Try our wild game take on this warm and cozy comfort food! It’s rich and creamy sauce compliments light meat wild game birds and the dumplings are just perfectly puffed!
We make this dish using a cast iron dutch oven but you can use any stove top pot with a lid that is wide and high. Regardless of what you cook in, you HAVE to try this!
Here we go…
- 2-3 Lbs. of wild fowl (We like quail and chukar but you could use pheasant, turkey, grouse, or any other lighter meat game bird).
- 10 C. water
- 2-3 Tbsp. of oil (We use olive oil but you could use coconut or vegetable too).
- 5 medium carrots, chopped
- 1/2-3/4 large white onion, chopped
- 5 celery stalks, washed and chopped
- 4 medium cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
- 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme
- 2 Tsp. of fresh rosemary
- 4 bay leaves
- Fresh ground salt and pepper (We use black pepper to season the birds and medley pepper for the sauce but you could use white pepper or all black pepper too–it just depends on the flavor profile you like the best).
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
- 4 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped (reserve 2 Tbsp. for garnish)
For the Dumplings:
- 2 1/2 C. flour
- 6 Tbsp. of sweet cream butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp. baking soda
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 3/4 C. good quality buttermilk (we use Belgium style but any will do)
- Split the birds into sections, leaving the skin on and removing any left over feathers and shot that you may come across.
- Generously coat the birds in oil, salt, and pepper. Brown the fowl in a hot pan coated with a bit of oil. 3-4 minutes on each side should be plenty unless the bird is really big. Remove the birds and set on paper towels while you do the next steps.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, except the water, bay leaves, and cayenne pepper, to the pot with the oil you just removed the birds from and saute until they start to get soft, about 10 minutes or so.
- Once the veggies are semi-soft, add the bird pieces, bay leaves, and water to the pot. Cook at a low boil for 35-45 minutes or until the birds start to fall apart. This time may vary depending on the type of game you’re choosing to use, so keep an eye on your pot.
- Remove meat from pot and remove skin and bones. Shred meat and return it to the pot.
- Pull out 2 cups of the pot juice and whisk 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cayenne pepper to taste (optional) into it. Slowly whisk the mixture back into the pot and simmer for about 10 minutes until sauce is thickened. At this point, while the mixture is starting to thicken, check the seasonings and make sure they’re to your liking. If you want more salt, pepper, thyme, etc. now is the time to add it.
- Dumplings: In a medium bowl, stir together baking powder, baking soda, salt and the rest of the flour. Once combined, make a hole in the center and whisk in buttermilk and cooled butter. Once the dough barely comes together, add the parsley.
- Turn the stove down to low and drop the dough into the mixture by the spoonful. We like lots of smaller dumplings that cover the whole surface of the sauce over just a few large ones. But, it’s up to you how you do this part. Cover the pot and let cook until the dumplings are puffed and “baked” all the way through. It takes about 15 minutes.
- Dish up into bowls, being careful not to soak the dumplings (we think the eater should be the one to soak the dumplings–it makes the experience fun!), and serve with parsley and a big spoon!
Wild Fowl & Dumplings