In the spirit of Thanksgiving, this week I’m highlighting a turkey recipe. Nothing brightens up a melancholy day better than comfort food, and there is no better comfort food than wild turkey and dumplins’!
For this recipe, I used the leg of a Rio Grande turkey I harvested during the spring hunt. I know the leg looks a little beat up, but this particular turkey took a shot to the leg. I could have used the turkey’s other leg, but I wanted to share a little tip I learned when cleaning this turkey: When you clean animals shot with a shotgun, you can end up with a lot of pellets in your meat. To extract the pellets, find the holes on the surface of the meat where the BB entered and the follow its path. Your meat will end up looking a little beat up, like this leg does, but I did not bite in to any BBs during the meal. Biting down on a BB can be a real meal ender!
Turkey legs can be a bit tough. I tried roasting them, and I just didn’t like the texture. But in soup, they shine: after slow cooking all day, they become tender and flavorful. This is one of those meals you can start in the morning before you leave for work and then finish it up when you get home in the evening. Nothing is better at the end of a cold winter’s day than walking through the door and being hit with the smells of turkey soup slow cooking all day—so good!
Turkey and Dumpling soup
* 2 carrots
* 2 celery stalks
* 1 medium sized onion
* 9 chicken bouillon cubes
* ¼ cup butter
* Wild turkey leg and thigh (bone in)
* 3 tablespoons fresh marjoram
* 1 package fresh tarragon
* 7 bay leaves
* 8 cups water
* 1 quart heavy cream
* 4 cans refrigerated Pilsbury buttermilk biscuits
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch
* Black pepper to taste
1. Chop up the carrots, celery stalks, and onion. Place with butter in crockpot.
2. Add turkey leg and nine chicken bouillon cubes.
3. Chop up and add marjoram, tarragon, and bay leaves. Pour in 8 cups of water. Cover and set the crock pot to high heat.
4. After eight hours, remove turkey leg and shred: discard bone and return turkey meat to pot.
5. Transfer soup to a large stock pot. Mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with half a cup of soup base.
6. Add dissolved cornstarch back into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir until thickened.
7. Break biscuits into three or four pieces and dunk into pot. Cover and simmer for ten minutes.
8. Stir, then simmer for ten more minutes.
9. Uncover and add heavy cream. Mix until incorporated.
10. Cut a slice of thick crusted bread and enjoy!!!
Lindsey Bartosh, an eighth-generation Moab girl, loves hiking, hunting, fishing, cooking, writing, photography and working on her website www.huntingandcooking.com.