Today’s Turkey Stew with Rosemary Sour Cream Dumplings is brought to you by the word “envy”. It was Thanksgiving in the United States last week and it was not in Canada. I know, we got to go first. We did the turkey, the trimmings, and all the wine. And we’re going to get another shot at the whole feasting thing in less than a month. Rationally, I know this is all true but my petulant inner child is feeling all butthurt and forgotten.
The funny thing is I don’t really envy the main Thanksgiving attraction. You know, the meal itself? It’s the leftovers that I covet. I wish I had leftover turkey lining my freezer! Yes, I know this is more than a little crazy, especially when you consider my well-documented dislike for turkey. I did, after all, spend most of my childhood trying to dodge turkey at Thanksgiving. But I believe leftover turkey is an entirely different animal. Not literally, of course. You know what I mean!
It’s true, I was never one for turkey on Thanksgiving or Christmas for that matter. My ginormous family always did a ham in addition to a turkey and it was my habit to leave the turkey, take the ham and douse the entire plate in turkey gravy. I’m sure that’s sacrilege to someone out there…sorry. But, oddly enough, when it came to leftovers, I was all about the turkey. Turkey sandwiches (of the club and hot variety), turkey tetrazzini, turkey pot pie! All the turkey things!
It stands to reason that on November 24th, when America was chowing down on the bird in question, I wasn’t lamenting my lack of gigantic poultry. But on the morning of the 25th, leftover envy had consumed me. When the less than desirable aspects of my personality start to gnaw at me, I fight back. Depending on what my issue is, this could mean assaulting the problem of with a ton of chocolate or, very occaisionally, exercise. But in the case of turkey envy, this meant I would have to make my own leftover turkey. The ridiculousness of making “leftover turkey” is not lost on me.
Traditionally, when my family makes this Turkey Stew, we actually have leftover turkey. And I must say, the recipe is a lot quicker when you do. So, if you already have leftover turkey, more power to you. Nix the 12 cups of water for 8 cups of poultry stock and sub the raw stuff for whatever turkey meat and bones you have kicking around. But if you’re a nut job like me and your willing to poach a turkey breast and thigh for the sole purpose of making soup, you’ve come to the right place.
A word of warning before making this Turkey Stew: this recipe makes enough to feed an army, so I suggest you invite one over. Preferred army unavailable? Worry not. Before you reach the dumpling step, remove half or three-quarters of the stew and freeze it for later use. Then half or quarter the dumpling mixture and drop it into the simmering soup left in the pot. Easy!
As the days continue to get shorter and the outdoors less hospitable, we could all stand to make some “leftover” turkey. Whip up this Turkey Stew with Rosemary Sour Cream Dumplings tonight because, baby, it’s flippin’ cold outside!
- 1 bone-in turkey breast
- 1 bone-in turkey thigh
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1 cup dry white wine, divided
- 12 cups cold water
- 2 sprigs fresh sage
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 dried bay leaves
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
- 2 small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & coarsely chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled & coarsely chopped
- 2 large parsnips, peeled & coarsely chopped
- 1/2 rutabaga, peeled & coarsely chopped
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- Pat the turkey breast and thigh dry with a paper towel. Liberally salt both sides of the breast and thigh.
- Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the turkey to the pot and brown the meat on all sides. Remove the turkey from the pot and set aside.
- Add 1/2 cup of the white wine and deglaze the pot. Pour in the water and add the turkey back to pot.
- Using butcher twine, fasten the sage, thyme and rosemary into a bundle. Add it and the bay leaves to the pot and bring the water to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until the meat readily pulls away from the bone.
- Take the pot off of the heat and transfer the turkey to a platter to cool slightly. Drain the stock using a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
- When the turkey is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat into bite-sized morsels. Set aside.
- Give the stock pot a quick wipe and return it to the stove. Heat a quarter-sized amount of olive oil in the pot over medium heat until shimmering.
- Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and saute until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Throw in the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.Stir in the celery and again saute until slightly softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the potatoes, carrots, parsnips and rutabaga to the pot and give them a quick toss to coat them in the cooking juices and oil. Add another pinch of salt.
- Pour in the remaining white wine and the reserved poaching liquid. Bring the mixture up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let cook for 30 minutes. Stir in the reserved turkey meat and let cook for 15 minutes more. Taste and season with salt accordingly.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add the fresh rosemary and whisk to combine.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the butter, sour cream and milk together.
- Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in the wet. Stir until a loose, tacky dough forms.
- Bring the stew to a gentle simmer.
- Using a large soup spoon, scoop out heaping spoonfuls of the dumpling dough and drop them into the soup.
- Cover the stew and let cook for 15 minutes or until the dumplings are set.
- Serve immediately.