Combine first 6 ingredients and water to cover in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until tender. Remove chicken and cool.
Pour 6 cups broth through a wire-mesh strainer into a large bowl, discarding solids. Reserve remaining broth for later use. Whisk 6 tablespoons butter, bouillon granules, and poultry seasoning into strained broth until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Cut shortening into flour with a pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spread dough to a 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly greased baking sheet, forming 1 large hoecake.
Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack; break into pieces.
Skin, bone, and coarsely chop chicken. Layer chicken and hoecake pieces in a lightly greased 13-x 9-inch baking dish. Whisk together chicken broth mixture and eggs; pour evenly over chicken and hoecake pieces.
Stir together cracker crumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter; sprinkle evenly over top of chicken mixture.
Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden brown and set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
good comfort food; spinach salad rounds it out for a meal!