Chicken and parsley dumpling potpie

from Potpies: Yumminess in a Dish by Elinor Klivans

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth (low sodium if canned)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
3 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
salt and freshly ground pepper

6 tablespoons cornmeal
6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup milk (any fat content)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1. Make the filling:
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. As soon as the butter melts, add the flour and increase the heat to medium. Using a wooden spoon and stirring constantly, cook the butter and flour until it is bubbling and just beginning to become slightly golden—about 2 minutes. Using and whisk and whisking constantly, slowly pour in the chicken broth. Keep whisking until the sauce is smooth. Bring to a gentle boil, adjusting the heat as necessary, and cook for five minutes. The sauce will thicken slightly to the consistency of a thick syrup. Add the thyme and chicken pieces. Continue cooking, uncovered, to blend the flavors for 15 minutes, then add the chives and salt and pepper to taste. Make the dumpling batter while the chicken cooks in the sauce.

2. Prepare the topping:
In a medium bowl, stir the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt together. Using your fingertips, a fork or a pastry blender, cut the butter pieces until they are the size of peas. You still will see loose flour. In a small bowl and using a fork, stir the milk and egg together. Use a spoon to stir the milk mixture and parsley into the cornmeal mixture, stirring just to evenly moisten the dry ingredients.

3. Add topping to filling:
Drop rounded tablespoons of topping batter onto the gently bubbling filling. You will have eight or nine dumplings. Cover the saucepan and adjust the heat to keep the potpie at a gentle boil and continue cooking until the dumplings are done—about 10 minutes. Use a knife to cut into one of the dumplings to make sure they are firm throughout. The sauce will thicken considerably while the dumplings cook.

4. Finish and serve:
Remove the saucepan from the heat and spoon servings of dumpling and filling onto serving plates.

This recipe makes about 4 servings; cooking time for the filling is about 25 minutes and cooking time for the assembled potpie is about 10 minutes.