For the broth:
Several pieces of chicken, with bones
2 carrots cut into large chunks
2 celery stalks cut into large chunks
2 onions, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
Palm full of peppercorns
Bunch of parsley, thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt - 2 tablespoons
Pepper - 2 tablespoons
2 teaspoons chicken base (or more to taste)
Cover these ingredients with water - about 4 quarts. Let that simmer for several hours. Drain and save the broth. Take the chicken pieces and pick out the meat. Add the meat back into the broth. Discard the solids - some of which would be great in your compost!
I really like white meat so at this point I add a few boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Poach the chicken breast until done. Remove from the broth, shred and add back into the broth.
For the dumplings:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 pint of buttermilk
In your mixer (with the dough hook) add the flour, baking powder, salt and shortening. Let that mix until you have a mealy consistency. Add the buttermilk and let that form into a dough ball - knead about 5 minutes.
Take the dough and put it on a floured surface. Roll the dough into thin pieces, keeping the dough well floured. When the dough is thin, about 1/4 inch thick, use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into pieces. Flour the dough pieces again. The flour will thicken your broth.
Happy Hubby Helping!
Note: If you don't want to take the time to make dough dumplings, my mom always used the recipe on the back of the Bisquick box. These dumplings are great also! They poof up and are very "doughy" - which I like! I've also heard of people using canned biscuits - breaking the biscuits into small pieces and dropping them into the broth.
Bring the broth to a rolling boil. Shake the dough pieces into the broth. Cook on a full boil, stirring gently. After 5 minutes, turn down the heat to low and put the lid on. The broth will thicken as it cooks. The dumplings are ready to serve after 20 minutes.