Chicken and Dumplings

Free range chickens provide the perfect rich flavour required for this stew. Light puffs of billowy dumplings steam atop meaty chicken pieces, potatoes, peas and a rich gravy which provide a great comfort food on a wet spring day.

1 free ranged fryer chicken, skinned & cut into 8 pieces
Salt & pepper
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs parsley
2 celery ribs with tops, chopped roughly
1 onion, chopped roughly
2 carrots, peeled, chopped roughly
1 clove garlic, smashed
4 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
½ rutabaga, peeled and diced
1 onion, peeled and chopped
6 Tbs. flour
6 Tbs. butter
2c frozen green peas

Dumpling Dough:
2c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs. shortening
1c milk

In a medium heavy bottomed stock pot place chicken pieces, vegetables and herbs cover with cold water, season with a generous pinch salt & pepper. Bring to a heavy simmer and reduce heat slightly and gently simmer for 2-3 hrs. When ready remove chicken pieces and place on dish & tent with foil to keep warm.

Strain broth removing solids, return stock back to pot. In pot add diced carrots, potatoes, rutabaga and onion. Bring to a gentle boil and boil till the root vegetables are tender approx. 1 hr.

In a bowl mix dry ingredients together and cut in shortening till crumbly, stir in milk (will be very sticky).

In a small bowl mix butter and flour into a thick paste set aside. When root vegetables are tender add in flour paste and mix till incorporated and bring to a boil and cook till thick, adjust taste with salt and pepper. Add peas and chicken, drop dumpling dough onto surface of gravy, top with lid, reduce heat and gently cook till dumplings are cooked through approx. 20 min.

To serve, spoon chicken pieces, vegetables and gravy onto plates and top with a fluffy dumpling.