STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: Set a large 6-8 quart pot over medium heat. Add the butter and onions. Stir and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Then stir in the celery and carrots and sauté another 2-3 minutes.
Add the chicken pieces, thyme, bay leaf, and broth to the pot. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper. (Reserve the parsley for later.) Stir and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to simmer, and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
Dumpling Prep: Meanwhile, set out a medium mixing bowl for the dumplings. Add the flour, shortening, salt and baking powder. Use a pastry blender (or large fork) to mash the mixture together until it resembles oatmeal. Then mix in the buttermilk, until the mixture is mostly smooth.
Dump the dough out onto a floured work surface. Roll the dough out into an even sheet 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter (or knife) to cut the dough into 1 X 1 1/2 pieces. They should look like thick wide noodles.
Once the chicken is cooked through, use tongs to remove the chicken pieces from the broth. Add the dumplings to the broth, a handful at a time, stirring gently in between so they don't stick together. Simmer the dumplings for 8-10 minutes, uncovered. (Try not to stir too much, or you will break up the dumplings.)
While the dumplings are cooking, use two forks to shred the chicken pieces. Place the shredded chicken back into the pot, along with the parsley. Stir, taste, and add salt as needed. Once the broth has thickened into gravy, turn off the heat and serve!
CROCK POT INSTRUCTIONS: To make chicken dumplings in the slow cooker, still start by sautéing the onions in butter on the stovetop. Then pour the butter and onions in a large 6+ quart crock pot. Add the vegetables, all herbs, chicken pieces, broth, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper to the slow cooker. Cover and cook for 8-10 hours on low, or 5-6 hours on high.
About 30 minutes before dinner, remove the chicken pieces from the broth. Then mix and cut the dumplings as directed in step 3 and 4. Stir them into the simmering broth, cover, and let them cook 10-15 minutes.
While the dumplings are cooking, use two forks to shred the chicken pieces. Place the shredded chicken back into the pot. Stir, taste, and add salt as needed. Once the broth has thickened into gravy, turn off the heat and serve!
INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS: To make this recipe in the Instant Pot you will need at least the 6 quart IP. Or you can use the servings slider above to adjust the ingredients to half the recipe for small pots.
Turn the Instant Pot on Sauté and add the butter and onions. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then add the chicken pieces, celery, carrots, thyme, bay leaf, and broth to the pot. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper. Lock the lid into place set on Pressure Cook High for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix and cut the dumplings as directed above in step 3 and 4.
Once the IP timer goes off, perform a quick release. When the steam valve button drops you can safely open the lid. Remove the chicken pieces with tongs.
Set the IP back on Sauté and stir in the dumplings. Let them simmer for 8-10 minutes. While they are cooking, use two forks to shred the chicken pieces. Then stir the shredded chicken and parsley into the dumplings. Taste and add seasoning as needed.