Now this is a modified Paula Deen recipe my kids love. This tastes like a good southern dish that could easily compete with Cracker Barrel's recipe and win.
1-2 1/2 lbs chicken with skin and bone (I used 2 large fryer breasts)
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
salt to taste
1-10 3/4 oz. can condensed cream of celery.
Dumplings: (* I usually double this)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
ice water (~3/4 cup)
Place chicken, celery, onion, bay leaves, bouillon and seasonings in a large pot. Add 4 qts of water and simmer over medium heat. Simmer the chicken until it is tender and juices run clear (~40 minutes). Remove the chicken from the pot and when cool enough to handle, remove the skin and separate the meat from the bones. Return the chicken meat to the pot, keep warm over LOW heat.
To make dumplings: mix the flour with the salt and mound together in a mixing bowl. Beginning at the center of the mound, drizzle a small amount of ice water over the flour. Using your fingers and moving from the center to the sides of the bowl, gradually incorporate ~3/4 cup of ice water. Knead the dough and form it into a ball.
Dust a good amount of flour and sprinkle some salt onto a clean work surface. Roll out the dough (it will be firm) working from center to 1/8" thick (like flour tortilla). Let the dough relax for several minutes.
Add the cream of celery to the pot with the chicken and simmer gently over MED-HIGH heat. Mix together 2 TB cornstarch** and 1/4 cup of water and whisk into soup (unless doubling the dumplings). Cut the dough into 1" pieces. Drop into simmering soup. Repeat. Do not stir the chicken once the dumplings have been added. Gently move the pot in a circular motion so the dumplings become submerged and cook evenly. Cook until dumplings float and are no longer doughy, 3-4 minutes.
Ladle up and serve!
**Note: you don't have to add so much cornstarch ~1 TB needed if you are doubling the dumplings recipe.