For the stew
5 cups chicken broth
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
For the dumplings
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups half and half
1. For the stew: Bring broth to simmer in Dutch oven over high heat. Add chicken and return to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate and tent loosely with foil. Transfer broth to large bowl.
2. Return empty Dutch oven to medium-high heat and melt butter. Add carrots, onion, and salt and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Stir in sherry, scrapping up browned bits. Stir in reserved broth, half and half, thyme, bay leaves, and pepper and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until stew thickens, about 20-30 minutes.
3. For the dumplings: Stir flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Stir in half and half until incorporated (dough will be very thick and shaggy).
4. To finish: Discard bay leaves and return stew to rapid simmer. Shred reserved chicken and add to stew along with any accumulated juices, peas, and 3 tablespoons parsley. using 2 large soup spoons or small ice cream scoop, drop golf ball-sized dumplings onto stew about 1/4 inch apart (you should have 16 to 18 dumplings). Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until dumplings have doubled in size, 15 to 18 minutes. Garnish with remaining parsley. Serve.
Chicken and Dumplings is one of those foods that I’ve managed to live 32 years without ever having. When I saw this recipe in the 2007 Cook's Country Annual, I decided that I should rectify that and give it a go. I didn’t have very high expectations; I’ve heard horror stories of heavy and unappetizing dumplings. Art also had some wariness due to poor experiences in the past.
But I put aside my fears and I am so glad I did! The dumplings were delicious balls of perfection, the soup was thick, rich, and full of flavor, and the two combined was just great! This is a perfect cold weather meal and came together in under an hour. I will definitely be making this again especially considering both the guys enjoyed it as well! Yum.