Slow Cooker Turkey and Dumplings…

We are still in the midst of a major kitchen renovation and although I have a brand new stove sometimes it’s just easier to throw things into a slow cooker and let it do all the work. And that’s what I did the other night.

I am particularly proud of this recipe for a variety of reasons but mainly because this was the first time I actually experimented with a process in a slow cooker and it turned out great. In the past I had been the type of slow cooker girl that would never open the slow cooker during the cooking process. But I found that you can and still achieve great results, probably even better results if you are not afraid to walk on the wild side.

By itself, this recipe is pretty traditional using canned soup for the liquid that braises the meat. But by thickening the soup with some flour and water it made the juices turn into a thick creamy gravy. The other trick I used was taking store bought biscuits in a can and using them for the dumplings. I just cut them up and put them in the slow cooker for the last hour. They cooked to a perfect dumpling consistency much to my surprise.

So let’s talk slow cooker turkey with dumplings…

Lesson Learned 1 – Use flour and water to thicken your sauce: At the 4 hour mark I took out the turkey tenderloins to shred them. I noticed that the liquid in the slow cooker was very thin. Right before I added the meat back in I mixed together about 2 tablespoons of flour with about 1/8 cup water and stirred it into the liquid. Then I added back the shredded meat and the biscuits, stirred the mixture, covered the slow cooker and cooked the turkey and dumplings for another hour. The result was fabulous. I guarantee you I would not have gotten such a thick sauce had I not added the flour and water.

Slow Cooker Turkey And Dumplings

One clarifying point – it is extremely important that you mix the flour and water together thoroughly before adding it to the juices. I normally mix flour and water in a glass measuring cup. Once I think I’ve gotten the mixture correct I put my finger in and scrape it along the bottom of the glass. If I can feel any clumps of flour at all I continue mixing until they are all gone. That is very important. You don’t want to wind up with a clump of flour in your gravy.

Lesson Learned 2 – Adding whole garlic cloves to the slow cooker: I discovered that if you add whole garlic cloves at the beginning of the slow cooking process you infuse garlic into your ingredients. And, since slow cooking on average takes 4-6 hours, the garlic literally breaks down into the food so there is no worry of biting into a garlic clove. And if by chance a clove survives, it would be nice and tender, just as if you had roasted it. It’s a great trick to use in a slow cooker.

The VeggiesLesson Learned 3 – Cut large slices of your veggies: Whenever I slow cook I always cut my veggies on the larger side. I find that after cooking for 4-8 hours I’m left with veggies that still have texture and flavor versus veggies that have been completely broken down by the long cooking process.

Lesson Learned 4 – Using refrigerated biscuits for your dumplings: What a great surprise this was. I took butter flavored refrigerator biscuits, flattened them out with the palm of my hand and cut them into slices. I added them during the last hour of cooking and voila, I wound up with dumplings. This is a great trick. Try it!

Refrigerated Biscuits Cut Into Strips

I am really excited about this recipe on a variety of levels. First, it tasted great. Second, it looked great (remember you eat with your eyes first). Third, I experimented with some new techniques and they worked out fabulously. You’ve got to try this one. You will love it!

SLOW COOKER TURKEY AND DUMPLINGS...

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

1 large onion, cut into quarters and separated

4 carrots, cut diagonally in 2 inch slices

2 large garlic cloves, whole

2 large turkey tenderloins

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of celery soup

1 Tbs. flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 Tbs. poultry seasoning

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup frozen peas

1 can refrigerated biscuits, separated, flattened and cut into slices

2 Tbs. flour

1/8 cup water

Salt and pepper, to taste

Flat leaf parsley for garnish, optional

DIRECTIONS:

Line the bottom of the slow cooker with the onion slices, carrots and garlic. Place the turkey tenderloins on top of the vegetables. Salt and pepper the ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine thoroughly the soups, parsley and poultry season. Spread over the tenderloins. Pour the stock over the top of the tenderloins. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

At the 4 hour mark, remove the tenderloins and cover the slow cooker. Shred the tenderloins using two forks. Open the refrigerated biscuits. Flatten each one with the palm of your hand and cut them into slices. (depending on the length of each slice you can also cut the slices once again in half). Mix together thoroughly the flour and water.

Uncover the slow cooker. Pour in the flour/water mixture and stir until combined in the liquid. Add back the shredded turkey and sliced biscuits. Gently stir to break up the biscuits. Cook for another hour on high, adding the frozen peas during the last 15 minutes of the cooking process.

Turkey Tenderloins

Turkey Tenderloins

Gravy Mixture

Gravy Mixture

Cover With Soup Mixture

Cover With Soup Mixture

Slow Cooker Turkey With Dumplings

Slow Cooker Turkey And Dumplings

Serving Suggestion

Serving Suggestion

Crock Pot Turkey And Dumplings

 

Baking With Flour and Eggs…

It occurred to me that I added a new category to my website called tips and trick and have yet to write a post under it. That ends today. The purpose of this category is to share some tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way that make cooking and baking easier and better. I am hoping that my readers will also join in with their tips and tricks since I know I’ve still got a lot to learn.

My initial post covers two of my favorite tips, ones that have made a big difference in my baking. I call them knife aerated flour and quick and easy room temperature eggs.

KNIFE AERATED FLOUR:

I’ve often mentioned that my mother wasn’t a very good cook. She simply wasn’t interested in it. But when she did, she was not intuitive and she often made mistakes that affected the outcome of a recipe. One of her big mistakes was how to measure flour. Baking purists will tell you that the only way to measure flour is by weighing it. That may be the case, but I hardly find any recipes that include the weight of the flour in the ingredients. Normally it is listed in cups.

But not all cups are created equal. What my mother used to do is put flour in a measuring cup and then shake it so that the flour would settle. She would continue that process until she got the amount called for in the recipe. Basically she was using packed down flour as her measurement. Not good…

I found the best way to measure flour without weighing it is to use the knife aerator technique. Before I scoop my flour out of my canister into a measuring cup, I take a knife and stir it in the canister to aerate it. Then I put my cup in my canister and scoop out a heaping amount. After that I take my knife and level the measuring cup and voila, I have an amount that parallels weighing it. Easy, quick and recipes tend to work out well using this technique. The only time they don’t is if I need to do a high altitude adjustment. Then I add one to two additional tablespoons of flour and that usually does the trick. If you don’t live in high altitude you don’t need to worry about that.

So next time you measure flour, aerate it and level it in your measuring cup using a knife. You’ll get a much more accurate amount that way.

Use a knife to level off the flour...

Use a knife to level off the flour…

EASY ROOM TEMPERATURE EGGS:

From watching a lot of professional chefs I’ve learned that using room temperature eggs when baking makes the eggs blend more thoroughly in the batter. The problem is, who ever remembers to take the eggs out of the refrigerator in enough time to render them room temperature. Not me, that’s for sure.

But I recently learned a great little trick that in 5 minutes gives you room temperature eggs. Just put some very warm water in a cup deep enough to cover the eggs (I normally use my 2 cup measuring cup) and let them sit on the counter for 5 minutes. Voila, you have room temperature eggs. I do this all the time when I am baking now. It’s a great little trick and it hardly takes any time at all.

IMG_9778

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE BAKING TIPS N’ TRICKS?

I know there are a lot of tips that can make for better results or are amazing time savers. I would love to hear some of yours. Feel free to share and we can all learn from each other! Enjoy!