Preparation / Directions:
To make dumplings cut vegetable shortening into the flour, salt, soda and sugar; make a well in the flour mixture and add buttermilk and egg. Mix as for biscuits. Roll into a ball and place in freezer while chicken is cooking. Place chicken into a stewpot with water, celery and onion pieces, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer chicken for at least 2 hours. Remove chicken. Skin, debone, and cut meat into bite-sized pieces. Strain chicken stock and place back into the stewpot.
Roll out dumplings as for pie crust on amply-floured board and use floured rolling pin, as the dough is sticky. Cut pastry into 1-inch squares. Bring stock to a boil; drop dumplings into stock slowly enough to keep stock boiling, stirring constantly to avoid sticking. Place chicken on top when all the dumplings are in, and pour the milk over all. Bring stock back to a boil, place top on stewpot and turn heat down to a fast simmer. Do not remove lid or dumplings will be tough. (This creates a royal mess. I hope your stove top fits in your dishwasher - it's worth it!)
After 20 minutes remove top. Add more milk if desired. Salt and pepper to taste and serve at once.
When reheating (if there's anything leftover) add a little more m