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Southern Wild Turkey and Buttermilk Dumplings

Stacy Lyn Harris

  • Serves 8-10
  • Hands on Time: 35 minutes
  • Complete Time using Old Rooster: 3 hours 35 minutes
  • Complete Time Using Organic Supermarket Chicken: 1 hour 35 minutes

turkey and dumplings recipe

There are countless reasons turkey and dumplings must be learned by heart. First off, just learning how to make amazing turkey stock gives you the arsenal you need to make dozens of recipes. Making your own stock not only saves you money…it is money. Seriously, it’s so crazy superior to what you buy at the supermarket. 

The reason wild turkeys make the best stock is that they are free to roam and are slow grown working their muscles as they find insects for food. Especially in these low and slow recipes, the flavor is absolutely more luscious and silkier than that of domesticated chickens or turkeys.  

Stock Ingredients

  • 2 Wild Turkey Breasts
  • 4 quarts (1 gallon) water
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 Vidalia or yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 sprigs parsley
  • 5 sprigs rosemary 
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon pepper


  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk, plus more if dough is too dry

Bring turkey, water, celery, carrots, onion, parsley, rosemary, garlic, and butter to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for at least 6 hours or until the turkey breast begins to fall apart. Make sure to skim the foam as needed.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut shortening into flour until fully incorporated. Add buttermilk slowly into the flour a little at the time. When the dough is easily formed into a ball, knead the dough. If the dough is too wet, add a little flour. You cannot overwork this dough, so keep kneading until it isn’t too wet or dry. 

Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/16 of an inch or even thinner. Pinch or cut into 1-inch squares (I use a pizza cutter for this). Set aside.

When turkey is falling off the bone, remove the pieces to a plate. Strain the broth throwing away vegetables and herbs.

Add broth back to the pot and add butter, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Using two forks, shred the turkey breasts, then return shredded turkey to the broth.
Add the dumplings to the broth and bring to a hard boil. Allow them to boil about 2 minutes and turn off the heat. Stir gently with a wooden spoon every few minutes for the next 30 minutes. This step releases the starch in the dumplings, promotes creaminess, and intensifies the buttery flavors!

To Make Ahead and Freeze:
Prepare dumplings ahead and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, put them in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

To Store Leftovers: 

Refrigerate for up to 2 days. The longer the turkey and dumplings sit, the thicker the stock and the more liquid the dumplings soak up making them thicker as well. 
To Reheat:
Sprinkle a little water into your microwavable bowl and microwave until hot. Stop every minute or so and stir as gently as possible. 

If you have dove meat on hand, you can try dumplings with doves!

Wild, Top Quality, and All Natural Wild Game available at Gamekeeper Butchery

Need wild game meat for a recipe you've been wanting to try? Check out GameKeeper Butchery. GameKeeper Butchery is dedicated to procuring the finest assortment and highest quality of specialty meats from the United States and around the world. Our commitment is to deliver the safest, freshest and most wholesome products.

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