Yield: 4-6 Servings
½ cup vegetable shortening – chilled
4 cups self-rising flour, divided – I prefer White Lily
1 cup buttermilk
1 – 2-3 lb chicken fryer, cut into pieces
3 quarts water or combination of water and low sodium chicken broth
1 carrot – cut into small chunks
1 medium onion – coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-2 cups half and half
In bowl of food processor, add 3 cups of flour and chilled shortening. Pulse until the mixture is crumbly and coarse. Add in the butter milk and pulse again until the dough starts to stiffen. Add more flour if needed, so dough is not real sticky. Remove from processor and turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth. Roll dough out very thin – about ¼ inch. Let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes. Cut into 1×3 inch strips. Set the strips aside while preparing the chicken.
To prepare the chicken, combine chicken, water, carrots, onions, salt and pepper in a stock pot. Bring the chicken to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for about 50 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Remove chicken, strain broth and return to pot. Debone the chicken and cut meat into bite sized pieces. Bring the broth to a boil. Add butter. Adjust seasonings as desired. Drop dumplings, just a few at a time into the broth. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in milk and chicken. Turn off heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.