Pheasant & Dumplings

INGREDIENTS:

3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, cut into small dice
5 medium carrots, cut crosswise into small dice
4 sprig fresh thyme
1 cup all-purpose flour
15 ounces’ chicken broth
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 whole Pheasant (approx. 1 lb each)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas

METHOD:

1. In a Dutch oven (or a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid), heat butter over medium. Add onion, carrots, and thyme. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

2. Add 1/4 cup flour and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly; season with salt and pepper. Nestle pheasants into the pot; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup flour, chives, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. With a fork, gradually stir in 1/2 cup buttermilk to form a moist and soft batter. It should be just a little thicker than pancake batter and should easily drop from the tip of a spoon. (Add additional 2 tablespoons buttermilk if too thick.) Set aside.

4. Remove pheasants from pot and cool slightly until cool enough to handle, then remove all the soft pheasant meat from the bones, then place the shredded meat back to the pot.

5. Stir peas into pot. Drop batter in simmering liquid in 10 heaping tablespoonful’s, keeping them spaced apart (dumplings will swell as they cook). Cover, and simmer until dumplings are firm, 20 minutes. Serve.