Culinary Institute of America / Ben Fink
Turkey pot pie is comfort food, a warm way to tranform and use up all sorts of leftovers -- turkey, peas and carrots, extra frozen pie crusts. You can even substitute leftover mashed potatoes for the top crust.
Depending on how much you want to play with this, you can make a simple, straightforward pot pie like mom used to make or get much fancier. Here are three versions, the preparation and ingredients ranging from simple to complex. The third one even includes directions for roasting a turkey half-breast if you don't have leftover turkey.
From the Journal Food section's Good Neighbors recipe-swap column of Oct. 1, 2003, Diane of Exeter offers a two-crust chicken pot pie recipe that my mother might have made. She offers a recipe for a crust that can be draped over a brownie pan, but notes that any 9-inch storebought crust will be fine. If you have leftover cooked or uncooked peas or carrots, here's their spot.
CHICKEN OR TURKEY POT PIE
1/3 cup margarine, butter or chicken fat
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (if using self-rising flour, omit salt)
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cups chicken or turkey broth
2/3 cup milk
2 cups cut-up cooked chicken or turkey
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas and carrots
CELERY SEED PASTRY
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening or 2/3 cup lard
2 cups all purpose flour (if using self-rising, omit salt)
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 tablespoons water
Using ingredients from pot- pie recipe, heat margarine over low heat until melted. Blend in flour, onion, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly, remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir one minute. Stir in chicken and frozen vegetables; reserve.
Prepare celery seed pastry. Cut shortening into flour, celery seed and salt until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 or 2 teaspoons water can be added if necessary). Gather pastry into ball.
Roll 2/3 of pastry into 13-inch square on lightly floured cloth-covered board. Ease pastry into square pan, 9 by 9 by 2 inches; pour chicken filling into pastry-lined pan. Roll remaining dough into 11-inch square; place over filling. Roll edges under; flute. Cut slits in center to allow steam to escape. Cook uncovered in 425-degree oven until crust is brown, 30-35 minutes. Six servings.
Shortcut: All ready made pie crusts work great, use 9-inch pie plate instead of square pan.
From the Culinary Institutute of America, a classic pie with only a top crust that can bake in individual crocks or a baking dish.
TURKEY POT PIE
3 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups turkey or chicken broth
Salt as needed
Freshly ground black pepper as needed
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
2 cups diced red or Yukon gold potato
4 cups diced cooked turkey meat
1 cup green peas (thawed if frozen)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 (9-inch) prepared pie crusts, frozen puff pastry sheets (thawed), or other topping of choice such as leftover mashed potatoes
Heat the butter or oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and sautÉ, stirring frequently, until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and sautÉ until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until pasty and thick, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, whisking well to work out any lumps. Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Add the carrot, celery, and potato to the broth mixture, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes (depending on the size of the cut). Add the turkey and peas and remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped parsley.
Spoon the filling into individual crocks or a baking dish. Cut pie crust or puff pastry dough to the appropriate size and shape and cover the filling. Cuts vents in the crust and press the edges of the dough onto the baking dish or crocks to seal.
Bake the pot pie until the pie crust or puff pastry is golden and flaky, about 45 minutes for a large pot pie and 25 minutes for individual crocks. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6.
If you're willing to let the pastry rest, blanch the vegetables, make the egg glaze, this is for you. From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune via AP,
TURKEY POT PIE FILLING
Makes enough for 6 individual pot pies.
Note: A roasted half-breast makes about 3 to 4 cup of diced turkey. You also can substitute chicken, or use more vegetables, just making sure your total ingredients add up to 6 to 7 cups. The bacon is optional, but a nice touch.
3 to 4 cup diced turkey, from leftover turkey or roasted half-breast
2 slices bacon (not thick-cut)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
4 cups chicken or turkey stock
1 cup small red potatoes, cut in roughly 3/4-in. dice
1 cup carrots, peeled, cut in roughly 3/4-in. dice
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Several grinds of freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. paprika
If you're roasting a half-breast of turkey, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly rub turkey with oil and roast in shallow pan until temperature probe registers 170 degrees, 50-60 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and cut into 3/4 inch dice. If not using immediately, keep refrigerated.
Cook bacon, if using, until crisp. Remove to paper towels to cool, then crumble.
In a large saucepan, melt butter, then add onion and sauté over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.
While the onions are cooking, heat the stock to just boiling. Add potatoes and carrots to the stock and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly tender. Turn off heat. With a slotted spoon, remove vegetables to a bowl and set aside.
To the softened onions, add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Add the hot stock to the onions and simmer until thick, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
Stir in salt, pepper and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Add turkey, potatoes, carrots, peas and parsley, stirring to mix well. Check for proper seasoning. Remove from heat.
Makes enough for 6 individual pot pies.
Note: This crust is from "The New Midwestern Table" by Amy Thielen. You'll need only half for 6 individual pot pies, so freeze the remaining dough for a single-crust pie, or future pot pies. (The recipe also makes a 9- to 10-inch double-crust pie of any kind.) Pot pies may be assembled 4 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until it's time to bake.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut in 16 pieces
1 egg yolk
Generous 1/2 cup milk, or more if needed
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until the larger remaining chunks are the size of small peas.
Drop the egg yolk into a liquid measuring cup and add milk until you reach exactly 2/3 cup (you'll use about 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon). Mix the egg yolk and milk with a fork until combined, then add it to the flour mixture all at once. Mix the dough with a fork until you can gather most of it into a ball. This is most easily done in the bowl, like packing a large snowball; if it seems any drier or more difficult than that, add another tablespoon of milk.
Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and as long as 2 days. Let dough come to room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling it.
To assemble pot pies:
Divide the filling among 6 (8-ounce) ovenproof ramekins or straight-sided dishes no more than 4 inches wide. Crumble bacon and divide among the pies. (If there's any leftover filling, serve it on toast!)
To prepare glaze:
In a small bowl, beat egg yolk with 2 teaspoons cream. Set aside.
Remove crust dough from plastic wrap (remember: you took it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes ago), and place on lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 10- by 16-inch rectangle. With a knife or pizza cutter, cut six (5-inch) squares. (You'll use the remaining inch of pastry to make decorative leaves.)
With a small brush or your finger, brush the rim of each bowl with beaten egg yolk, then drape pastry over the filling, pressing gently on rim to seal. Brush the entire surface of pastry with egg glaze.
With a sharp paring knife, cut small leaf shapes from the remaining dough, using the blade to press "veins" into the surface. Arrange 2 or 3 leaves on each pie. Stir paprika into the remaining egg glaze, then paint the leaves with this tinted mixture.
Place pies on a rimmed baking sheet; this will catch any possible drips. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the tops are golden and the filling is bubbling hot.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 656; Fat: 39 g; Sodium: 1025 mg
Carbohydrates: 44 g; Saturated fat: 23 g; Calcium: 92 mg
Protein: 32 g; Cholesterol: 200 mg; Dietary fiber: 4 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 bread/starch, 3 lean meat, 6 fat.