food!


  10. #
    Kim in MD — October 10, 2012 @ 7:59 am

    Happy Anniversary! I agree about picking your battles. It’s true in marriage and raising children.

    The chicken & dumplings look so delicious and comforting!


  11. #
    Laura @FoodSnobSTL — October 10, 2012 @ 8:01 am

    I love these stories! My husband and I can totally relate. I may or may not of had a meltdown about where he put his toothbrush when we moved in after getting married. Ay!


  12. #
    Rachel Cooks — October 10, 2012 @ 8:03 am

    This is the kind of chicken my husband would be all about as well, and it looks great to me too!

    Happy Anniversary!


  13. #
    Emily @ — October 10, 2012 @ 8:06 am

    You had me at “easy” because I LOVE chicken and dumplings but don’t always like to take the time to make it. Great recipe!


  14. #
    Taylor — October 10, 2012 @ 8:08 am

    I’m barely a month into our marriage but I’ve already had a few insane moments myself…I guess they happen to everyone! Keeping this recipe in my back pocket for one of those times when I feel the need to make up for a crazy moment. Happy anniversary!!


  15. #
    the 3volution of j3nn — October 10, 2012 @ 8:29 am

    OMG, the towel story sounds like something that would happen in our house! Dustin would have the same reaction: never use them again and then I’d be annoyed by that. I can’t tell you how many times I freak out about something ridiculosly stupid, he sheepishly apologizes and then never does it again, even if he should and I want him to! When I mention that he should be doing something I previously freaked out about, he will reply with something along the lines of, “you freaked out last time!” sigh. Why are guys all or nothing? Why don’t they get timing and context? Haha

    I kind of feel bad and guilty for being such a spazz and want to make this for Dustin even though I haven’t even gone crazy bitch on him yet… Today. :)


  16. #
    Kerry @ Snark and Pepper — October 10, 2012 @ 8:38 am

    After watching my mom make chicken and dumplings over the years, I had ZERO desire to put that much time into making them. I also knew I would never make the super shortcut recipes using Biquick. And then along came this –the perfect compromise between slaving in the kitchen and being lazy :) I bet the house smelled incredible, too!


  17. #
    Meg @ Peaches and Cake — October 10, 2012 @ 8:51 am

    awww i bet he loved this meal!


  18. #
    Abby@ Totes Delish — October 10, 2012 @ 8:52 am

    This sounds all too familiar, love the towel story, what a typical guy/girl misunderstanding! Food fixes everything, including couple fights!


  19. #
    Stephanie — October 10, 2012 @ 9:02 am

    I can’t wait to try your version. My family longs for the perfect Chicken n’ Dumplings and we have been disappointed with other versions in the past….this is going on next week’s menu for sure!


  20. #
    Amy — October 10, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    These look great! How would the recipe differ if you used canned biscuits, and how much would you use?


    • Jessica — October 10th, 2012 @ 9:38 am

      I’ve never tried it but I think if you used one can and just broke them into pieces, followed the same directions, it should work!


  21. #
    Joanna — October 10, 2012 @ 9:11 am

    Couldn’t have been a more appropriate post today, as it’s me and my husband’s three year anniversary and we had a silly argument before work today that I’m already feeling dumb for overreacting about! hah Although my best/worst crazy lady moment was a few years ago when he got home from work while I was putting the finishing touches on a lovely dinner and he started eating Cheerios straight from the box and I finally flipped out and yelled, “Stop eating the “effing” Cheerios!”, followed by a completely stunned look on my husband’s face, mouth full of Cheerios. To this day, he still looks a little nervous when I walk into the kitchen and see him holding a box of Cheerios, no matter the time of day. Not my proudest moment, us girls are allowed some of those I suppose : )


    • Jessica — October 10th, 2012 @ 9:37 am

      hahhahaha. happy anniversary! we are anniversary twins.


