what do you do with some freshly made turkey stock and the meat that is poached along with it? why make turkey and dumplings, of course. what a perfect way to spend a sunday in winter–such homey aromas coming from the kitchen.
i was careful to read up on dumplings before i actually tried them and, although the first batch was a little heavy and dense, the second batch came out wonderfully soft and pillowy. there seem to be a few secrets to good dumplings: do not over mix the batter, do not overcook, and under no circumstances should you open the lid of the pot after they are added–they are to steam, not boil!
here are the little beauties just added to the pot at a brisk simmer just before closing the lid (had to work fast to avoid breaking rule #3).
this really did not take long at all. i would recommend, however that you make the stock and shred the turkey or chicken the day before, unless you are a weirdo like me and like to spend hours on end in the kitchen.
turkey (or chicken) & dumplings (adapted from simply recipes)
- 5-6 cups turkey or chicken stock (preferably homemade)
- 2 cups cooked, shredded turkey or chicken
- 3 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 6 boiling onions (smaller than regular onions, larger than pearl onions), peeled and halved (i used a regular spanish onion, cut into wedges)
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (i used fresh)
- 2 Tbsp dry sherry or vermouth (optional) (i did not use the booze)
- 1 Tbsp of heavy cream (optional)
- 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
- ground black or white pepper
- 2 cups cake flour (can sub all-purpose flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup minced fresh herb leaves such as parsley, chives, and tarragon (optional)
sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. add chopped fresh herbs-i had parsley on hand, so that’s what i used. add melted butter and milk to the dry ingredients. gently mix with a spoon until mixture just comes together. (note: do not overmix! or your dumplings will turn out too dense.) set aside.
heat butter in large heavy bottomed stock pot. whisk in flour and thyme; cook, whisking constantly, until flour turns golden, 1 to 2 minutes. whisking constantly, gradually add sherry or vermouth, then slowly add the reserved 5 or 6 cups of chicken stock; simmer until mixture thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. stir in the vegetables, simmer for 5 minutes. stir in chicken and cream; return to a brisk simmer. add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
drop dumpling batter into the simmering stew by teaspoonfuls, over the surface of the stew. cover and simmer until dumplings are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. once you have covered the pan, do not uncover while the dumplings are cooking! in order for them to be light and fluffy, they must steam, not boil. uncovering the pan releases the steam. if after 10-12 minutes they are still not cooked through (use a toothpick or skewer to test) cover pan again, and cook for another few minutes.
gently stir in peas and parsley. ladle portions of meat, sauce, vegetables, and dumplings into soup plates and serve immediately.