Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour olive oil into large casserole dish over high heat. Add the bacon and fry for 1-2 minutes until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon and place aside. Add the chicken in batches and sear on each side until golden then remove. Add the onion and carrots and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Return the bacon and the chicken and add the stock and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Bring slowly to a boil and cover. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
To prepare the dumplings: Sift flour, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Stir in the fresh herbs. Make a well in the center of the mix and pour in the buttermilk. With one hand, bring the flour and the liquid together. Don't knead the mixture. The dough should be soft but not too wet.
Pour the dough on a floured work surface and form it into a round. Roll the dough with a rolling pin to flatten to about 3/4 inch thick. With a 2 inch biscuit cutter, cut out 10-12 pieces. Roll each one into a small ball and set aside.
Turn the oven up to 450 degrees. Uncover the dish and arrange the dumplings on top, leaving small gaps. Sprinkle with cheese. Leave uncovered and bake for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 400 degrees and bake for 20 minutes.