  22. #
    Mel G — October 10, 2012 @ 9:15 am

    When you choose to cook him something like this…..that’s when you know it’s love! Happy Anniversary you guys xxx


  23. #
    Amarachi — October 10, 2012 @ 9:15 am

    I can totally relate about the whole being afraid of the dark thing.I leave the light on all time and my dad gets mad at me. But there could be monsters in the dark!


  24. #
    Mollie @Sprinkles of Life — October 10, 2012 @ 9:16 am

    Awww, I love ur marriage stories! They make me laugh. That towel story sounds like something that would happen in out house, too. Happy 4 years to you both!
    This is definitely a recipe that I’ll be making this winter! Looks awesome!


  25. #
    Chelsye Garrett — October 10, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    That is hilarious. And such an accurate little snapshot of what marriage is really like. I love your blog and chicken and dumplings are my husband’s favorite so I’ll be trying this one. Thanks!


  26. #
    Tricia — October 10, 2012 @ 9:24 am

    Speaking of picking your battles… I hope you’ve read this story about the giant metal chicken. Coincidently, also related to towels.


    • Jessica — October 10th, 2012 @ 9:38 am



  27. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — October 10, 2012 @ 9:43 am

    So funny! My boyfriend and I have had our share of silly arguments too–probably far too many to count. In hindsight, many of them are pretty funny! Luckily, we tend to have the same pet peeves and generally are very compatible with anything house-related (cleanliness, etc).

    I totally would have freaked about the towels too. I tend to hate opening up anything new and like to savor the “new-ness” as long as posssible! :)


  28. #
    Michelle — October 10, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    Oh, the towel story. I moved into my husband’s bachelor pad when we got married too. We knew we would only live there a couple months before we would move, so I ALSO made our new towels off limits. He also missed that memo. I also exploded. Been there, done that.

    Picking your battles is key. We’re still working on it.

    P.S. I’ve never had chicken & dumplings before, but this might have convinced me to try it.


  29. #
    Carly @ Snack Therapy — October 10, 2012 @ 10:25 am

    I love hearing about your relationship freak-outs. It makes me feel justified in mine. Especially because my boyfriend NEVER gets mad. Only me. For the more bizarre and irrational things. I like to blame it on the hormones.

    I definitely think this chicken and dumplings would clear up a few arguments. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, right?


  30. #
    Jessie — October 10, 2012 @ 10:26 am

    I love your beautiful bowls!


    • Jessica — October 10th, 2012 @ 10:27 am

      Oh my goodness… thank you, but I have to laugh and tell you that these are super cheap bowls of my husband’s that I have tried to get rid of (throw away, give away) since we got married and he has some weird attachment to them! Hahahah he is going to love this comment.


      • Eddie — October 10th, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

        Thank you, Jessie. You are right, these bowls are beautiful. It does seem odd though that every once in a while when I return home from being on the road that 1 will be missing. As though the bowl was lost in some weird Awesome Bowl Bermuda Triangle.

  31. #
    Genny — October 10, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    Happy Anniversary! And, this recipe is exactly what I was looking for! Thank You!


  32. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — October 10, 2012 @ 10:51 am

    Great story. Love the honesty and I’d feel possessive about those towels too! They sound right up my alley :)

    The soup is gorgeous and your your photography is especially special in this post…I love the mood and vibe!


  33. #
    allison — October 10, 2012 @ 10:58 am

    omgggggg i feel like we could get together and chat about all of the crazy things we fight about with our men. i can relate to this SO WELL. im also so sick and i want this to magically appear in my crockpot when i get home from work tonight. totally not gonna happen. and maybe if steve ATE CARBS i could make this and he would eat it too. instead he will consume tubs of hummus (totally not a carb) and bunless burgers.


  34. #
    Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries — October 10, 2012 @ 11:03 am

    Yum! I’ve been wanting to do Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings recently, so this recipe came perfect timing! Can’t wait to try it out!


