1 Tbls Olive Oil
1 Tbls Butter
1.2kg Chicken Portions
250g Colcom Streaky Bacon, diced
Salt and freshly ground Pepper
1 cup Celery, finely chopped
2 cups Carrots, diced
1½ Tbls fresh Thyme
3 Bay Leaves
½ - 1 tsp fresh Garlic, chopped
½ tsp Onion Powder
½ tsp Garlic Powder
10 cups Chicken Stock
1 tsp Sherry
For the Dumplings
2¼ cups All Purpose Flour, sifted
½ cup Cornmeal
1 Tbls Baking Powder
½ tsp Baking Soda
6 Tbls Butter, melted
¾ cup Buttermilk
2 Tbls fresh Parsley, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
- In a large deep pot set over medium-high heat, melt together the olive oil and butter. Generously season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on both sides, working in batches so as not to crowd the pot, for about 4-6 minutes each side. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside. In the same pot sauté the bacon until cooked, not too crispy and set aside.
- Again in the same pot add the carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook the vegetables in the drippings until they begin to soften, stirring and adjusting heat as necessary. Add the browned chicken pieces, thyme, bay leaves, onion powder, garlic powder and chicken stock.
- Bring to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 25-30 minutes. Remove and discard thyme stems and bay leaves. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate, cool and shred off bone and discard bones and skin. Return to the pot along with the bacon.
- Ladle 2 cups of the cooking liquid into a large bowl. Whisk in ½ cup of flour until smooth. Continuously whisk the contents of the pot whilst slowly pouring in the flour mixture. Simmer and whisk until slightly thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
To make the dumplings
In a medium bowl whisk together the remaining flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir in the melted butter, buttermilk and chopped parsley until just combined. With heat reduced to low, drop rustic, tablespoon sized balls into the simmering casserole. Gently stir in the dumplings one at a time, and then simmer, covered, until the dumplings are firm, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in the sherry and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve immediately, sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley.