Mamma’s Turkey Pot Pie
By Charles Oppman
Now that the holidays are over what do you do with all that leftover turkey? We can only eat so many turkey sandwiches and soup recipes. Why not turn those turkey leftovers into a filling dish that will get you through the chilly days ahead? Make a turkey pot pie. It’s easy, inexpensive (you already have the main ingredient) and tasty. Americans are pie lovers. Pies are a vestige of our colonial past, especially here in the Mid-Atlantic region. The English are great pie makers, especially savory ones. The French tend to make sweeter versions known as gallettes the most famous of which is the gallette du Rois (King Cake) eaten on the day of the Epiphany.
1 stick salted butter
1 cup potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1 cup onion, diced
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup turkey broth or canned chicken broth
1 cup table cream
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups leftover turkey, chopped
In a heavy-bottomed pot melt butter. Add potatoes, celery and onions and sauté until al dente. Add frozen peas and carrots, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Mix in flour until distributed, allow cooking for several minutes, but do not brown. Stirring continuously, add all cream and broth, only as needed, to achieve a thick stew-like consistency. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Transfer mixture to casserole of baking dish. Allow to cool before topping with pastry.
2 sticks unsalted butter
½ tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cups very cold milk, as needed
2 cups sifted cake flour, all-purpose will suffice
1 egg, beaten
Mix together sifted flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut butter into the flour until pieces are pea-size. To form dough, add milk incrementally and mix until a dough ball is formed. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix. It should not be crumbly, but not sticky either. If too wet, add flour to compensate. Form dough into a flat disc, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably longer. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten dough. Roll dough from center to outward to a size 1” larger than the casserole dish.
Food processor directions: Prepare as above, except place steel blade in food processor bowl. To bowl add flour, butter, sugar and salt. Pulse until most of mixture until butter is dispersed, but remains pea size. Add milk incrementally through feed tube and pulse until ball just begins to form. It is preferable to add too little milk when using a processor as dough can be formed by hand. Remove dough from bowl to plastic wrap, shape into a disc and refrigerate.
Assembling and baking
Rolled pastry will be transferred to cover filled casserole dish. To transfer pastry, dust with flour and wrap it around the rolling pin. Unfurl dough onto casserole. Crimp edge with fore finger and thumb to create a fluted edge. With a pastry brush, paint entire dough with beaten egg. Do not prick pastry. Place pot pie on cookie sheet and bake at 400ºF until pastry is golden brown and cooked, about 45 minutes. Serve immediately.