Rabbit and Dumplings
- 2 wild rabbits, 3 squirrels or a wild turkey leg quarter
- 2 gallons water
- 1 onion, halved
- 4 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 oz. butter
- 6 medium carrots, sliced thickly
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced thickly
- ¼ Cup flour
- 2C AP flour
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cold butter
- 2/3 Cup milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp each fresh chopped sage, thyme, rosemary and parsley
- Zest of one lemon
In a large pot, combine the rabbit (or squirrel or turkey), water, halved onion, cloves and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Skim any foam that rises to the surface and simmer the rabbit until tender, about 3-6 hours, adding water if necessary to keep them submerged. Carefully strain the stock through a fine strainer into another pot and discard the onion, cloves and bay; reserve 2 quarts of stock (add water if needed to make 2 quarts) and keep the strained stock warm over low heat. Cool any leftover stock for another use. Allow the rabbit to cool slightly and shred the meat. Discard the bones and put the meat in the refrigerator.
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the carrots, onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring often. Add about 2 cups of the reserved stock to the pot, stirring until thickened. Continue to add the warm stock until all of the stock has been added. Keep the pot barely bubbling at a bare simmer – do not boil.
Make the dumplings: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the cold butter and pinch together with the flour until it is in small, pea-sized pieces. Add the milk, egg, herbs and zest and stir until just combined, gently and briefly kneading with your hands.
Add the shredded rabbit to the pot, then drop in golfball sized pieces of the dumpling mixture. Cover the pot with a lid and let simmer for another 20 minutes, or until the dumplings are fluffy and cooked through. Season with salt and lots of fresh cracked pepper. Serve hot.
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