This is my great-grandmother's recipe. We've tweaked it a bit over the years, but we keep it pretty much the same! It's easier to make if you have help, but I've done it many times alone. This is from scratch, no shortcuts, that's what makes it incredibly delicious!
1Boil Chicken until fork tender. Remove from heat. Remove chicken and tear meat into chunks.
2To make dumplings:
Spoon chicken fat from top of water (from boiled chicken). Try to get as little water as possible. If you can’t get enough to make ½ cup, you can use shortening but the dumplings will be less flavorful. You may want to dissolve 1-2 bullion cubes to add flavor, or buy a can of chicken broth to use.
3Return chicken chunks to water and keep at low simmer. Discard bones and skin.
4Combine all dry ingredients first, then all wet ingredients except the hot broth. Add this last to keep from cooking the eggs. Stir all ingredients together until you form a good dough. You may need to add some flour to make manageable. Don’t add too much, or dumplings will be dry.
5Turn dough out onto floured surface and roll to ¼ - ½ “ thickness. DO NOT KNEAD! Using Pizza cutter dipped into flour, cut lengthwise and then crosswise to form 1” squares of dough. Turn up heat to let water boil. Using either spatula or your hands, pick up pieces of dough and plop into the boiling chicken pot one at a time. It is best to drop the dough INTO the boiling spots, stir to keep dumplings moving. These 2 steps keep the dumplings from sticking together.
6Let dumplings continue to boil with the chicken until all dumplings have floated. Once some start to fall back to the bottom of the pot, they are ready. This usually takes less than 10 minutes once all dumplings are in the pot. Make sure you keep the water boiling during this process to move the dumplings around.
7If you want a thicker juice, while adding dumplings drop some of the flour into the pot.
If you want a thinner juice, try to remove any excess flour from dumplings before dropping into boiling water.