Place the chicken stock in a small saucepan and warm over low heat.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and saute until the onion is translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Slowly add the hot chicken stock, stirring constantly, and simmer over low heat until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the heavy cream, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaves. Adjust the heat to maintain a slow simmer while you prepare the dumplings.
Make the Dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the melted butter and milk and stir with a rubber spatula until the dough just comes together.
Stir the chicken, peas, and parsley into the pot. Drop the dumpling mixture by large spoonfuls of dough over the surface of the chicken stew. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Check the dumplings with a toothpick to see if they’re done; if they are still doughy in the middle, flip them over, cover and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
To make this a quick dinner, use a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
If cooking the chicken from scratch, I like to use chicken thighs because they are more flavorful, but you can use breasts as well. Prepare any way you’d like - saute in a pan, poach, or roast in the oven, then chop. I typically use about 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe.
For uniform dumplings, I like to use a medium cookie scoop, which holds about 1½ tablespoons, for dropping the dough into the pot.
Storage: The chicken and dumplings can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When reheating, you may want to add a splash of chicken stock to loosen it up a bit.
Freezing Instructions: You can freeze the chicken and dumplings in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat over low heat on the stove (or in the microwave), adding extra liquid as needed.