Remove the giblets from the chicken. Rinse the chicken and place it in a dutch oven.
Add the carrots, leeks and celery. Sprinkle with savory salt.
Add the chicken stock and 1 qt of water to the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Cover, reduce to a low, and simmer for 1 hour or until the chicken is tender.
Remove the chicken from the broth. Allow to cool for 10 - 15 minutes before shredding the meat and discarding the skin and bones.
Put the shredded chicken back into the Dutch oven. Add the lemon juice and season generously with ground pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and a dash of salt.
Incorporate the butter, using your fingers.
Add the buttermilk and stir with a fork until the dry ingredients are moist.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and kneed until it comes together.
Bring the broth to a boil over high heat.
Pinch off 2-inch pieces of dough and drop them into the boiling broth.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes. I simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes then cover and simmer several more minutes until the dumplings are cooked.
Spoon into bowls and garnish with fresh chives.
This recipe was inspired by the Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings recipe in the January 2018 issue of Southern Living magazine.