Chicken: Split fryers all the way up to the backbone. Remove backbone from chickens.
Cut through the center of breasts, leaving two full halves per chicken. Place the
chicken in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer gently until
chicken is tender. Remove from pot and set aside. Add chicken backbones to broth.
Add vegetables and simmer about 30 minutes. (For extra flavoring, add chicken bouillon
cubes, if desired.)
When done, remove from heat and strain. Save strained stock.
In a small saucepan, melt butter, then beat in flour. Add to strained stock.
Cook stock gently for five minutes, then add sherry, juice from lemon, pinch of
Accent, touch of yellow food coloring, and salt to taste. While stock is cooking,
remove skin from cooked chicken and de-bone, if desired.
Dumplings: Put the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in the
shortening and mix until mixture looks like cornmeal. Stir in milk. Put about 1/2
inch of water in pan with a wire rack that stands two or three inches above the
water line. Cover rack with lightly oiled wax paper, oiled side up. When water is
boiling, gently drop dumpling mixture from a tablespoon, leaving room between dumplings
for expansion. Steam 8 minutes uncovered, then cover and steam about 7 more minutes.
Place chicken in casserole dish and lay dumplings on top. Cover with stock.
Sprinkle a few fresh-cooked green peas on top for color.