The secret, and you CAN NOT deviate from it, is Pillsbury blue can biscuits. You know, the kind that come wrapped in a package of four? They make the easiest, most delightfully chewy dumplings imaginable! Those to whom I have revealed this secret never go back to making them from scratch. I make only two deviation from my granny's original formulation: I add aromatics to my chicken while it poaches and I add a little bit sage.
Granny's Chicken and Dumplings
8 C cold/room temp water + 2 C
~2 lbs bone-in chicken, skin removed (2 breasts is roughly this amount, but feel free to use chicken thighs or a combination of white and dark meat)
1 small onion, halved
2 carrots, cut into lrg pieces
2 stalks celery cut into lrg pieces,
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
2 cans Pillsbury blue can buttermilk biscuits, biscuits quartered
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
~1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Place chicken, vegetables, garlic, bay leaf, 1 tsp salt and peppercorns in a large pot. Add 8 C water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med, simmer for ~30 minutes.
Remove chicken, strain broth. Keep liquid, discard veggies, peppercorns, etc. Shred chicken.
Place chicken and broth back into pot. Add sage and ground black pepper Bring to a bubble over med-hi. You will probably need another ~2 C water, but liquid may be adjusted as cooking goes on.
Drop biscuits into bubbling broth. They will float and then sink and then kind of become neutrally buoyant. When they have reached your desired level of doneness and broth has become like a thin gravy, serve. For me it takes about 10-12 minutes. Adjust salt to taste.
Serves 4 (maybe.)