Recipe courtesy of The Local Craft Food and Drink

Pulled Hen and Buttermilk Dumplings

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  • Total: 10 hr 40 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 1 hr 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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4 tablespoons unsalted butter

24 Dumplings, recipe follows

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups Pulled Hen meat plus 1 cup reserved broth from cooking the hens, recipe follows

1 cup fresh corn kernels 

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 

2 stalks celery, cut into small dice 

1 carrot, cut into small dice 

1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced and browned 

2 tablespoons bourbon 

1 cup Parmesan Broth, recipe follows

1/4 cup grated Parmesan 

Finely chopped fresh chives, for garnish 


1 cup buttermilk

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus additional for buttering the parchment 

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic 

1/2 teaspoon granulated onion 

Kosher salt

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting 

3 large eggs 

Olive oil, for oiling the dumplings


One 4- to 4 1/2-pound stewing hen

4 stalks celery, chopped 

3 fresh bay leaves 

3 large carrots, chopped 

2 Spanish onions, chopped 

1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, chopped 

Kosher salt

Parmesan Broth:

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 strips smoked thick-cut bacon, diced 

4 cloves 

8 Parmesan rinds, roughly chopped 

2 fresh bay leaves 

1 quart heavy cream 


  1. In a wide saucepot, melt the butter until browned. Add the Dumplings and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the Dumplings are lightly browned. Add the Pulled Hen meat, corn, crushed red pepper, celery, carrots and cooked onions. Add the bourbon and light it on fire to cook off the alcohol. Add the Pulled Hen broth and Parmesan Broth and bring to a simmer. Add the Parmesan and cook until melted into the soup. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed. Divide among 4 soup bowls and garnish with some finely chopped chives.


Yield: 4 servings
  1. In a saucepot, combine the buttermilk, butter, granulated garlic and onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and whisk in the flour all at once. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until a dough is formed and it pulls away from the sides of the pot. Remove from the heat. Using a sturdy wooden spoon, mix in one egg at a time, making sure each one is fully incorporated before adding the next. Once all the eggs are added, wrap the dough loosely in buttered parchment paper and refrigerate until cool, about 3 hours.
  2. Dust a rimmed baking sheet with flour and set aside. Unwrap the dough and cut into 4 equal portions. On a floured surface, roll the portions into equal-shaped logs, about 1- to 1 1/2-inches thick. Cut into 1-inch long pieces and transfer to the floured baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to use, or at least 10 minutes.
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the dumplings and allow them to float to the surface, then cook 1 minute more. Remove from the water and drain well, then toss with some olive oil and spread on a baking sheet lined with a clean kitchen towel. Let sit at least 30 minutes. (Dumplings can be prepared up to this point well in advance.) 


Yield: 8 cups meat and 16 cups broth
  1. In a large pot big enough to hold the hen, place the hen, celery, bay leaves, carrots, onions, parsley and 1 tablespoon salt. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Skim the broth while it cooks to remove any impurities. Cook until the meat is tender and easily pulled, about 4 hours.
  2. Remove the hen and allow to cool until cool enough to handle. Pull all the meat and mix together the white meat and dark meat evenly, then reserve 2 cups of meat. (Reserve the remaining meat for things like chicken salads, rice dishes, soups, etc.) Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer and reserve 1 cup. Any excess broth can be used as chicken stock.

Parmesan Broth:

Yield: 3 cups
  1. In a saucepot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned. Add the cloves and lightly toast until they are aromatic. Throw in the Parmesan rinds, bay leaves and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and cook until the Parmesan rinds are very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and reserve.

Cook’s Note

The leftover Parmesan Broth makes a great base for a pasta sauce¿add some red pepper flakes and some more Parmesan when tossing the pasta¿or a great add-in while mashing potatoes.