Chicken and Dumplings Like Cracker Barrel’s
From book “Old Fashioned Country Cooking” found at Cracker Barrel.
1 (3-6 lb) frying chicken (any whole chicken will do)
2 quarts water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper (I use coarse ground and double it)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening (I use Crisco sticks)
3/4 cup buttermilk (I add 1 tbsp. vinegar to 1 cup milk let sit 5 minutes, then measure 3/4 cup)
Place chicken in a Dutch oven. Add water and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 hour or until tender (should almost fall off bone).
Remove the chicken from the broth and cool. Bone the chicken and cut meat into bite-sized pieces.
Bring the broth to a boil and add pepper.
Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the shortening. Add the buttermilk, stirring with a fork until moistened.
Knead the dough 4 to 5 times (never done), and pat to 1/2-inch pieces and drop into boiling broth (I do not pat it out, just pinch off pieces). Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the chicken and serve.