The dumplings are simple to make, and you can use frozen chicken breast if you don't have time to use a whole chicken.
I REALLY recommend going to Youtube and researching how spaetzle is done (if nothing else than to see what it's supposed to look like) before doing this recipe, if you're not familiar with it. I followed the instructions as I understood them here, and ended up with something that looked like boiled mini-baguettes.... After looking into it, leaving the dough relatively thin and wet, and working it through a colander or maybe a cheese grater, might be the way to go. I kept adding flour trying to get it to form a ball per the directions, which was a big mistake. The soup's flavor is good, and I'm going to try to rescue what's left somehow.... - 14 Jul 2008 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
My grandmother taught me this too! My kids love the homemade noodles. If you roll out the dough and flour each side lightly, then roll it up and slice into noodle ribbons, that works. I have the kids unroll them and throw on a cookie sheet to "dry" a little so it doesn't soak up all the broth. Then I can add the noodles when I am ready. - 20 May 2008 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
I made this recipe with "Grandma's Noodles II" (from this site), and it was AWESOME! I didn't use a whole chicken - I used boneless, skinless breasts. I cut them frozen and cooked them right in the broth with the onions and celery. The chicken came out so moist. My husband is a tried and true "meat and potatoes" guy, so I was a bit doubtful that he'd enjoy this meal of chicken noodle soup with warm applesauce on the side. HE LOVED IT! Three bowls later, he was to full for dessert :-) This will be one of our cold weather staples! - 09 Sep 2006 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)