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Game Bird & Dumplings

Jeremiah Doughty | From Field to Plate

game bird and dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in upland game bird pieces (all thighs or a whole cut up game bird or a mixture of light & dark meat)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 5 cups broth

For the Dumplings:

  • 1 ¾  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large, deep pot set over medium-high heat, melt together olive oil and butter. Generously season bird pieces with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on both sides, working in batches so as not to crowd the pot (about 4 to 6 minutes per side). Transfer birds to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the celery, carrots, and garlic to the pot. Cook the vegetables in the drippings until they begin to soften, stirring and adjusting the heat as necessary, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the browned  pieces, thyme, bay leaves, garlic powder, onion powder, and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme stems and bay leaves. Transfer the cooked bird to a plate. Remove and discard the skin and bones, shred the bird, and return to the pot.
  3. Ladle 2 cups of the cooking liquid into a large bowl or quart-sized measuring cup. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the flour until smooth. Continuously whisk the contents of the pot while slowly pouring in the flour mixture. Simmer and whisk until slightly thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. To make the dumplings, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in the melted butter, buttermilk, and minced parsley until just combined. With heat reduced to low, drop rustic, tablespoon-sized balls into the simmering broth. (Dumpling dough should be slightly sticky.) Gently add dumplings one at a time and then simmer, covered, until the dumplings are firm, about 12 to 15 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, sprinkled with additional minced fresh parsley.

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