Saturday, November 24, 2012

turkey pot pie

Sweet potato casserole. Green bean casserole. Corn casserole. Homemade rolls. Cornbread dressing. And yes, turkey. The memory of Thanksgiving dinner is still vibrant in my mind - all the more so thanks to the fact that I had to work a 12 hour shift at the hospital on Turkey Day, which meant my family had to postpone the celebration until Black Friday. But oh my, was it worth the wait!

And so today we were left with the timeless question of what to do with all that leftover turkey. If truth be told, I'm not generally a huge fan of Thanksgiving turkey - I'd choose Christmas ham any day of the week. But good golly Miss Molly do I get excited about those inevitable turkey leftovers. Why?? Because I love pot pie. As in I consider it one of my all-time favorite comfort foods and would be strongly tempted to choose it for a last meal if forced to do so. Ahhhh it puts me in a thankful mood all over again - especially considering the fact that this dish, in full disclosure, was actually make by my loving mother, for me, as a special birthday dinner. ;-)

Clearly this dish can just as easily be made with chicken, which is the more common version. But I urge you, friends, to live on the wild side and use those turkey remnants as an excuse to enjoy every bite of the goodness that is flaky, buttery crust and savory, creamy poultry and veggies.

Turkey Pot Pie
Yield 6 servings

Savory pie dough topping:

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3-4 tablespoons ice water


1 1/2 pounds pre-cooked turkey breasts and/or thighs, shred into bite-size pieces.
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium-large onion, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 small celery ribs, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
salt and ground pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
3 tablespoons dry white wine
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

for the topping:

Mix the flour and salt in a food processor. Scatter the butter pieces over the mixture and pulse in 1-second bursts until the flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter bits no larger than small peas. Turn the mixture into a medium bowl.

Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix the water in. Press down on the dough mixture with the broad side of the spatula until the dough sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water if the dough will not come together. Shape the dough into a ball, then flatten it into a 4-inch wide disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes or up to 2 days before rolling.

for the filling:

Preheat the oven to 400°.

In a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until just tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a bowl. Add the turkey, and set aside.

Heat the butter over medium heat in the now-empty pan. When the foaming subsides, add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken broth, milk, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, then continue to simmer until the sauce fully thickens, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the wine.

Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the peas and parsley. Adjust the seasonings. (The mixture can be covered and refrigerated overnight; reheat before topping with the pastry.)

Pour the mixture into a 9x13-inch baking pan.

Roll the dough on a floured surface into a rectangle approximately 11x15 inches and 1/8 inch thick. Place the dough over the filling, trimming the dough that overhangs to within 1/2 inch of the pan lip. Tuck the overhanging dough back under itself so the folded edge is flush with the pan lip. Flute the edges all around. Cut at least four 1-inch vent holes in the crust.

Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Adapted from The New Best Recipe


  1. I specifically bought a turkey after Thanksgiving thinking I would do a pot pie - which, for some strange reason, I have never made before.
    So this recipe will come in very handy! Thanks!
    Glad you all had a good time together. And happy belated birthday!! :o)

  2. Yum! Sounds so good ... Leanna and Ashleigh, let me know when you are serving your pies, I'll be right over on the next plane! :) I wish ...

    Ashleigh, can you share your recipes for sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole and corn casserole please? :) I made the first two this year, but wasn't impressed with the results. I'd love to try yours and then I want to file away the recipes I use for Thanksgiving and that I like so I don't have to scramble around and find something...