These homemade dumplings are so tender, so delicious, so mouthwatering they melt in your mouth. We love homemade turkey and dumplings or homemade chicken and dumplings. These have always been one of my kids favorite foods, too. Words don’t adequately describe what these wonderful dumpling noodles taste like after cooking on the stove with their own rich turkey broth and loaded with lots of turkey meat. This is a great way to use up leftover turkey meat, and I only used meat that was left on the carcass. It was still a lot of meat.
Soft, pliable, noodles boiled until tender and seasoned with lots of salt and pepper. I like to add parsley and sometimes even diced carrots, onions, and celery (which my mom never did), but it adds a little zest if you want to change it up a little bit. These egg noodles are just scrumptious and in every way superior to the canned chicken and dumplings you can buy off the shelf. I change things up a little for chicken and dumplings, but when you boil off a turkey carcass you get such a rich broth you don’t need to add anything else.
Unless you have actually made or tasted homemade noodles from scratch before you will never realize the inferior quality of store-bought pasta on the shelf. Homemade noodles are so tender and succulent whereas pasta made from huge machines is much tougher and can never attain the wonderful texture of hand kneading and rolling. Using UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour also makes a difference. Bleached flour toughens any kind of baked goods, including homemade noodles and pasta.
I’ve done the best I can trying to take pictures of the process but, quite frankly, it is much easier to actually watch me do it and be with me in the kitchen so you can experience it yourself and so you can get the texture right. If you watch the short video on my “Tips for Baking Homemade Bread” you can get an idea of the kneading process. That’s the best I can offer. I use the same process anytime I knead rolls, bread, or noodles. It’s really not difficult, and once you get the motions down you will find it’s very good exercise for your shoulders and upper arms!
If you really want to learn how to make homemade noodles, pie crusts, breads, etc., and you are having difficulty learning on your own, find someone in your church, family, or extended social network who knows how to do it and shadow them! Ask them if you can come over to their home and watch them do it sometime.
I went to a ladies’ potluck last Sunday night at our church and found out one of the women there really loves making pies. Her crusts are beautiful. I told her I’d like to come over sometime and watch her do it. I know how to make pie! And, I know how to make homemade pie crusts really well. But you can always improve your skills by watching and helping others. Making homemade noodles or dumplings, pie crusts and even homemade rolls and bread is almost a lost art these days. Centuries ago young girls learned from their mothers (which is how I learned, and my mother, and her mother before her). But if you don’t have a mom, sister, or other relative that knows how to make baked goods from scratch find someone who does and is willing to teach you. They can show you all kinds of tips that you’ll never pick up in a cookbook or even on a food blog.
I made 3 batches of the dumpling noodles since I had such a large amount of turkey and turkey broth after boiling off the carcass. It’s a great meal and comfort food to give away to those in need also. Most people enjoy this wonderful dish. There really seems to be a dearth of those willing to expend the effort to make homemade noodles from scratch these days. Don’t be scared off into not trying your hand at homemade breads, noodles, or pie crusts. They really are not that difficult once you understand and get a feel for the texture.
We love turkey and dumplings. We love chicken and dumplings. Even though these can be a bit of work, this is a great way to use up a leftover turkey carcass or rotisserie chicken. If you are willing to give this a go, you will be so wonderfully surprised and what an amazing comfort food this delicious soup can be. It’s so hardy, sticks to the ribs, and is extremely economical if you don’t mind the tedious process of deboning the turkey and making noodles from scratch.
This fabulous recipe is from my mom with my adaptations. I have no idea where Mom got the recipe, but I think it was from her mother. My parents always referred to this as pot pie. But it really isn’t pot pie. It’s turkey or chicken and dumplings, or turkey and chicken and noodles–but not pot pie. Pot pie has a crust which this recipe doesn’t have. Regardless, you will love this recipe!
I didn’t realize until I sat down to write this post that I forgot to take pictures the day we served this. There is nothing quite like eating it right after you make it. After it is refrigerated it congeals a little and you have to add a little water to reconstitute it a little.
This is the most accurate picture of what this recipe looks like when it’s finished. The noodles are so tender and delicious. When you reheat this on the stove top or in the crockpot be careful not to overcook or heat the noodles at too high a temperature. They will eventually disintegrate and break apart if you do that.
