We really want to show off about this one because it's our best winter warmer recipe yet. A mouth explosion of unbelievable flavours combined with the stodgy, cuddly, crispy topped dumplings that soak up all the juices. The cream and wine added to the stock mean it's indulgent and fancy enough to serve to guests. If you're a lover of chicken stew then print this recipe off and pin it to your head. Seriously.
Heat the butter over a medium-high heat in a large saucepan or crockpot until it begins to foam. Season the chicken thighs and add them to the pan. Fry until the skin is a deep golden brown then turn and cook for the same time.
Remove the thighs from the pan and add the pancetta. Peel the onion and the carrot then dice the onion, carrot and celery. When the pancetta is starting to crisp up add the veg and continue to cook for 10 minutes over a medium heat. Stirring regularly.
Cut the mushrooms into quarters and add them to the pan with the thyme. Scatter the flour over the veg and stir well. Cook for another few minutes. Turn the heat back up high and pour in the wine. Let it bubble and reduce by half before adding the chicken stock. Place the chicken thighs back into the pan and simmer for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile combine the self-raising flour and the cornmeal. Cube the butter and use your fingers to work it into the flour, until you have a texture resembling breadcrumbs. Pour in the milk and stir to a dough.
Stir the cream into the stew, then roll 4-8 balls of dough and add them too. Simmer for another 20 minutes and turn on the grill to a medium-high setting. Place the cooked stew under the grill for 5 minutes to crisp up the tops of the dumplings. Serve in the middle of the table Serves 4