Mississippi River Chicken and Dumplings

1 (4 1/2 pound) stewing hen, cut up
    or 1 (4 1/2 pound) broiler-fryer
10 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Cook chicken in water and salt for 2 to 2 1/2 hours for stewing hen, 40 to 50 minutes for broiler-fryer chicken. Remove chicken from broth. Let cool.

Remove meat from bones, and cut into chunks. Skim fat from broth. Remove 3/4 cup broth for dumplings; set aside.

Measure 5 cups broth, and set aside. Use remaining broth in Chicken Gravy or freeze.

Dumplings
3 1/4 cups flour, divided
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 can cream of chicken soup
5 cups reserved broth

Place flour in a large bowl. Make a well in 3 cups of the flour. Add egg, milk and reserved chicken broth. Stir until combined. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead in remaining 1/4 cup flour. Let rest 10 minutes.

Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Let stand 20 minutes.

Cut into noodles 1/3 inch wide by 2 inches long.

Combine soup and 5 cups reserved broth in a Dutch oven. Bring to boiling. Add chicken and noodles. Return to boiling; cook until noodles are just done, about 5 minutes. Serves 6.

Chicken Gravy
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    or 3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 cups chicken broth

Combine flour and 1/2 cup chicken broth in a small saucepan. Stir until well combined. Stir in remaining broth. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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