I like adding a little extra parsley and pepper to mine.
Here’s what I did.
Place the turkey carcass into a huge roaster pot. Add any leftover broth. This is my special turkey pot from Guardian Ware. It’s made to roast turkeys and cook down the carcass. I love this pot.
I added 2 1/2 quarts of water so that water came to about 1 inch below the top of the pot.
Here I’m adding the water.
Here I’ve added the water.
Heavily salt and pepper the water and carcass in the stock pot.
Cover with lid and cook down several hours. I cooked mine about 5 hours. You will have to add about a quart of water half way through. Turn off heat and let carcass and broth cool – about an hour.
About 30 minutes before you turn the heat off under the stock pot cooking the turkey begin making noodles. Add flour to large mixing bowl. I am making 3 batches of dumpling noodles so this is a lot more than you would probably normally make.
Stir salt into flour to combine.
Stir ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
This is what that looks like.
Add cold water to mixture. I use cold water from the refrigerator.
Stir until all of the crumbs are combined. Sometimes I have to add a little more water to make sure it is all combined.
Flour well a bread board.
Place dough on floured board and sprinkle heavily with flour. Knead.
Continue working in flour. Here I am pulling the dough at the back toward me, scooting flour from the board into the dough and working it in by pushing down with the heels of my hands.
Keep working in the flour.
Pull dough toward you with one hand and push it back with the heel of the other hand, continuing to work in the flour as you do it. Rotate the dough around like a clock so all of the dough gets worked and not just one side.
Here’s a picture of me pushing the dough away.
Here I’m pushing the dough away with the heel of my left hand. You will knead until smooth and elastic about 5-10 minutes. I was working a triple batch so it probably took a little longer than a single batch to get all the flour worked in so you have a pliable dough.
Add more flour if necessary. Here you can see the difference in the texture as the dough is getting pretty close to ready.
Note how much flour I use. This is not a job for the fainthearted!
You can see in this picture that as I pull the dough toward me I sweep more flour into it and the flour is coating the bottom of the dough. As I then push the dough away with my left hand by pushing the flour into the dough it works more and more flour into the dough so that it becomes the right texture. Not the gushey texture I started with but more and more firm, yet smooth and elastic.
Here’s what the dumpling dough looks like after kneading.
Here’s another look. Now we get on to rolling out the dough.
Each batch of dough is to be cut in half. So since I made three batches I broke of dough into 6 pieces. Each of these dough balls will be rolled out and used as noodles.
I can’t stress enough that you MUST use plenty of flour. Don’t worry about how much you are using. Any extra will go into the pot and naturally thicken the broth. If you are making these on a counter next to your stove you won’t run into the difficulty I did. But because I knew I didn’t have enough counter space for 6 pieces of dough I had all this laid out on a couple of 8-foot tables in my dining room. Then I had to transport the dough into the kitchen. It must be floured enough on the bottom or the dough will stick and adhere to each other and make a big globby mess.
Press dough down a little to flatten. Sprinkle heavily with flour.
With a rolling pin start rolling out dough. Roll a couple of times. Turn dough completely over and sprinkle with more flour if necessary. Roll a couple more times and turn dough 90 degrees. Keep doing this a couple of times until you are able to really get it going.
If the dough is of right consistency because you have kneaded it long enough it rolls really easily and stretches like elastic. If not, you will really have to work it hard with a rolling pin to get it to roll out.
Here I’ve stretched it out a little with a rolling pin.
Turn sideways and roll vertically again.
Here I’ve turned the dough over to keep working it. Make sure you sprinkle the table with more flour before you do this.
Keep rolling working from the middle to the outside until you get a really thin dough. You will be able to tell when it is done because it almost stops being able to be rolled when you’re done.
Here I’ve rolled it out about as much as I can.
I rolled out all six batches.
Here’s a picture of the first 3 batches.
This picture shows all six batches of the dough rolled out. They will not be perfect rounds. Don’t worry about that.
Here I’m using my pastry wheel to cut the dough.
This picture shows what the dough looks like after using the pastry wheel to cut the dough. Let dough sit for at least an hour to dry out. Mine actually sat two hours before I was ready to use it.
Now it’s time to remove the carcass, debone all the meat, and get the pan ready for boiling the dumplings.
