The aroma and flavor of turkey and dumplings is phenomenal and it is a fantastic way to use leftovers from Thanksgiving or Christmas turkeys.
One of my favorite meals, when I was growing up, was my mother’s turkey and dumplings or chicken and dumplings. The smell of it was fantastic and would fill the house with aromas that were almost guaranteed to have everyone hungry by dinner time.
Unfortunately, I never was able to get her recipe, so I devised one of my own that at least tastes similar. I specify a dutch oven in this recipe, but the truth is that this can be made in any large pot with a tight-fitting lid or even in a crockpot. My preference is a dutch oven simply because it cooks so evenly. Also, though this recipe is for turkey and dumplings, it will work just as well with chicken. The difference is just in the type of meat used rather than in the amount. Naturally, the flavor will also be a little different.
If chicken is used, though, it is best if it is boneless and skinless. The skin will lead to a richer broth, however leaving it on the meat slows down the cooking time a little and is a little more work in the end. For this reason, the turkey is also boneless and skinless for the turkey and dumplings. The meat should also be cooked to cut cooking time and the preference is for it to be baked. This makes it ideal for Thanksgiving and Christmas feast leftovers.
Turkey and dumpling ingredients:
3-4 pounds turkey meat in half-inch cubes
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
6 carrots, in quarter to half-inch pieces
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 bell pepper, in 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can chicken broth or 1 cup homemade chicken broth
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup instant potatoes (optional)
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups flour
1 can chicken broth
2 large eggs, scrambled
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
Turkey and dumplings directions:
1. Put the turkey, celery, carrots, onions, peppers, corn, garlic, and spices in the dutch oven or pot. Add the broth and cream, then add enough water so the vegetables are covered with liquid.
2. Cook this over medium heat until the carrots and onions are barely tender; about a half hour to 45 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, thoroughly mix the dumpling ingredients. The consistency should be a thick dough. This can be adjusted by adding a little more flour for thicker dough or a more little water for thinner dough.
4. When the vegetables are barely tender, if a thicker soup is desired, stir in the instant potatoes. Add as much as you need to get the desired thickness.
5. Drop the dumpling dough by the heaping tablespoonful on top of the hot soup. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
The turkey and dumplings should be served hot. It can be served with green salad or homemade cornbread.
This isn’t hard to make and the combination of the dumplings and soup is both filling and healthy. The taste is phenomenal.
This is a great meal if you cook a turkey and have leftovers, but can’t decide how you want to prepare them. The turkey and dumplings are good any time of the year, but I especially like this meal during the colder months. Thankfully, that usually coincides with both Thanksgiving and Christmas in the mountains of the north, which often means turkey dinner. Turkey leftovers aren’t uncommon at this time of year. Vegetable leftovers can also be used in this dish, so it helps with cleaning out the fridge after the feast.
Whenever you make it, though, this is likely to be a hit. Try it and see.