To prepare the Chicken And Make the Broth:
1 whole chicken, thawed and cleaned (remove and discard giblets from the cavity)
1/2 c carrots, celery, and onion (OPTIONAL)
Water to completely cover chicken in a large stockpot
To Make The Dumplings:
1 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 heaping tbsp vegetable shortening
1/2 c HOT water
1/2 c plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
To finish the soup:
Two large chicken bouillon cubes
1 tbsp butter
1/4 c water mixed with 2 tbsp flour
Salt and Pepper, to taste (approx. 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper)
Step 1: In a large stockpot, place the chicken and veggies if using. Pour enough water to cover the chicken/veggies and bring to a quick boil. Remain cooking for an hour and once done take the chicken out of the pot and onto a large bowl to cool. To remove the leftover veggies or other particles, strain the broth, then add back to the pot.
Step 2: Remove the chicken skin once cooled and slice the meat into bite-sized pieces.
Step 3: Add about 2 1/2 cups of chicken pieces into the pot with the broth. Bring to a boil before adding in the bouillon cubes, salt, and pepper.
Step 4: To make the dumplings, place the shortening, salt, and a cup of flour in a large bowl. Cut with a pastry blender or two knives until the shortening is the size of small peas. Pour in half a cup of hot water and 2 tbsp flour to the mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Make 3 equal-sized balls from the dough and rest for at least 10 minutes.
Step 5: Roll the dough one at a time on a floured work surface. If needed, sprinkle extra flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll each dough thin enough about a size of a large crust and cut into about an inch wide strips with a pizza cutter or knife. Do the same for the remaining dough.
Step 6: Into a hot boiling chicken/broth mixture, drop the dumplings several times until all the strips are added.
Step 7: Then, add the butter into the mixture and continue cooking.
Step 8: To make the slurry, combine 1/4 cup water with 2 large tbsp flour. Add to the soup pot and stir. Continue to cook for 10 minutes more on high until the dumplings are completely cooked. Season according to taste.
Step 9: Once done, ladle the soup into bowls and serve with crusty french bread.