I place all the gristle, bones, cartilege, skin, membranes, and everything that is not meat in plastic shopping bags.
The meat is going into the bottom of my stock pot.
I skim the broth and continue to pull up meat and all kinds of stuff. I place the skimmings onto a platter. Then I sift through each batch separating the meat from the inedible material which is like looking for hidden treasure!
With this skimming I pull the meat off the bone and place the bones in the trash bag and the meat in the stock pot.
Turkey carcasses have a lot of these kinds of pieces especially in the drumsticks to beware of. When you sift through the meat go through each piece with your fingers to ensure there is not small bits of cartilege or bones hiding between the layers of meat. It is a lot of work but by not discarding the carcass you can end up with a meal to serve 15-20 people for a few dollars.
Once I have skimmed out all of the pan the best I can then I strain the broth. Under the colander is a large mixing bowl. The good broth will sift through into the bowl and the colander will hold all the extra gristle, bones, skin, etc., that I wasn’t able to get the first time.
There was a lot of meat left on this carcass. I also added any extra celery that remained because of the stuffing.
I split the turkey meat and the turkey broth between my two largest stock pots. I think they are 12-16 quart size.
Add salt and pepper. I think I put about a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper in each one. But you can season as you desire.
Here’s my scrap pile. I double bag the trash and discard.
I added some water to the stock pots to fill about two-thirds of the way full.
Here’s a picture of me adding the dumpling noodles to the broth. It took quite a while to heat these pots to boiling. My other pot took over an hour!!! This one seemed to conduct the heat better and it was ready in 20-30 minutes.
I had to transport the noodles from the dining room to the kitchen so I began to stack the noodles on a plate. I had to sprinkle each row with a little flour so they didn’t stick together.
Here’s another look. Once I get all the noodles into the stock pot I cook the dumpling noodles, covered, about 45 minutes or until done. These cooked close to an hour because there was a lot. My recipe calls for them to cook in a lot less time but I have found them gummy if I don’t cook them a little longer.
I like adding salt, pepper, and parsley to my turkey and dumplings, or chicken and dumplings.
Here you can see the salt, pepper and parsley added to each batch of dumpling noodles.
When I’m cooking multiple batches like this it takes a good 45 minutes to get all of the noodles cooked. Sometimes even longer.
This is the best picture of what these dumpling noodles truly look like after cooking. Once the dumplings are refrigerated they thicken a lot more and you have to add a little water. You can thicken a little with a paste made with flour and water, but if you have plenty of flour on the noodles you won’t usually have to do this. I didn’t do it at all.
Homemade Turkey and Dumplings. Yum, yum!
Here’s a bowl of these delicious dumplings. I like mine with extra parsley, salt, and pepper.
Here’s a spoonful.
Here’s the recipe.
HOMEMADE TURKEY AND DUMPLINGS
(Recipe from my mom, Helen Mattis as given to my sister, Phillis Gleason, Colorado Springs, CO)
3 qts. water
6-8 beef or chicken bouillon cubes (I use this when doing chicken, but not turkey since it makes such a rich broth)
2 cups cut up chicken or turkey pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring water to a boil. Add bouillon, chicken salt and pepper. Simmer while making egg noodles.
2 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
¼ to ½ cup cold water (I use between 1/2 and 3/4 cup cold water)
Mix together and add water as needed to make dough for a ball. Turn dough on a well-floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Cover, let rest 10 minutes. Divide in half. Roll out flat and thin and using pastry cutter, cut dough into 2 to 3” squares. Let dry for about 1 hour. Place one at a time into rapidly boiling bouillon broth. Can remove chicken or turkey to allow room and add back later. Use a fork to make room to drop each square in after all noodles have been added. Lower temperature until dumplings are done about 20-30 minutes. (Mine usually take closer to 45 minutes). Add enough flour to thicken broth a little and add chicken back and simmer or serve.
NOTE: I season the broth with parsley, some garlic powder and chives. I usually boil off a whole chicken and double or triple the noodle recipe. This is also good with a turkey carcass. If you desire you can add about ½ cup diced onions, celery, and carrots to boiling broth while preparing noodles.
You just can’t beat homemade egg dumpling noodles. No store bought brand can match these for tenderness, taste, or enjoyment.
Here’s a close up look so you can see the texture. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!
Come and get it!