This recipe is from More Best Recipes from the editors of Cook's Illustrated. I was craving comfort food on a long awaited rainy day in Texas and this seemed to satisfy.
4 lb. bone-in, skin-on CHICKEN pieces (I used drumsticks and thighs)
2 Tbsp. VEGETABLE OIL
4 Tbsp. BUTTER
SALT and PEPPER
4 CARROTS, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 CELERY RIBS, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 medium ONION, minced
6 Tbsp. FLOUR
4 c. CHICKEN BROTH
1/4 c. whole MILK
1/4 c. DRY SHERRY (I used white wine)
1/2 tsp. dried THYME LEAVES
2 BAY LEAVES
1 c. frozen PEAS
3 Tbsp. PARSLEY, minced
2 c. FLOUR
1 Tbsp. BAKING POWDER
1 tsp. SALT
1 c. WHOLE MILK
3 Tbsp. reserved CHICKEN FAT or butter
Pat the chicken dry, season with salt and pepper and saute in vegetable oil for 5-8 minutes per side.
Transfer chicken to a plate.
Pour off any chicken fat and reserve for use in making the dumplings.
To the same pan, add the butter, carrots, celery, onion, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
Cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until softened.
Stir in flour and cook 1 minute.
Whisk in the broth, milk, sherry, thyme and bay leaves scraping up any browned bits.
Add chicken and any accumulated juice to the pot and simmer until chicken is fully cooked (about 20 minutes if using breasts or 1 hour for thighs and drumsticks).
Remove chicken and allow to cool enough to handle. Then, remove meat from bones and discard skin. Add the bite size chicken back in the pot.
(This part of the recipe may be prepared one day ahead and then just reheated to proceed.)
For the dumplings:
Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
Microwave the milk and reserved chicken fat in a microwave-safe bowl until just warm, about 1 minute.
Stir the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture until incorporated and smooth.
Return the stew to a simmer, stir in the peas and parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Drop golf-ball-sized dumplings into the stew. leaving about 1/4-inch of space around each dumpling. You should have about 18 dumplings.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until dumplings have doubled in size, 15-18 minutes.