Mary Anne here. After stuffing our Thanksgiving gourds and then relishing 10PM sandwiches piled high with turkey, stuffing, cranberry chutney and even sweet potatoes (a la Mariel – and a new combo for me!), it’s time to make thorough use of the holiday bounty by preparing entrees utilizing our leftovers. There are plenty of recipes for feasting on the remains, but the one my family most enjoys is my Turkey Pot Pie.
Early Saturday morning my eldest son caught me in the kitchen, rolling out pastry and creating a basic roux for our dinner that night. While he’s nearly 25 years old, his eyes lit up and he just about squealed with delight at the prospect of digging into a serving of this childhood favorite.
This entrée is simple; hands-on time is about 30 minutes and the pie can be covered with plastic wrap, refrigerated, and then baked later in the day. It literally costs nothing to prepare if you have a well-stocked pantry, turkey, and about 2 cups of leftover cooked veggies. Green beans, peas, carrots, corn, mushrooms, onions or anything lingering in your fridge will work well in this hearty dish.
Additionally, if you have tons of leftovers, you can double the recipe. Roll out the dough to fit a 9 x 11 rectangular “brownie” pan. Follow the directions for the recipe, doubling up on the filling ingredients. Baking time is approximately the same.
Turkey Pot Pie – Leftovers
Note: If you don’t feel like preparing pie crusts, this recipe is also delicious as a “Creamed Turkey.” Prepare the filling as directed, but serve spooned over puffed pastry shells. (Shells are available in the freezer section of most supermarkets. Bake according to package directions.)
Ingredients for the Filling:
2 Tablespoons sweet butter – stock
3 Tablespoons flour – stock
1 Teaspoon salt – stock
¼ Teaspoon freshly ground pepper – stock
¼ Teaspoon thyme – stock
1 cup chicken/turkey stock
1 cup milk or light cream or even lo-fat milk – stock
2 cups cooked turkey (or chicken) – Thanksgiving leftovers
2 cups of cooked mixed vegetables (or frozen mixed veggies if you don’t have enough leftover) – $1.29 for mixed frozen veggies
Basic Pie Crust:
2 ½ cups flour – stock
1 teaspoon salt – stock
1 teaspoon sugar – stock
2 sticks sweet butter, sliced – stock
½ cup ice water
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $1.29
Cost per serving: $0.16
1. Prepare the pie crust. Arm the food processor with its metal blade and pour in all of the ingredients, except the ice water. Press pulse for about 10 seconds or so, until the dry ingredients appear like coarse meal.
2. Slowly, through the feed tube, drizzle the iced water while simultaneously pressing the pulse button. This step is critical – don’t over mix the dough as it will quickly toughen. You want to “pulse” it just until it holds together.
3. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and turn the dough out onto it. With very gentle pressure, form the mixture into 2 equal size balls, then using the flat of your hands press each ball into a flat disc. Remember, the less you handle and maul the pie dough, the flakier the result.
4. Wrap the plastic around each disc and refrigerate one hour. Note: You can refrigerate it up to three days before or freeze it for a month. I often will double or quadruple the recipe, freezing several crusts at once so that I always have a supply for last minute pies.
5. On a floured counter top or cutting board, roll out one of the pastry discs to fit a nine-inch pie plate. Transfer the rolled out dough to the pie plate. Trim the excess dough to the edge of the pie plate. Place in the refrigerator until ready to fill.
6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling. Over medium-high flame, melt the butter in a medium size saucepan. Add the flour and seasonings, whisking constantly. Cook over medium flame for about 5 minutes, whisking constantly.
7. Very gradually, drizzle the chicken broth into the flour/butter mixture, again whisking constantly. Follow with the milk or cream.
8. Bring to a low boil, still stirring. Allow the mixture to boil for about a minute, as you continue stirring.
9. Remove the pan from the heat and add the poultry and veggies, combining well.
10. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie dish. Roll out the second piece of dough large enough for a 1 inch over hang. Cover the filled pie with the top crust. Seal the edges by crimping the pastries together. Cut a hole in the center of the piecrust to allow the steam to vent. Cut 4 or 5 slashes around the hole for additional venting. Note: The edges tend to brown quickly given the high temperature of the oven. Before baking, cover the edges with strips of foil. During the last 15 minutes of baking, peel off the foil strips.
11. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling.