Turkey Leftovers = Pot Pie Heaven

20 Jan

[Be forewarned: this should have been posted sometime soon after Thanksgiving, but I’m a lazy slob, so here it is. Pretend it’s November 27th.]

At first I thought I was going to make some funky turkey soup with olio nuovo (the latest thing in olive oil supposedly) with my turkey leftovers. But then Giada interceded, with a perfectly timed Day-After-Thanksgiving appearance on the Today Show. The poor thing had to deal with the twin horror show that is Hoda and Kathie Lee, but she managed to impress upon this amateur cook how easy it would be to turn Thanksgiving leftovers into individual pot pies.

Which gave me a reason to pick up these totally cute mini soup crocks at my local Crate & Barrel.

All ready for pot pie goodness

The recipe is stupidly easy and perfectly uses up all those weird leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner, like the carrots sticks no one touched – why would you when there’s crusty bread and eggplant caponata?

Here’s what you need for Turkey Pot Pies (Giada calls this Turkey and Pancetta Pot Pies, but I omitted the pancetta, since I didn’t have any, so there you go):

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups (about 14 ounces) roasted turkey breast meat, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 sheet puffed pastry

[Note: I used regular onion in place of the shallots, added chopped celery (to get rid of the dang stuff), and substituted 1 t. dried oregano for the thyme. Giada also makes her own pastry crust, which I’m so not into, so I just bought frozen puffed pastry at the market – so much easier.]

Here’s what you do:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

For the filling: In a large saucepan, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and oregano to the saucepan. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until the carrots are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Increase the heat to high. Add the chicken broth and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Add heavy cream, turkey, peas, corn, and the remaining salt and pepper. Simmer for 3 minutes until heated through. This is what it should look like:

creamy deliciousness

Using a ladle, fill the ramekins with the mixture. (I put the ramekins on a cookie sheet before filling them, so I can get them in and out of the oven more easily.)

Cover the tops with puffed pastry. The first time I tried to be fancy and cut the pastry to perfectly fit the ramekin tops, like this:

cut using a ramekin as the mold

But what happened was that some of them fell into the filling, so they didn’t get as fluffy and crispy. Which was hugely disappointing. So now I just cut the pastry sheet into over-sized squares = more crispy goodness.

Bake until crust is golden and the filling is bubbling, about 20 minutes. This is what they should look like:

come to mama

Cool for 5 minutes before serving. And please warn your guests: it will be piping hot. Like creamy lava. So be careful with those first bitefuls.

This is, as I’ve said before, so stupidly easy to make, it’s a wonder we haven’t made Sunday night officially Pot Pie Night in our house. But one can dream.

I also picked up Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan for Christmas, so I’ll try at least one of those recipes each month. The photographs are absolutely stunning, I’m drooling just flipping through it. And the cookbook weighs at least 10 pounds, so it doubles as a home defense device. Check it out. This is gonna be the year I become comfortable in the kitchen, people. I feel it in my bones (and my gut).

Bon appetit!

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