Chicken and dumplings are a family favorite! I remember when my mom used to make this dish using store-bought biscuits and a whole chicken. This is my version--made with boneless, skinless chicken thighs and homemade chive dumplings with dough that won't make you miss the pre-made kind!
For the chicken: Heat a large braiser or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add 4 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until golden, turning once, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the onion, celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until the vegetables are coated in fat and slightly golden, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and stir until the vegetables are coated. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, bay leaf and browned chicken, along with any chicken juices at the bottom of the plate. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover and simmer until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 45 minutes.
For the dumplings: Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork, cut the shortening into the flour mixture. Slowly add the buttermilk, gently mixing to incorporate. Fold in the chives.
Use 2 forks to shred the chicken. When the chicken is ready, use 2 spoons sprayed with cooking spray if desired to add scoops of dumpling dough over the top of the stew, about 1 tablespoon each. Cover and simmer until the dumplings double in size, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaf and garnish with parsley.