Monday, November 9, 2009

Turkey and Dumplings

My Venture into Dreaded Turkey Leftovers
You may have seen the recipe I posted last week for Slow-Roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy. Like many people after roasting a turkey, I was stuck with the dreaded turkey leftovers. I've done everything with leftover turkey except put it in my breakfast cereal and make ice cream out of it. Luckily, my mother is always craving turkey so she helped to eat all of the leftovers.

My mother makes WONDERFUL chicken and dumplings. If my mother allows me to, I'll post her recipe sometime. It makes a KILLER meal and you'll want to sob the entire time you're eating because it is sooo good. I think it would be really nice of my mother to make me some chicken and dumplings sometime. Hint, hint. Anyway, this recipe is a spinoff of my mother's. I was very happy with the way it turned out and will definitely be making this again sometime in the near future. Oh, and by the way, this recipe is mom-approved. She, thankfully, ate most of the leftovers so I wouldn't have to add to those dumplings that have been growing on my thighs and backside over the years. This recipe makes a well-seasoned soup that the dumplings bathe in while cooking. It's a one-pot meal that uses some leftover turkey and turkey broth (or turkey gravy) and is a real cinch to throw together in only about 30 minutes. After eating this, you'll be wanting to roast another turkey just to have the leftovers!

This dish is comfort food at its finest. Simple, easy, and delicious. Leftovers don't have to be a four-letter word anymore. Enjoy – and happy eating!

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Turkey and Dumplings
(Printable Version)

Gravy Base
1 1/2 TBSP butter
1 bunch scallions (white and light green parts), finely chopped
1/ 2 cup frozen mixed peas and carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups leftover turkey, cut into bite-size pieces
4 cups turkey broth or leftover turkey gravy
Chicken broth as needed
Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter

Measure out 4 cups of turkey broth or leftover turkey gravy. If using gravy instead of stock, it needs to be quite thin. If the gravy was on the thick side even when it was hot last night at dinner, thin it down with a little chicken stock. If you do not have enough turkey broth or leftover turkey gravy, measure what you have and add some chicken broth until you have approximately 4 total cups of liquid. When I made it last time, I had to add nearly 1 cup of chicken broth because I only had 3 cups of leftover turkey gravy. It tasted just fine.

In a 10" skillet with straight sides, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the scallions, peas, and carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add the turkey then the turkey broth/gravy/chicken broth and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste. Don't under season the broth. Once the dumplings are added, the flavors will be muted so season the broth a little more robustly than you normally would.

While you are waiting for the broth to come to a simmer, make the dumplings by whisking together the flour, baking powder, and salt. When the broth mixture comes to a simmer and you have adjusted the seasonings, add the milk and melted butter to the flour mixture and use a spoon to stir everything together until it is just combined. Don't over mix or you'll toughen the dumplings.

I use two soup spoons to add the dumpling dough to the broth. I scoop up some of the dough with one spoon and push it off into the broth with the other. Continue adding dough as quickly as you can – leaving a little room between dumplings, if possible. It'll be a tight squeeze to get all of the dough into the broth but it'll fit. IMMEDIATELY cover the dumplings with a tight fitting lid and cook for 20 minutes. Whatever you do, DON'T PEEK while they're cooking. The dumplings should lightly simmer while cooking. I normally reduce the heat to someplace between medium low and medium after the first 5 minutes of cooking so the liquid does not simmer too aggressively.

After 20 minutes, take the skillet off the heat and serve piping hot. This is an EXCELLENT way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. Delicious and easy!

TIP: This recipe has a high ratio of dumplings to broth – which means that it is not particularly soupy when fully cooked. If you like a lot of soup with your dumplings, use the same amount of gravy base but halve the dumpling recipe.


  1. Hello Blog Buddies!
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  2. That looks really good! I love your blog, but you are not helping my waistline do anything but expand! :0)

  3. This makes my mouth water, but like you I need to shed a few not gain a few. Oh who am I kidding? I need to shed a whole lot! Anyway, fat people need food too, so I'm going to give this a go with my next turkey.

  4. Oh I have to bookmark this for leftovers!! You can't beat a mom approved recipe!

  5. oh dumplings how I love you so!
    I also agree with Brian :)

  6. OK.. I have to make a confession. Dumplings scare me. They do. Not they themselves exactly, but making them scares me! But they look sooooo goooood...

  7. Trish -- Don't let making them scare you! They are so easy to make and even easier to eat. :-)

  8. Saw this on Tasty Kitchen, tried it last night. Great recipe!!!

  9. I made this after Thanksgiving last year, we loved it! I'm making it tonight with leftover chicken instead. Can't wait!


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