  35. #
    Olivia — October 10, 2012 @ 11:06 am

    Congrats on 4 years! Love your towel freak out story, and this recipe sounds awesome, can’t wait to try!


  36. #
    Stephanie @ LiveCookLove — October 10, 2012 @ 11:08 am

    I love this post for so many reasons. I am *hopefully* going to be getting engaged sooner than later, but even though we aren’t married now and don’t live together, we still have moments like that! Mostly, this post makes me excited about getting married, arguments and all :) And it helps that my bf’s favorite food ever and his yearly birthday request is chicken and dumplings! I should surprise him with this soon.


  37. #
    Tara — October 10, 2012 @ 11:12 am

    This looks good…but um, how about that recipe for the peach-bacon-goat cheese stuffed chicken topped with arugula and garlic oil? ;) I’m about to make your Mini Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip muffins from yesterday’s post…love your blog!


  38. #
    Morgan — October 10, 2012 @ 11:17 am

    This is something that immediately reminds me of being young and in the comfort of my parents’ home. Dumplings are simply amazing :)


  39. #
    Tricia — October 10, 2012 @ 11:29 am

    This is not only perfect for chilly Fall nights, it is perfect to serve at my pumpkin carving party, thanks.


  40. #
    Erin@LawStudentsWife — October 10, 2012 @ 11:43 am

    Jessica, too weird–my husband also REFUSES to use our nice fluffy wedding towels. He still uses this uber-nasty peach one that I’m pretty sure his family used to have on their boat. Nice to know I’m not alone!
    Also, can’t wait to add these to my crockpot repertoire. Cheers!


  41. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — October 10, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

    Oh my gosh, I am SO excited to make this!


  42. #
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — October 10, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

    If I had a husband, he’d totally be all over this. But I don’t, and instead, I am. So I’ll eat his serving and mine and call it a day.


  43. #
    Christina @ Be Mindful. Be Human. — October 10, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

    Awesome story. Everyone has their Medusa moments. It’s life. Happy Anniversary. I am glad that he likes the simple things like this soup. Imagine would it would be like if you guys both had the same taste. Craziness might happen.


  44. #
    Nikki @ Nikki Dinki Cooking — October 10, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

    Now that will warm you up on a cold fall day. Yum!


  45. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — October 10, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

    I loved the towel story….sounds like something I would do hahaha I love chicken and dumplings!


  46. #
    what katie's baking — October 10, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

    i think it counts! haha. this looks deliiiicious!


  47. #
    carey — October 10, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

    I’m not even married and your marriage-stories always crack me up! Soup looks like just what I need this weekend.


  48. #
    Jasmine — October 10, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

    Dropping a line to say I love your blog and the recipes you post but most of all I love your personality that shines through your writing and anecdotes! I get excited whenever a new post from you shows up in my RSS reader :)


    • Jessica — October 10th, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

      Thank you so much Jasmine! That seriously means the world to me.


  49. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — October 10, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

    This sounds so comforting and delicious. Picking our battles is definitely something the boyfriend and I have to work on. But making a delicious meal for him after I’ve had a Medusa-freakout moment always seems to do the trick!


  50. #
    Shelly — October 10, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

    Can I just tell you that I read this recipe, then immediately put it in my crock pot?! We have a busy evening ahead, so it is the perfect solution for a colder-than-expected fall day.
    Also, I have a request of that cute husband of yours, Mr. How Sweet: Can he teach my 6-year-old son to like chicken? He doesn’t even need to love it, just to be able to eat it in things would be ok. Thanks! I loved the above story, btw. You guys are too cute!


    • Jessica — October 10th, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

      Ah, that’s awesome! Let me know if you like it. :)


    • Eddie — October 10th, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

      I’m sorry Shelly. I don’t understand. He. Does. Not. Like. Chicken?

      My head hurts from trying to wrap itself around that dilemma. To me, chicken is how I know there is a God and that He loves us.

      Not to overstate how awesome chicken is.



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