Leftover Roast Bird and Dumpling Stew

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If you regularly make or purchase a whole roast chicken, you might wonder how to stretch the leftovers after most of the good parts have already been carved and consumed.

The truth us, there are plenty of scraps left on the chicken carcass. When simmered down for hours, the meat melts off the bone, and all of the flavors left in the bones and joints enrich the broth.

I often cook down any leftover chicken, turkey, or hen by making Thanksgiving Leftovers Bird Stew—which, by the way, is not limited to Thanksgiving. Another way is to make this Leftover Roast Bird and Dumpling Stew—which is nearly identical to my Thanksgiving Leftover Bird Stew, but with the added dumplings and a thicker broth.

I am a huge advocate of the waste not, want not philosophy, so when all that is left of a chicken, hen, or turkey is its ugly carcass, I turn that sack of bones and scraps into some of the best stew of the season. Upcycled leftover scraps make for delicious, economical dinners.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • Easy option for holiday or Sunday leftovers
  • Easy to prepare
  • Highly versatile
  • Simple, wholesome ingredients
  • Hearty, flavorful classic
  • Perfect for chilly day
  • Ingredients are easily interchangeable
  • Soft, fluffy dumplings

Carcasses and scraps before cooking

This recipe is extremely versatile. The meat can be substituted with nearly anything. Instead of chicken, you might try hen, pigeon, or duck. If you are a turkey fan, use turkey.

If broth is unavailable, the same results can be achieved using plain water. Try leeks instead of celery, or potatoes instead of wild rice. The decision is truly yours.

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Thanksgiving Leftovers Bird Stew

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Cooked, revamped bird with dumplings

TOOLS

6 Quart Dutch Oven or Slow Cooker

Large Mixing Bowls

Soup Ladle

Leftover Roast Bird and Dumpling Stew

Course Main Course
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Servings 12 people

Ingredients

For the stew

  • 5-8 lbs carcass and leftover meats from a chicken, turkey, Cornish hens, or any bird of choice 4 to 6 thighs or drumsticks can be added if necessary if you would like more meat.
  • 1 sweet onion sliced
  • 3 carrots sliced
  • 4 celery stalks sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 cups (400g) leftover vegetables such as mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, or poratoes
  • 4 tbsp Fresh Italian Seasoning or 1 large bunch each of thyme, rosemary, and 2 sage leaves , OR 2 tbsp dried Italian seasoning, OR 2 tbsp rotisserie chicken seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves torn
  • 4 qt (6.5 pints) bone stock or water
  • 1 cup (200g) wild rice (pre soaked) or any cooked rice to be be added at the end
  • 1 cup peas
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the dumplings

  • 3 cups (390g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme or 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup (200ml) water
  • 6 tbsp butter melted
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

For the stew

  1. Preheat your oven to 250°F (120°C).
  2. Place all of the prepared onions, garlic, celery, carrots, leftover vegetables, herbs, and wild rice at the bottom of a 6qt Dutch oven. If using regular rice, save the rice for after the stew is cooked.
  3. Add the bird carcass to one side of the Dutch oven, and place additional meat on the other side of the Dutch oven.
  4. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the bone stock or water to the Dutch oven.
  6. Cover the Dutch oven with a lid and cook the stew in the oven for five hours.
  7. After five hours, add the peas and cooked rice (if using).

  8. Season with additional salt or pepper to taste if needed. Carefully take the stew out of the oven and place it on a heat resistant surface.

  9. Remove the cover from the Dutch oven and use a fork to shred the remaining meat off the bones. Carefully remove all bones from the stew.

For the dumplings

  1. Mix all of the dumpling ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and knead with your hands until the dough comes together into a slightly sticky mass.

  2. Using an ice cream scoop or large heaping tablespoons, drop mounds of dough onto the surface of the stew.

  3. Return the lid to the Dutch oven and place the stew back into the oven. Cook for one more hour.

  4. Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and allow the stew to cool for at least fifteen minutes before serving.

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