My mother was an excellent cook, people would pay her to fix this dish for them. She never used measurements, so I had to practice with this dish until it tasted just like hers. Serve with whipped potatoes and green beans.
Rinse the hen with cold water, then put into a large pot with the bay leaf and cover with cold water. Let cook over medium heat until it's tender, about 40-45 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside in a bowl-to cool. When it is cool, skin (throw away)and remove chicken from bones, then chop into bite size pieces.
Skim the fat off the cooking broth, then strain the broth(I use cheesecloth)then return the broth to the pan. Then add the butter and heat/stir till it melts.
take 1/2 cup of the broth from the pot and add 2 ice cubes to cool. Put flour in a bowl and pour in the cooled broth. Mix well with a fork (Mamma used her fingertips and so do I) to form a dough, add a little more flour if the dough is too wet. Roll out the dough, on a floured board, just a little bit thinner than pie crust. Cut into strips and then into 1 inch pieces
Bring the broth to a boil, then drop the pieces of dough. DO NOT STIR, the boiling will stir the dumplings. WHen all dumplins are in pot, shake the pot, then sprinkle the chicken pieces on top, reduce the heat to low, place lid on top of pot and do not bother for 10 minutes!