Wild Recipes

Wild Turkey and Dumplings

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My first hunt after passing hunter’s education was a wild turkey. Early opening morning, I set out to cross the river bottoms in search of Rio Grand or Merriam toms, filled with hopeful anticipation I would find a harvestable bird but also filled with a small splash of hope I wouldn’t run into any birds so I wouldn’t have to actually harvest a bird. 

Hunting is funny that way. The only true practice for mastery is to go out and hunt. You can target shoot, get in shape, watch hunting videos, and listen to all the podcasts you want, but nothing will prepare for an actual hunt more than just going out and getting true experience; however, that true experience is internally terrifying because you feel completely unprepared for what lies at hand. I don’t think I have experienced many more trials in life where I felt so excited to do something but also terrified of how it was going to play out. It’s a weird balance to try and maintain while out in the field, but it is great to experience because the skills you develop during that hunt can be applied to so many other life trials. 

After my first turkey hunt, which was successful in the harvest sense but showed me how much more I needed to learn before the next season, I wanted to prepare something from every part of the turkey. I wanted that tom to last me for as many meals as possible. I made meatball dishes from the breast, stock from the bones and feet, and even a pair of earrings from some of the feathers. My favorite, absolute favorite, dish from the turkey though was this wild turkey and dumpling dish. It is easy to put together and incredibly flavorful. The broth is rich and aromatic, filled with strong odors of marjoram and tarragon, and the dumplings are buttery and chewy. It is one delectable meal!

Serving Size: 6 servings
Time to make: 6 hours

Looking for more wild turkey recipes? Try this Rosemary Ranch Wild Turkey by Gunner Emberg!

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Wild Turkey and Dumplings

Recipe by Lindsey Bartosh
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Course: Wild Recipes


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  • Two carrots

  • Two celery stalks

  • 1 Medium sized onion

  • Nine chicken bouillon cubes

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 1 Wild turkey leg and thigh (bone in)

  • Three tablespoons fresh marjoram

  • One package fresh tarragon, between five and seven sprigs

  • Four bay leaves

  • Eight cups water

  • One quart heavy cream

  • Four cans refrigerated Pilsbury buttermilk biscuits

  • One Tablespoon cornstarch

  • Black pepper to taste


  • Chop up the carrots, celery stalks, and onion.
  • Place chopped vegetables with butter into crockpot. Add cleaned turkey leg, still on the bone, and nine chicken bouillon cubes.
  • Mince marjoram and tarragon, stems can be left in mince. Add to crockpot. Add bay leaves.
  • Pour in 8 cups of water, enough to fully cover the turkey leg. Cover and set the crock pot to high heat.
  • After eight hours, remove turkey leg and shred. Discard bone. Transfer soup base, including all vegetables and herbs, and shredded turkey meat to a large stock pot.
  • Mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with half a cup of soup base. Add dissolved cornstarch into the pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and stir until thickened.
  • Break biscuits into three or four pieces and add to pot.
  • Cover and simmer for ten minutes. Stir and simmer for ten more minutes.
  • Uncover and add heavy cream. Mix until incorporated.
  • Cut a slice of thick crusted bread for dunking and enjoy!!!

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Lindsey Bartosh

Lindsey Bartosh lives in southeastern Utah where she spends her time hiking, biking, hunting, and fishing. She runs a website, huntingandcooking.com, and also a weekly radio show about seeking, pursuing, and processing wild game.

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