I cook whole turkeys way more often than the average American does. Once I discovered brining as a method of producing a juicy, flavorful, almost impossible to overcook but still possible to get all the parts to 170 so my family doesn’t freak out if there’s a little bit of redness still left right next to the bone turkey, I couldn’t stop myself from making it all the time.
I lived in a family unit of 8 for years, then we dropped down to 6 and now I’m living with just my daughter, but I have no problem talking my family (who all still live very close) into coming over for turkey dinners. I just made a turkey for Christmas a couple of weeks ago and took this chance to take some pictures of my leftover classic…turkey pot pie!
Once again, the pictures just messed me up! One of these days, I’ll take an amazing, gorgeous, mouth watering picture of my pot pie, but until that day…I give you my word that this will be one of the most delectable things you’ll ever put in your mouth if you make it. This picture is even missing peas and clearly has dried spices, which isn’t my usual plan, but you’ve gotta be flexible sometimes! I actually plan to purchase a few cooking vessels that will be the perfect size for individual pot pies. Once I do that, I’ll replace the pictures on this blog post and remove this paragraph!
This recipe is is my sister’s top 5 list of things I make and everyone else loves it too. Who doesn’t love pot pie?? I grew up in a household where my mom did cook, but she never made things like pot pie. So for me, as a child, pot pie was something that took 45 minutes to cook in the oven…you know, those little ones you took straight from the freezer and took FOREVER to heat up all the way? We ate them anyway because it was worth the wait! I love pot pie!
Then came the microwave, but it wasn’t until just a few years ago that any pot pies came out that were actually worth eating after having been cooked in the microwave. They do exist now and they’re delicious, but they still come packed full of ingredients that I can’t pronounce and would rather just live without.
I started making it from scratch a few years ago in a desperate attempt to find another use for all the turkey I’d been producing. I felt kinda like Bubba Gump when he lists off all the stuff his family makes with shrimp…turkey omelettes, turkey and dumplings, turkey soup, spaghetti with turkey meatballs, turkey tacos.
This is one I make EVERY time I have leftover turkey meat now and I hope you will too!
Turkey Pot Pie
Turkey Pot Pie
Pie dough – double this recipe or buy two premade crusts (if you’re a lame punk, that is…who uses premade pie dough? BOO!! ha ha just kidding…or am I? hmmm?)
3 cups leftover turkey meat, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
half an onion, diced finely
1 cup frozen peas
1 large sprig fresh thyme
6 cups chicken stock
4 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. flour (1/4 cup)
salt & pepper
one egg (for optional egg wash on top crust)
1. If you’re using homemade pie dough, make that first. While it chills, start work on the rest of the pot pie.
2. Parboil the potatoes, carrots and parsnips in salted water. Parboiling is partially cooking in boiling water. Cook until knife tender, but not falling apart. They’ll finish cooking in the oven.
3. Make the gravy. Melt 4 tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add onions and sweat for a couple of minutes, until translucent. Sprinkle the flour over the butter/onions and cook for about 1 minute, whisking the whole time. Turn the heat up to high and pour the chicken stock into the roux, whisking briskly (or your gravy will be lumpy). Season with salt and add the thyme leaves. Boil for about a minute, until the gravy thickens, then remove from the heat.
4. Take the pie dough out of the fridge after it’s chilled for about half an hour. Roll it out and place it in the bottom of a buttered deep dish pie plate or other similarly sized casserole dish. Prick the bottom with a fork, cover with parchment paper and pour some pie weights in (dried beans, rice or actual pie weights). Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then remove the weights and parchment and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Blind baking the crust like this guarantees that it will be crisp and flaky, not soggy and yucky…so don’t skip this step!
5. Once cooled, mix the veggies (add the peas in at this time), and 4 cups of gravy together. Add meat. Here’s the part where it’s hard to write out a recipe…it should be a moist mixture, but not soupy. It’s great to have leftover gravy to pour over each portion as it’s served, but you need to use enough in the pot pie itself too. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Pour the filling mixture into the pie plate or casserole dish. Roll out the top crust and cover the mixture. If you have some dough leftover, I use it to cut out little shapes and put it on top! Stars, christmas trees, whatever you want. Cut a few slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape and brush with melted butter or one egg that’s been beaten and mixed with a little bit of water.
7. Place it on a cookie sheet (to catch any juices that might bubble out and spill over) and bake at 425 for about 25 minutes, until the top crust is golden brown.
8. Serve it up! Reheat the leftover gravy and let people add some extra to theirs if they want. They almost always do!