Thursday, August 25, 2011

Turkey and dumplings

© 2011 Joshua Stark

As a nice guy and unlucky hunter, but with friends who are skilled nimrods, I oftentimes reap the bounty of others' largesse.  Last month, for example, I was the lucky and thankful recipient of Hank & Holly's freezer emptyin', both by attending a freezer-emptying dinner of theirs, and also by just showing up when they asked, "hey, Josh, you want some ducks and stuff?"

So a few weeks back, I cooked up wild turkey legs (and now you know how I got them, because I sure as heck didn't get 'em from shooting an actual wild turkey).  I really liked how this turned out, and I want to keep the recipe for future reference (in case I ever find a wild turkey stupid enough to walk in front of me).  Feel free to use it, too - but remember, I'm no chef nor cook.

Note:  This is a variation from an old "Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook", and though I use some of their measurements here, I don't always do so when actually cooking, especially with the spices.  Consider all spice amounts as a suggestion, and throw in or out whatever you see fit.

Turkey & Dumplings

2 wild turkey legs
3 C. water
2 Tsp. "Better than Bouillon" (or equivalent stock or bouillon)
1/4 C. walnut ketchup (or, 2-4 Tb. worchestershire sauce)
1/2 cup onions
2-4 cloves garlic
1 Tb. cooking oil
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 - 1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
2 small zucchinis
2 small potatoes (optional)

First, fill a 4-qt. or so Dutch oven  with the water, bouillon, salt, and marjoram, and heat to boil
While the water heats up, brown the turkey legs in a pan with the oil, allspice, paprika and black pepper.  When the water is boiling and the legs browned on all sides, put them in the water.  Cover the pot and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Chop your onions, zucchini and potato, and put them in the pot with the celery seed, walnut ketchup,
and garlic.  Remove your turkey legs, bone them and remove any tendons, and chop the meat coarsely.  Return to the pot and cover, cook for 10 more minutes.

To prepare the dumplings, mix together 1 C. flour, 1 tsp. baking powder and 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. salt.  Stir in a little less than 1/4 C. canola oil, mixing together until it all resembles pea-sized crumbs.  Add 1/2 C. yogurt or buttermilk, and stir til combined. 

After 10 minutes of cooking, organize your meat and veggies to make some hills above the soup, and drop your dumplings onto these hills.  Make six or so.  Cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes.

This is a great, hearty meal, and like I said, make sure to spice as you see fit.  Enjoy!

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