The first time I ate chicken and dumplings in the south, I thought I had been served the wrong dish. It looked like chicken and big noodles to me. I grew up in Western NY mostly (my extended family is all from there) and we had big fluffy biscuit type dumplings on top of a great chicken stew or whatever you wanted to add dumplings too. My family will eat southern dumplings, but I don't prepare them, instead we eat the big, fat, biscuit type steamed on top of our stews. Y'all need to try them.
1In a Dutch oven (or a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid), heat butter over medium. Add onion, carrots, celery and thyme. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
2Add 1/4 cup flour and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly; season with salt and pepper. Nestle chicken in pot; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.
3Meanwhile, make dumplings:
In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup flour, dill, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. With a fork, gradually stir in 1/2 cup milk to form a moist and soft batter. It should be just a little thicker than pancake batter and should easily drop from the tip of a spoon. (Add additional 2 tablespoons milk if too thick.) Set aside.
4Stir peas into pot. Drop batter in simmering liquid in 10 heaping tablespoonfuls, keeping them spaced apart (dumplings will swell as they cook). Cover, and simmer until chicken is tender and dumplings are firm, 20 minutes. Serve.