Monday, November 28, 2011

The bird that keeps on giving

Through a series of seemingly unrelated events during the week preceding Thanksgiving, I ended up with a 15-pound frozen turkey that quickly took up residence in my refrigerator. Fortunately, I had already agreed to host the T-Day party, so it made it even easier that the bird remained in my kitchen. Unfortunately, my party only consisted of 4 people (including me), so a 15-pound bird was closer to overkill than horn of plenty.

The turkey tasted delicious (thanks in part to a special spice blend I picked up at the Union Square Christmas Market...and an entire stick of butter shoved into the bird's various cavities), as did the eight million side dishes my friends and I cooked up (never doubt a transplanted Midwesterner's ability to completely overdo it in the casserole department). It was a lovely day had by all, good food, good wine, good friends, etc. etc. But now on to the important part:

The Leftovers.

15 pounds of fowl, even after wrapped up in Ziplock containers and sent home with the other guests, still makes for a lot of extra food. So what does a pie blogger do in such a situation? She makes pies!

Turkey Pot Pies, to be exact.

And here is the recipe:

1 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 cup corn (canned or frozen, doesn't matter)
***Feel free to add/subtract any other vegetables,  those are just what I prefer
1 cup turkey stock
2 heaping tbsp flour
1-2 healthy splashes of white wine
1 cup chopped turkey (white or dark meat, whichever is still left in your fridge!)
Spices to taste - I suggest salt/pepper/thyme/rosemary/paprika, but remember that your turkey is already flavored, so don't overdo it

Pie Crust
I used a frozen, pre made pie crust (Pillsbury), which I personally think is just fine if you don't have the time to make a homemade crust.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On the stove top, begin by melting the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the carrots and scallions, and caramelize until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add turkey stock, white wine, flour and spices, and stir continuously over low heat. This will create a roux (thickening mixture), and is what gives the inside of the pot pie that light-colored and creamy consistency. The more flour you add and the longer you cook your mixture is what determines how thick your roux is; I like a thicker sauce so my measurements are based on my preferences, feel free to use less flour and/or less stirring time (it's not an exact science).

When your mixture is almost at it's desired consistency, add the turkey and corn (both ingredients are already cooked), and stir everything together.

Scoop the mixture into a pie plate (I discovered that a heavy-bottomed (ceramic) pie plate works best) and cover with your pie crust, making sure to pinch the edges to seal the crust.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden brown

(I ended up making two smaller pot pies due to having a dinner guest, and we had some extra dough from the frozen pie crust, so we embellished a little).



  1. Very fun! The turkey meat left in my fridge continues to mock me so I plan to try my variation on this tomorrow which will look more like Thanksgiving remixed than anything else. Actually it might be more Shepard's pie-ish. I'm thinking pie crust, dry stuffing, turkey with very thick gravy, then mashed sweet potato topping piped on. I'm liking the blog Mary ... giving me so many ideas! Doesn't really mesh well with my diet blog though.

  2. Mmm, I love a good Shepard's Pie, Sean! You might want to consider diluting your gravy just a bit before throwing it all into the oven, everything will eventually cook together but you want to create a "glue" so that things don't dry out in the oven (cold food just reheated may get crumbly without something to hold it all together). And forget that diet blog, it's the holidays :)