Cook chicken in water in a very large pot at a very gentle
boil/simmer until the meat easily falls off the bones. When the
chicken is done, take a break from making dumplings to
remove the skin and bones. Then replace in pot with minced
onion, garlic, butter/margarine, and seasonings and keep
warm until dumplings are ready to go in.
While chicken is cooking, begin mixing dumplings (kneading
by hand required). Mix the flour, oil, and salt, with however
much water is necessary to obtain a consistency where you
can easily roll it out like a very thin pie crust (the thinner, the
better). If too sticky, add a bit more flour. If too crumbly/dry,
add more water.
Sprinkle with flour both (1) the surface on which you will roll
the dumplings with flour and (2) the large platter upon which
you will place the finished dumplings.
Get a ball of dough almost the size of a baseball and flatten it
with your hands to make a circular shape. Sprinkle flour over
the top to keep the rolling pin from sticking to the dough. With
a rolling pin, make the dough as thin as you can (don’t worry
about making it round or with perfect edges – oval with
irregular edges is typical). Then cut into strips between ¾
inch and an inch in width, flatten or stretch dough with your
fingers to make as thin as possible without tearing, and place
on the platter. Every time you have one layer of dumplings on
the platter, liberally sprinkle more flour over that layer so the
next layer won’t stick. (Tip: Because most platters are oval
and the dough usually winds up being oval too, I cut the strips
lengthwise when on the long axis of the platter, and in shorter
strips when using the short axis of the oval platter).
Combining the Chicken and Dumplings:
Once the dumplings are done (almost done if you have a
helper), drop the dumplings one by one into the gently boiling
chicken stock, stirring each one in to keep it from sticking.
Add water as necessary.