Squirrel and Walnut Dumplings: A Nutty Twist on a Southern Classic
Embrace the Bounty of the Woods
Squirrel and Dumplings is a classic Southern dish, beloved for its hearty and comforting qualities. But what if we told you there’s a way to elevate this traditional favorite? Prepare to embark on a culinary adventure as we introduce you to Squirrel and Walnut Dumplings, a unique and nutty twist that adds an extra layer of flavor to this beloved dish.
For the Squirrel Stew:
- 2-3 squirrels, cleaned and cut into serving pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Fresh thyme leaves for garnish (optional)
For the Dumplings:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup milk
Preparing the Squirrel:
- Season the squirrel pieces with salt and pepper.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add the squirrel pieces and sear them until they are nicely browned on all sides. Remove them from the pot and set them aside.
Making the Squirrel Stew:
- In the same pot, add the chopped onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Return the seared squirrel to the pot.
- Pour in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and let it simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the squirrel meat is tender and starts to fall off the bones.
Preparing the Dumplings:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and chopped walnuts.
- Gradually add the milk while stirring until a thick batter forms.
Adding the Dumplings:
- Once the squirrel meat is tender, drop spoonfuls of the dumpling batter onto the simmering stew.
- Cover the pot and let the dumplings cook for about 15 minutes, or until they are cooked through and fluffy.
Adding the Nutty Twist:
- Stir in the chopped walnuts and heavy cream into the stew.
- Let the stew simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes until the walnuts are heated through and the stew has thickened slightly.
Serving Your Squirrel and Walnut Dumplings:
- Ladle the stew and dumplings into bowls.
- Garnish with fresh thyme leaves if desired.
- Enjoy the unique flavors and textures of this nutty twist on a Southern classic.
This Squirrel and Walnut Dumplings recipe celebrates the rich, nutty flavors of both walnuts and squirrel meat, creating a dish that’s not only hearty but also delightfully nutty. It’s a dish that pays homage to tradition while adding a touch of innovation to the Southern kitchen.