chicker and Dumplings like mama made

Mama was a great cook and every time I make one of her recipes, even if I go step-by-step, it never ends up tasting quite like hers did. There must be something about a mama’s cooking—my daughter, Sarablake, says she can’t make things taste as good as mine, either. It’s all in a mama’s love, and my mama put all of that into this dish, a Southern classic that everyone makes in her own way.
1 (3-pound) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
3 large carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 chicken bouillon cubes
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons shortening (I use Crisco)
¾ cup buttermilk
1. Prepare the chicken: In a large stockpot, combine the chicken, carrots, celery, onion, bouillon cubes, and pepper. Add enough water to cover the chicken and vegetables (at least 2 quarts) and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the broth and set the chicken aside to cool.
2. Strain the broth into a bowl, reserving the vegetables. Measure out 6 cups of the broth and pour into a Dutch oven. (Reserve any leftover broth for soup or gravy. It’ll keep in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for months.) Add the vegetables to the pot, too.

3. Make the dumplings: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingertips. Add the buttermilk slowly, stirring gently until a dough forms.
4. Flour your work surface, then roll out the dough until it is about ¼ inch thick. Cut the dough into 1-inch-wide strips that are about 8 inches long, then cut the strips in half crosswise. Put the dough strips on wax paper and let dry for about 30 minutes to firm up slightly.
5. Meanwhile, remove and discard the skin and bones from the chicken and shred the meat into bite-size chunks. Add the chicken chunks to the broth in the Dutch oven and bring the mixture to a simmer.
6. Add the dough strips to the broth and simmer until the dough has expanded, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot.

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