This is a Lori original. After cooking chicken n' dumplings for years, and not liking EVERYTHING about any of them. I put this beauty together. Makes a TON...so feel free to cut the recipe in half. Hope you enjoy :)
In a large stock pot cover chickens with water (if the giblets are in a bag, remove from bag but put the giblets back in the pot, if not just throw it all in). Add 4 carrots (roughly chopped), 1 onion (roughly chopped), and 4 celery stalks (roughly chopped). Add poultry seasoning, garlic, old bay, bay leafs, salt, pepper, hot sauce, chicken bouillon and Savory cube.
Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Once it has come to a rolling boil, cover, turn down to simmer and cook until chicken is cooked through, approx. an hour (if chicken was thawed).
Once the chicken is done, remove the chicken and let it cool. Keep the chicken stock on low on the stove. Pull out the veggies and giblets.
While the chickens are cooling begin to make the dumplings. In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, and old bay, mix well. Cut in butter till the mixture looks crumbly and then add milk to make a stiff dough.
Roll dough out on a well floured surface to a 1/8-1/4 inch thickness (I prefer 1/4 inch). Cut into 1" strips and then into 1" squares (these DO NOT have to be perfect).
Make sure the dumplings have a good coating of flour (this will help thicken the soup), let them rest while you deal with the chicken.
NOTE: I find it helpful to cut the dough in half and work with one half at a time to make it more manageable.
When chicken is cool enough to handle, clean the bones of meat, make sure you cut any large pieces into at least 1" cubes.Place the cooked back in the pot.
Add the rest of the veggies (chopped in bite size pieces) in the pot. Bring the soup to a boil.
Once it comes to a boil start adding the dumplings one at a time, making sure that they don't stick together.Let the dumplings cook for 15-20 minutes. If the broth is not thick enough you can add the optional instant mashed potatoes.