Heat the oil in a large casserole dish.
Brown the chicken until golden on all
sides – you might have to do this in
batches – remove the chicken from
the pan as you go and set aside.
Add the lardons to the pan and sizzle
for a few mins, then add the onion,
celery and leeks, and cook over a
medium heat for 8-10 mins until the
vegetables have softened. Stir in
the flour, season and cook for a
further 2 mins.
Gradually stir in the wine and allow it
to bubble away, then stir in the stock.
Return the chicken to the pan with the
bay leaves and cover with a lid. Reduce
the heat and simmer gently for 1½ hrs
or until the chicken is tender. The stew
can now be cooled and frozen if you’re
making ahead. Just defrost thoroughly,
then gently warm through back in the
pan before continuing.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Add the peas, sundried tomatoes,
pesto and basil to the stew. To make the dumplings, rub the butter into the
flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Mix in the grated cheese and add 150ml
water, mixing with a cutlery knife to bring
the crumbs together to form a light and
sticky dough. Break off walnut-sized
lumps and shape into small balls. Roll the
tops of the dumplings in the pine nuts so
a few stick to the outside, then place the
dumplings on top of the stew and scatter
with any remaining nuts. Put the dish in
the oven and bake for 25 mins until the
dumplings are golden brown and cooked
through. Serve with mashed potato and
extra veg if you like.