Chicken + Cheddar Chive Dumplings

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Everyone seems to be coming down with a cold so here's a little comfort food in the form of chicken and dumplings.  It's really just a simple chicken stew with dumplings cooked in.  (I used boneless, skinless chicken breast but chicken thigh meat would be good too. Also, the chicken does not need to be cooked first, I just dislike boiled chicken and find that the chicken has better texture when cooked on its own in a pan and then added to soups.  But feel free to just add your raw chicken when the recipe says so.)  No peeking at the dumplings with they're cooking.  

Chicken + Cheddar Chive Dumplings

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces

3 tablespoons butter

1 clove garlic, minced

few springs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 onion, peeled and chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 celery root, peeled and chopped

8oz mushrooms, quartered

1/2 cup peas (frozen ones are ok)

32 oz chicken stock

1/3 cup all purpose flour (for rue)

1 cup cake flour (for dumplings)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

black pepper

1 oz cheddar cheese, grated

1 1/2 tablespoon fresh chives, minced

1/2 cup milk, (more if needed)

In a pan, cook chicken and set aside. While chicken is cooking, get the dumplings ready.  In a bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder, salt, cheddar and chives.  Stir in milk.  Set aside.  

In a large pot,on medium heat,  melt butter and add carrots, celery root, garlic, thyme sprigs and bay.  Cook 5 minutes, until onion is glossy and carrots are soft.  Add flour and stir to coat.  About 1 minute.  Turn heat to high and add stock, chicken, mushrooms and peas.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.  Drop dumpling batter in by the spoonful.  There will be about 6 dumplings.  They will expand a lot when cooking so space them out as much as you can.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes. (No peeking at the dumplings while they're cooking, opening the lid of the pot lets steam escape and your dumplings need that steam to cook.)   Test dumplings for doneness with a toothpick, if not done, cover and simmer 5 minutes more.  

Serve hot!