Easy Campfire Pheasant and Dumplings

A hearty pot of pheasant and dumplings will satisfy a camp full of cold and weary hunters

By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes Print Recipe
prep time
cook time
5-9
serves
Easy
difficulty

When we make a pot of dumplings at home with wild turkey or squirrel, I’m all about homemade dumpling dough and canned wild turkey broth. But every now and then we get a craving for a pot of dumplings at camp, when we don’t have all day or a full kitchen’s worth of supplies to make it happen. 

The broth blends with the floured biscuit strips to form a thick gravy in the pot.

A few days ago, a late-season archery deer camp was just such an occasion. It was one of those cold and blustery stretches of January when everyone comes in from their evening hunts chilled to the bone and in need of a warm meal. 

One of the other hunters in camp had brought along some pheasant breasts from an earlier hunt, and I thought they would be perfect for a big pot of dumplings made over the campfire. The lack of counter space and comfortable prep area was no big deal. With a couple of cans of biscuits and a few staples from our camp kitchen box, I was able to whip up a rich and savory pot of pheasant and dumplings that warmed everyone up and got them ready for the next morning’s hunt. 

We used pheasant for this one, but the same recipe works with turkey, rabbit, squirrel, dove, or any other upland game birds.

Ingredients

2 to 3 pounds boneless, skinless pheasant breasts

1 stick butter

Cavender’s Greek seasoning

Salt and pepper

2 quarts water

2 tablespoons powdered chicken base

2 cans jumbo biscuits

1 cup Kentucky Kernel seasoned flour (or your favorite seasoned flour mixture)

Cooking Instructions

Start by deboning the pheasant breasts.

Remove the breast meat from the bones.

Add a stick of butter to a large Dutch oven suspended over a fire for medium-high heat. While the butter melts, season the pheasant well with Cavender’s Greek seasoning, salt, and pepper.

Season the meat and brown it in butter over the fire.

Add the pheasant to the pot with the melted butter. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pheasant has browned lightly on all surfaces. Add 2 quarts water, and cook until the water is just below a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of powdered chicken base, a handy item to have in your camp kitchen box for adding a rich flavor to any soup or stew. Stir to dissolve the chicken base into the water. Place a lid on the pot and adjust the height of your pot or fire to bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 90 minutes. 

Add the water and the chicken base, then simmer until the pheasant is tender.

While the pheasant cooks, open the canned biscuits. Dump a cup of seasoned flour onto your cutting board or work surface. Use your hand to press a biscuit down to about a third of its original thickness. Flip the biscuit over to flour both surfaces. Use a sharp knife to cut the biscuit into thin strips. Repeat with remaining biscuits.

Hand flatten the biscuits, slice into strips, then toss in seasoned flour.

Once both cans of biscuits have been cut into dumpling-sized strips and the pheasant has simmered until tender, add the dumplings to the pot a few at a time, stirring to blend as you do, until all dumplings are in the pot.

Add the dumplings to the pot and stir to blend.

Return the lid and simmer, stirring every 15 minutes or so, for another hour until the dumplings have plumped and cooked through and the broth has thickened into a rich gravy. 

 

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