"After making Chicken and Dumplings and Chicken Noodle Soup on the stove top for years, I started making the soup base in the slow cooker while I worked. I did this for Chicken Noodle Soup at first, but before long, tried dumplings and they worked great! Now I make the soup base and a little while before meal time, we decide which direction to go with the finished product. This isn't the "traditional" chicken and dumplings you might be used to seeing, with rolled dumplings and no veggies, but I grew up with dropped dumplings and prefer the fluffy centers. No "cream of anything", here!"
Layer the veggies in the bottom of the crock pot, with the chicken and spices on top, then pour the broth and water over all. Add more water if needed to cover chicken and veggies. Cook on HIGH 4-5 hours. Remove chicken from the soup, taking off the bone and skin and shredding into large chunks, return meat to the pot.
Stir dumpling ingredients together and add to boiling soup by heaping tablespoonful (walnut sized). Replace lid and let them steam for 15-20 minutes. Then stir through gently to separate and make sure they have been coated in broth. Cover and let steam an additional 15-20 minutes. Don’t stir too early, or too vigorously to avoid breaking them up. The dumpling mix will thicken the soup.
Add noodles to boiling soup and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.