How to Make It
Remove giblets and neck from chicken; trim excess fat. Place chicken, 10 cups water, and next 7 ingredients (through parsley bunch) in an 8-quart stockpot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 1 hour, skimming foam from the surface as necessary. Remove from heat, and let stand for 20 minutes.
Remove skin from chicken; remove chicken from bones, discarding skin and bones. Shred chicken with 2 forks. Strain stock through a sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Cool stock and chicken to room temperature. Cover and chill stock and chicken separately for 8 to 24 hours. Skim solidified fat from surface of stock; discard fat. Reserve 8 cups stock and chicken. Refrigerate remaining stock in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 cup onion, 1/4 cup celery, and sliced carrot to pan; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and ground pepper; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in 8 cups reserved stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Weigh or lightly spoon 5 ounces flour (about 1 cup) into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk. Cut in remaining 2 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk, stirring until moist.
Drop dough in 24 portions (about 1 teaspoon each) into stock mixture. Cover and cook 8 minutes. Gently stir in reserved shredded chicken and thyme. Simmer over very low heat for 6 minutes or until thoroughly heated and dumplings are done. Remove from heat, and ladle into shallow bowls. Sprinkle evenly with chopped parsley.
MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.
Lighten Up, America! Oxmoor House, copyright 2013.