Old Fashioned Squirrel and Dumplings
My youngest son, Potroast, is fanatical about squirrel hunting. Since our home state of Kentucky has a squirrel season that covers around eight months of the year, he has ample time to chase bushytails.
If I have it on hand, I like to cook my squirrels in chicken stock, but cold water, a bay leaf and some salt will suffice.
3-4 squirrels, skinned but not quartered
2-3 quarts chicken stock or water with a bay leaf and a tablespoon of salt
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable shortening or butter
½ cup cold milk
Start the recipe well in advance of meal time (the night before is fine, but the 3 to 4 hours it takes to simmer the squirrels is long enough) by making the dumplings. Whisk the salt and baking powder into the flour then cut in the shortening with a fork until you have pea-sized bits mixed throughout the flour. Gradually stir in milk, a bit at a time, until the mixture forms a smooth dough. Sprinkle a work surface with flour and roll out the dough into a 1/8-inch-thick sheet. Cover with a clean towel and set the dough aside to rest overnight or until the squirrel is done.
Uncover your rested dumpling dough and, using a pizza cutter, cut it into 1-inch by 2-inch dumplings.
Drop the dumplings into the boiling stock and simmer for another 10 minutes until they are cooked through, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.