Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Pot Pie or Last Ditch and Best Effort for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Turkey Pot Pie
You might have lived when pot pies were a regular feature of your mom's menus.  Maybe you had them instead of TV Dinners.  I have a sketchy memory of frozen pies from the grocery @10 for $1. This undoubtedly dates me in an unkind way.  I did not have a mother who refused to cook; she cooked a lot.   That didn't mean we never had a frozen pot pie.  I remember liking them, though I maybe haven't tasted one in fifty years.

If you go out to eat at any number of restaurants these days, you'll find homemade pot pies are on lots of menus and people order them over and over.  Definitely comfort food.  Certainly fattening.  But oh so filling and often luscious.  They're full of all kinds of things--poultry, vegetables, roast beef, sea food, etc.





Before Thanksgiving, I set out to make the best turkey pot pie (using leftovers) I could.   No more expensive restaurant versions and certainly no more frozen pies.   I invited a group of people for a turkey and roasted root vegetable dinner and then had my way with what was left.  I discovered it was a. simple and b. better than the 10 for $1 ones from Garofalo's on Crawford Avenue.  I served it up with a side of lemoned broccolini and a scoop of my red hot cranberry sauce, as well as a handsome glass of Oregon Chardonnay or maybe a French Côtes du Rhône--a lovely, medium-bodied and inexpensive wine that flatters oven-roasted vegetables, as well as pork or poultry.  (And lots else)
Dave and I both liked the pie better than the meal from which it came.  Go figure.

Feel free to take this filling and top it with biscuits--even Bisquick biscuits-- in a 2 qt greased rectangular glass casserole dish.  (I made chicken pot pie often for my kids growing up...usually with biscuit topping.)   Or buy the Pillsbury pie dough from the refrigerator section.  But do make it.  You'll be glad you did.  I promise. *If you'd like to make my crust, use the recipe I made for Kathy's Apple Pie; that's a good all-purpose crust.
Here's how:

Alyce's Turkey Pot Pie

There are three parts to this recipe:  1.  Crust  2.  Filling  3.  Sauce

2 9" pie crusts* (Plus 1T melted butter -or 1 egg white beaten with a bit of water- brushed on top crust before baking.)  Made or bought.

Filling:

1T butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery with leaves, diced
4 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
1t each fresh thyme and tarragon (or 1/2 t each dried)
1/2 t chopped fresh sage (or 1/4 t dried, powdered sage)
2 c chopped roasted root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, potatoes, winter squash, etc)
2 c chopped cooked turkey, white or dark meat


Sauce:  (Basically a velouté with added cream or milk)

2T butter
1/4 t each ground sea salt and ground white pepper
2T flour
1 c chicken stock
1 cup milk, cream or half and half

1.  If you have made or bought pie crusts, put one in the pie pan (trim and pinch) and place the other between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap.  Refrigerate the pan and the wrapped dough while you make the filling and the sauce.
2.  In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat and add onion, celery, and mushrooms.  Cook until vegetables are softened, 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic during last minute of cooking and stir in herbs. 
3.  Take out pie pan with bottom crust and spoon onion mixture evenly over the bottom of the dough.  Top with chopped vegetables and turkey.


Spoon onion mixture into pie pan.

Top with roasted vegetables and turkey.  Pour on sauce.

Add the top crust and brush with butter or egg whites.  Make slits for steam.

4.  Make sauce (see below) and pour over the turkey and vegetable mixture.  The turkey and vegetables should be just about covered.  If not, drizzle in just a little more chicken stock, milk, or cream.
5.  Take the top crust out of the refrigerator and place on top of the filled pie.  Trim edges and pinch together edges of the two crusts.
6.  Brush entire top crust with butter or an eggwhite beaten with a bit of water.  Make several slits in the top crust (for steam to escape) and bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake until browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
7.  Place pie on rack and cool 15 minutes or so.  Slice and serve hot with broccolini (squeeze lemon on top) and cranberry sauce.

Making the sauce:  In a 2qt saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.   Add salt, pepper, and flour.  Stir for 2-3 minutes for flour to cook a little bit and slowly whisk in chicken stock and milk or cream. Simmer, stirring often, until just barely thickened.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  A quick sprinkle of nutmeg is a possible addition, as is a drop or two of hot sauce.

Two-Dog Kitchen or Around the 'Hood
                  A few really random pics from our Thanksgiving Trip to Illinois


Turkey Soup... of course...Yesterday!

Read my recipe for the above soup on examiner.com

Visiting with sister and niece on way home.

Grandpa and Grandma's Dining Room

Turkey ready for its sauna.  4 cups turkey stock with lots of veggies at bottom of roaster makes for great gravy.

Dave's Tomatoes with Smoked Oysters, Capers, and Horseradish

Making Turkey stock.  Yes, use the giblets and the neck., though our turkey had NO NECK!

Cranberry Bread

Pumpkin Bread with Candied Ginger and Pecan Topping

Cauliflower Gratinee from SILVER PALATE

Making a wine cork wreath in the garage.





Needs a bow.

Grandpa--a last mow of the yard.

Me--making homemade rolls.



Leftover pumpkin pie filling--in the microwave for a quick dessert.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sing a new song on the First Day of Advent, friends....  
Prepare Him Room!
Alyce

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