Mix together the pepper, sea salt, garlic and thyme. This makes a good all-purpose seasoning.
Remove all the skin from the chicken and rinse. Cut up at the joints, separating the wings, thighs, legs, and remove the backbone. Remember to check the inside for the neck & giblets!
Place the chicken, the bag of giblets and the bay leaves in a stockpot. Add the water and cook on med-high until the chicken is thoroughly done. Remove the chicken and shred. Remove the giblets and discard. Discard the bones (except the wishbone - keep that to make a wish!) Skim any fat or impurities from the remaining broth.
Remove the outer layer of leaves from the leek and rinse well. Dice into 1-inch pieces.
Add the shredded chicken, carrots, leeks and noodles to the pot. Add water if needed to maintain consistency. Add 2-3 Tbsp of the all-purpose seasoning and the Lawry's to the pot, then bring to a low boil.
For the dumplings - there are a lot of great recipes just for dumplings, but they're more work than I want to do at this point. I mean, I just cooked, de-boned and shredded a whole chicken! So, I add broth from the pot to the flour in a bowl and mix until I have a dough. Drop the dough by the spoonful into the stew and let it simmer. Once the dough rises to the top and the noodles are done, the stew is ready to eat!