There are only two Thanksgiving leftovers I’m really interested in. One is the carcass of the turkey, for broth; the other is the stuffing, for without stuffing there can be no stuffing dumplings to poach in the broth. Stuffing dumplings! Such an inspired idea. I with I had thought of it decades ago. Indeed, I wish I could claim credit for the idea at all. But credit belongs to the wonderful Tom Valenti, chef and owner of Ouest, in New York. The recipe for Turkey Soup with Stuffing Dumplings comes from his book Tom Valenti’s Soups, Stews, and One-Pot Meals. The dumplings are easy to make and require nothing but a cup or two of leftover stuffing and a couple of egg yolks (or one whole egg) to bind the mixture together, plus any additional seasoning you would like to add. A word of caution: Take care to pack your stuffing mixture tightly, or the dumplings may fall apart in the broth. This, however, is not the end of the world; it has happened to me on more than one occasion when I’ve used a particularly chunky stuffing. In such a case I just call it Stuffing Soup and serve it. Valenti suggests adding diced leftover turkey and vegetables (carrots, celery, and onions used to make the broth) to bolster the soup. But on the day after Thanksgiving, I like to keep things as simple as possible–a couple of dumplings simmered in fresh turkey broth with a little sprinkling of parsley and Parmigiano cheese on top is all the inspiration I need. Buon Appetito!
Adapted from Tom Valenti’s Soups, Stews, and One-Pot Meals (with Andrew Friedman, Scribner, 2003)
The original recipe calls for just 1 cup of leftover stuffing to serve 6 but I double the amount to yield 12 golf ball-size dumplings. This is just enough for a light supper for my family of four.
- 2 large egg yolks or 1 large egg
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, or sage, or a combination, plus additional parsley for serving
- 2 packed cups leftover stuffing
- Optional additions: 1 cup chopped leftover turkey and 1 cup chopped leftover vegetables, such as carrots, celery, or onions
- 8 cups homemade turkey broth
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving
Put the egg yolks (or egg) in a medium mixing bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the herbs and mix well with a fork. Add the stuffing and stir gently but thoroughly to combine. Scoop up a tablespoon of the stuffing batter and roll it in your hands to form a golf ball-sized dumpling. Place the dumpling on plate or baking sheet. Continue to make dumplings until you have used all of the batter. You should end up with 12 dumplings. Cover the plate loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Heat the broth in a pot large enough to hold all of the dumplings. When it is simmering, carefully lower the dumplings into the broth and heat through, about 7 minutes. Add the leftover turkey and vegetables, if using, during the last 2 minutes of cooking time. To serve, place 3 dumplings into each of 4 bowls and ladle some broth over each serving. Sprinkle with a little parsley and Parmigiano cheese and serve.