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Turkey and Dumplings is my favorite Thanksgiving leftover food. It’s better than your standard chicken and dumplings (because turkey has a rich and special quality I can’t really describe) and it’s different than the typical turkey noodle soup. There’s just something about Turkey and Dumplings that says “It’s time to cozy up, people; winter is here.” We always eat this over the weekend after Thanksgiving, which is right around the time we’re putting up a Christmas tree and filling the house with Christmas music. It’s hot and hearty, especially for the cold, dark Alaskan winter.
I have a wonderful food memory from when I had our second-born son in Prescott, Arizona, in December of 2004. It was snowing outside and Christmas was near and some good friends brought over a hot, steaming pot of chicken and dumplings. It was my first-ever dumplings experience and it was the perfect bowl of comfort and joy. This is where our annual dumplings tradition started.
Oh, and did you see that dumpling? It’s not thick or gooey or dense. It’s light and fluffy and tender. It has great texture from a little bit of cornmeal and buttermilk. You’ll be fighting over who gets the last one. My eight-year-old son asked for four. And those aren’t the only special ingredients in this pot…
2 cups leftover turkey, light and dark meat, chopped
1c frozen peas
1/4c half and half
For the dumplings:
1 1/2c flour
1T baking powder
1 1/2c buttermilk
milk for thinning
In a large pot over medium heat, add oil and melt butter. Add carrots, celery, and onions. Cook 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent. Toss in parsley and seasonings. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then add flour. Cook, stirring, two more minutes.
Pour in broth and cider and add turkey. Bring to a boil and turn down to low, simmering 20 minutes, until veggies are tender.
Meanwhile make dumpling batter. Stir all dry ingredients together in a bowl and pour in buttermilk. Whisk to combine. If batter is too thick to whisk, add milk to thin until it loosens up. Batter should be loose, slightly thicker than pancake batter, but should hold together when scooped.
Add peas to pot, stir, and bring back to a simmer. Turn heat up to medium. Soup should be at a steady boil.
Drop scoops of dumpling batter (I use a medium cookie scoop) into boiling soup, scattering them around until the top of soup is covered with dumplings (they will puff up as they cook). Cover pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through. Do not stir the soup while dumplings are steaming.
Remove from heat and add half and half to soup. Gently stir, being careful not to break the dumplings. Check seasoning and serve hot, making sure each bowl receives 1-2 dumplings.
It's on the stove, just about ready to serve, and it smells delicious. Did a lot of improvising with the base--used different seasonings and the juice of a lemon, because that's what I had on hand, instead of the apple cider. Can't wait to try the cornmeal dumplings!
Alas, no leftover turkey for me, so I did this recipe with chicken. While I think turkey is the way to go because there is more depth of flavor to the meat, it was still very tasty with chicken (I added parsnip as well for more umph, since I was using chicken) and my son declared it "higher than chili" on his favorite soup list, which is quite the compliment. I hope some of you have tried it!
Yes, wow, it was delicious!!!! I was laughing, because I'm making all these Alaska from Scratch recipes in Florida, and we had to open the windows to cool things down enough to be able to really enjoy the wintery comfort food. But it was worth heating the house up to 83 to have such a delicious dinner :-)
Welcome! I’m Maya – a food blogger and food columnist based on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. ~ Read More