"This recipe was my great grandma's. When my mom asked for the recipe she looked surprised and gave all measurements in handfuls and pinches. My mom watched her make it a few times, and experimented, and this is the result. It is not a quick recipe, but makes up for it by being so good! Hearty enough to eat all on it's own, or serve with a salad and bread."
Boil the chicken and bay leaves and salt/pepper to taste in a large stock pot until chicken is cooked through (if it's slightly pink, don't worry...you'll cook it more later:). Strain broth, and save out 1 1/2 cups. Set aside for later use. Drain half the remaining broth, replacing with water (cuts down on greasiness). Save broth for another recipe! Tear chicken from bone and replace into stock pot, along with celery and carrots. Return to boiling.
To make the dumplings: measure the flour. Salt and pepper to taste and then cut in butter and blend with pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add reserved broth a little at a time, until mixture is firm and doughy, but not sticky. Discard any remaining broth. Divide dough into fourths and roll each fourth into approximately 1/8 inch thickness, and slice into small rectangles. Drop individually into the boiling water. Reduce heat let simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. If it remains too watery take some of the liquid out, and if it gets thick add a little more water, or some saved broth.