Monday, October 31, 2011

Turkey Pot Pie

I am way beyond ready for the Holidays. Unfortunately, I don't really consider Halloween a "Holiday," possibly because I have no real childhood memories of Halloween.  Sure, there were lots of occasions of dressing up (but I never needed an excuse for that), lots of apple bobbings and pumpkin carvings and collecting leaves, but nothing really rings a bell in terms of parading from house to house, trying to hit up strangers for free food. Oh well, I still say my childhood could kick your childhood's butt.

Anyway, I love the idea of Halloween only because it means that we are one step closer to Thanksgiving, which rings hundreds of bells, but that is another post for another day. What I wanted to share today, you could easily make with your Turkey Day leftovers, as I did last week---it turned into World Series food. Hey, it works.


Incredibly Easy and Delicious Turkey Pot Pie
Makes enough for six to eight people with a nice green salad on the side


Like I said, I really made this from whatever vegetable and meat leftovers I had in the fridge; feel free to substitute virtually anything--starchy vegetables and gamey meats work especially well, here.

Two recipes savory pie crust (in dough form, not a shell)
One cup turkey meat, combination light and dark, cooked and diced
One half cup green beans, diced
One cup cooked carrots, chopped*
One cup cooked winter squash (I used asian, but butternut or acorn would do well), diced*
One third cup red onion, finely diced
Two large cloves garlic, minced
One tablespoon arrowroot powder, or cornstarch
Two tablespoons butter
One cup leftover gravy and/or chicken stock
One third cup sherry
Salt and pepper

*Since these were leftover veggies, they already had their own seasoning pallets, which added to the flavor of the final dish. If you use raw veggies, season with salt, pepper, and some nutmeg/cinnamon and thyme. Also increase the stove cooking time to let them soften before baking in the oven.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Using your largest cast iron or other oven-proof skillet, melt one tablespoon of the butter over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Move to the side of the pan and melt the remaining butter, adding the arrowroot or cornstarch and whisking to make a paste--make sure this does not burn!
While still whisking, add the gravy and/or chicken stock and continue whisking until all bits are incorporated and thickened. Add the sherry and bring up to a bubble.
Add the turkey and vegetables, stirring to coat, and add a bit more chicken stock and sherry if the mixture seems dry. Season with salt and pepper (and add any of the above seasonings if you'd like) to taste, then remove from heat.
Roll out the pie doughs until they are in the shape of a disc large enough to cover the circumference of your skillet. Place the dough on top, securing around the edges. Poke a few holes in the center of the dough to allow the steam to escape, then place in the oven and bake for thirty minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and your home smells like a warm, lazy Sunday.

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