This homey recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner. Packed with chicken, carrots, fennel, and wonderful dumplings with a rich gravy.
For the stew:
31⁄2 lbs bone-in, skin on, chicken thighs
ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled, sliced 1⁄4” thick
1 small bulb fennel, trimmed, quartered, sliced crosswise 1⁄4” thick 1 parsnip, peeled, sliced 1⁄4” thick
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 tablespoons all purpose flour
1⁄2 cup dry sherry
41⁄2 cups chicken broth
4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
3 to 4 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
For the dumplings:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3⁄4 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
- For the stew, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is shimmering, add half of the chicken and cook until golden on both sides, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken. Set aside to cool.
- Add butter to the pan and melt over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add carrots, fennel, and parsnip, and cook until just tender, 4–5 minutes.
- Add garlic and when it releases its fragrance stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes.
- Add sherry and stir, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan.
- Add stock and stir to combine.
- Tie thyme, bay leaves, and parsley together with kitchen twine, drop the bundle into the broth, and add the chicken, taking care to fully immerse it in the liquid.
- Bring stew to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked, about 1 hour. Remove from heat.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board.
- Remove the bundle of herbs and discard.
- When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones, and discard.
- Tear the meat into bite-size pieces.
- Using a skimmer or wide spoon, skim the fat from the surface of the sauce in the pot.
- Return the chicken and any drippings to the stew.
- For the dumplings, bring the stew to a simmer.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper.
- Add the butter, buttermilk, and herbs, and stir to form a thick, very sticky dough.
- Using your hands, roll the dough into balls about the size of a golf ball.
- Drop the dough balls into the stew, spaced about 1⁄4” apart.
- Cover and simmer over low heat until the dumplings are firm and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
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