This holiday season came and went like the whirlwind it always is, and I sit here in the aftermath realizing that I have plenty of recipes to catch up on. So let's take a mini jaunt down memory lane to Thanksgiving, shall we?
Being the lucky recipient of my family's turkey carcass, I ended up with about 6 quarts of homemade stock, most of which sits in the freezer waiting for a chilly night when turkey noodle soup is a quick solution to the question "What's for dinner?" Unfortunately for the stock but quite happily for the rest of us San Franciscans, warm weather has taken up temporary residence in these parts, so soup has been on the back burner, so to speak. But back in late November when temps were still brisk in the low 50s (here, my East Coast friends may shout whatever expletives come to mind), comfort foods were definitely on the brain.
Purists will say that a pot pie must be just that: a pie complete with buttery, flaky crust on the top and the bottom. I get it (admission: I love Marie Calendar's frozen chicken pot pies dumped on a pile of hot white rice), but (1) who has time to whip up pie dough on a weeknight?, and (2) it's hardly a light meal. So I substituted store-bought puff pastry for the crust and focused on a rich, hearty filling for my turkey pot pie.
Note: You'll need some cooked turkey meat, so be sure to roast a turkey breast ahead of time (even a day before). Use any leftovers for sandwiches, salads, etc. Feel free to experiment with vegetables, too — try cruciferous and root veggies in Fall and Winter or snow peas and asparagus in Spring!
Makes 2 pies
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 2 c. turkey stock
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 c. shredded turkey
- 1 tbsp. parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/4 c. frozen peas, thawed
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 350º. Lay out pastry dough on a clean, flat surface. Use a 5" round, oven-safe ramekin to trace two circles on the dough, leaving 1/2" extra. Cut out the circles and set aside. (Note: I also used a small star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out two shapes for decoration.)
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan and cook onion until soft. Stir in celery and carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add turkey stock and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes and simmer until tender. Stir in turkey meat, parsley, and peas. Pour mixture into two 5" oven-safe ramekins.
- Use a pastry brush to coat the rim of each dish with a thin coating of egg. Place a pastry round across the top of each dish, and crimp the edges to seal. Brush the dough with more egg, applying the dough "flourish" if desired (be sure to brush it with egg as well). Repeat with the remaining reserved pastry.
- Place both dishes on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 20-30 minutes until the pastry has puffed and turned golden brown.