3 tablespoons of butter
1 medium onion, cut into small dice
5 medium carrots, cut crosswise into small dice
4 sprig of fresh thyme
1 cup of all-purpose flour
15 ounces of chicken broth
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 whole pheasant (approximately 1 lb each)
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh chives
1 3/4 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of buttermilk
1 package of frozen peas (10 ounces)
1. In a dutch oven (or a 5 to 6 quart heavy pot with a tight fitting lid), heat butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and thyme. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Add 1/4 cup of flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly; season with salt and pepper. Nestle pheasants into the pot; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cups of flour, chives, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. With a fork, gradually stir in 1/2 cup of buttermilk to form a most and soft batter. It should be just a little thicker than pancake batter and should easily drop from the tip of the spoon. Add an additional 2 tablespoons of buttermilk if too thick. Set aside
4. Remove the pheasants from the pot and cool slightly enough to handle. Remove all the soft pheasant meat from the bones then place the shredded meat back into the pot.
5. Stir peas into the pot. Drop batter in simmering liquid in 10 heaping tablespoon's, keeping them spaced apart (dumplings will swell as they cook). Cover and simmer until dumplings are firm, 20 minutes. Serve