Make a pot pie with this Thanksgiving’s leftovers!
By Jenifer Antonelli
Because of the pandemic, Thanksgiving may look very different for many families this year. Large family gatherings will likely be replaced with more-intimate dinners—but that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t cook a whole turkey. It just means you need a plan for gobbling up all of those inevitable leftovers. One of my favorite ways to use leftover turkey is to make turkey pot pies with lots of fresh herbs. Pot pies freeze like a dream, too, so you can save them for a rainy (or sick) day, when you need them most. I’m including my recipe for homemade pie dough here, but if you don’t have the time or patience to make it from scratch, you can substitute with store-bought dough instead.
Turkey Pot Pie
Pie Dough Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces cold unsalted butter
4-6 tablespoons ice water
1 egg (to brush the finished crust)
1. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Dice the butter into small cubes, then cut it into the flour using your fingertips until the butter is well combined and is roughly the size of individual peas. Be careful not to overwork the dough. If it looks like graham cracker crumbs, you’ve gone too far.
2. Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time, stirring well to distribute the water. Once the dough is wet enough to hold together in a ball shape, stop adding water, and press the ball into a 1-inch thick disc on a piece of plastic wrap. (You may need more or less water depending on the humidity.) Wrap the dough tightly in plastic and place it in the fridge to rest for at least an hour.
Meanwhile, prepare your filling.
Pot Pie Filling Ingredients:
2 ounces unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, diced small
3 ribs celery, diced small
3 carrots, peeled and diced small
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2-3 cups chicken broth
3 cups cooked and shredded turkey meat
1. In a large skillet over low heat, melt the butter, then add the onion, celery, and carrots with a pinch of salt. Sweat the vegetables until translucent and very soft, about 15-20 minutes, but do not allow them to brown. Stir in the sage and thyme.
2. Add the flour and stir well to form a roux with the butter that is already in the pan. After about a minute of allowing the roux to cook, slowly pour in the chicken broth and stir constantly with a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits sticking to the pan.
3. Once the mixture is a sauce consistency, add the shredded turkey. Once the turkey is added, you may need to add more broth as the meat will absorb some of the sauce. You want the sauce to be a thick gravy consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Let the filling cool, then pour it into a 9-inch pie dish. It is important that the filling is cool before you drape the pie crust on top, or it will melt the dough.
4. While the filling is cooling, lightly flour a clean work surface and rolling pin. Unwrap and roll out the pie dough so it is big enough to hang an inch around the edge of the pie dish. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin to help transfer it over the dish. Place the dough on top of the cooled pie dish, and remove any excess dough so that there is an even 1-inch overhang.
5. Fold the edges under to create the rim of the crust, and crimp. Cut air slits into the center of the dough. If freezing the pie, place the pie dish into the freezer, unwrapped, to flash-freeze the top for about 20 minutes before wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil. After freezing, let the pot pie thaw 24-36 hours in the fridge before continuing on with the next steps.
6. Brush the crust with an egg wash and place the pie dish on a sheet pan to catch any drips. Bake the pie in a 375-degree preheated oven until the crust is deep golden brown, the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees, and and the filling is bubbling through the slits, about 40-60 minutes, depending on whether you are baking from fresh or how long you allowed the pie to thaw if previously frozen. Let cool at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Jenifer Antonelli is the owner of Vino and Viand Personal Chef Services. Visit her online at vinoandviand.com and @vinoandviand on Facebook and Instagram.