Now, I love leftovers as much as the next person, but it’s very hard to bring myself to eat the same thing again for the 3rd day in a row.
I need variety!
I need spice!
I need varying textures and flavors and all that crap!
I need to drag myself back into the kitchen and force myself to come up with something different so I don’t commit suicide by “accidentally” choking on a turkey bone.
So, that’s what I did (not the suicide part…).
On the third day after Christmas my true love gave to me!
- Three pounds of turkey carcass
- Two stalks of celery
- And a stock pot full of water!
See what I did there? I basically turned a part of my turkey stock recipe into jingle lyrics. I also added a large quartered onion, 10 baby carrots (because that’s literally all I have/ buy), 4-5 sprigs of dried thyme, 4 small bay leaves, and a handful of dried parsley. Then I set it on the stove top to simmer away for hours. After said hours (like 6-8, depending on how patient I am), I strain the now stock. I’ll either then store it in the freezer for later use, or use it right then and there. Since I was tired of turkey already, I decided to use the stock right then and there, but first, I put the stock in the refrigerator. I did this so the fat would coagulate and make it easier to skim from the top.
Usually, I’ll make rice, or steamed vegetables, or some sort of sauce with it, but today, I’m feeling particularly cheerful and traditional, so I’m sticking with my chicken and dumplings recipe, but with turkey. You know, because I still have an endless mound of meat leftover. So much so that I doubled the recipe to bring some over to my sister’s house.
If this seems like a lot to you, feel free to half the recipe.
So, here it is!
- 8 cups of turkey stock
- 5 cups of water (reserve half a cup to make a cornstarch slurry)
- 3 cups of shredded turkey
- 1 medium onion (VERY roughly chopped. Don’t worry, it’s RUSTIC!)
- 2 stalks of celery (large dice or cut, I won’t judge)*
- 2 carrots (large dice or cut)*
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 2 heaping teaspoons of salt
- 2 teaspoons of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1 teaspoon of dried parsley
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
*You want them to be cut big enough so they won’t cook too fast in the broth. If they were small, they would turn to mush before the cooking process was even over.
For the Dumplings:
- 3 cups of flour
- 7 tablespoons of cold butter (diced)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- About 1 cup of ice cold water*
*You need just enough cold water to bring the flour, butter, and salt together to form a dough ball (the texture should be similar to that of homemade pie crust)
- Start this recipe off by making the dumpling dough. Prepare your dough by whisking together the salt with the flour. You then add the butter to the flour/salt mixture by cutting the butter into the flour. You can either use your hands and squeeze/rub the flour into the butter until you have pea-sized bits of butter all throughout the flour, or you can use a pastry cutter and end up with the same result. Either way, you want that butter well incorporated into the flour.
- Once the butter is well incorporated, add the water to the mixture slowly while mixing it with your hands. Once it starts to come together, STOP with the water and continue to stir the dough until it fully combines into a ball.
- Flour a smooth, hard surface and roll out the dough into a square (It does NOT have to be perfect. Mine definitely are not. Like I said, rustic). You want it to be about an eighth of an inch thick (I know it doesn’t seem like much, but when you drop the dumplings into the pot, they will puff up a bit). Run a knife through the dough horizontally and vertically, creating a grid pattern. These are your dumplings!
- Lay them on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and put the tray in the refrigerator until you are ready to drop them in the broth. OR, you can make these WAY ahead of time and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to drop them in the broth. Just put them in a freezer safe bag and they’ll last for up to 3-4 weeks. When you are ready to use them, just drop them into the pot straight from the freezer. It’s that simple!
- Now, it’s time to start on the base for your
chickenturkey and dumplings. Bring the turkey stock and water to a simmer in a large stock pot.
- Add salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and basil to the stock/ water mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes. Taste the broth and adjust seasonings to taste.
- Add celery, carrots, onion, and garlic, and cook for about 7-10 minutes (you don’t want them to be done at this point because they’d be mush by the time you were done with the whole dish, and we don’t want that).
- Add the turkey to the pot and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Gently add your dumplings one at a time and stir the pot so they don’t stick to each other. Let it simmer for another 15-20 minutes, until everything in the pot is cooked through (the dumplings will rise to the top of the pot).
- Take your reserved half cup of water and add the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Stir the slurry until all of the cornstarch has dissolved. Add it to the pot and let it simmer for another 5 minutes, until the broth has reduced and thickened (the starch from the dumplings, along with the cornstarch, will help with the thickening process).
- Taste the broth again and adjust the seasonings to taste.
- The dish will thicken even more as it sits.