Tonight’s dinner was the perfect post-Thanksgiving leftover transformation: turkey pot pie. I’m talking tender, perfectly golden, flaky crust, slightly crumbly but firm enough to stay together filled with vibrant peas, carrots, onions and succulent pieces of Thanksgiving day turkey that was the star of last night’s dinner. This turkey pot pie is a game-changer: I would serve to guests without hesitation and not feel bad about serving leftovers. In fact, I did tonight. My in-laws are in town for Thanksgiving and between five adults, we devoured almost an entire nine-inch pie. And the remains of the pot pie have been spoken for by my mother-in-law. There you have it, leftovers have been polished off!
The best part about this turkey pot pie was that I created this entire meal with ingredients that were already in my fridge or leftover from Thanksgiving. I used leftover pie crust from the pies that I made but a store bought pie crust will do just as well if you don’t feel like rolling one out from scratch. I used the gravy I made with the pan drippings from the turkey and chicken stock that I made earlier this week (because really good chicken stock will take a dish from good to great). My turkey pot pie has an ingredient that a lot of people are surprised by: shredded potatoes. Most people don’t add potatoes to their pot pie but I find that it helps thicken the sauce while giving the pie body, without the use of cream or butter. You don’t have to grate fresh potatoes. Just throw in some frozen shredded hash browns from the freezer. In fact, frozen potatoes work better in this pie than fresh potatoes. The vegetables and turkey are swaddled in a velvety sauce and nestled between two flaky layers of pie dough. But before that, I throw in another curve ball: cheese. Why? Because what doesn’t taste better with cheese?!And then this delicious, savory filling is topped off with another crust. My mouth is watering just thinking about it, even though I literally ate it a few minutes ago!
I like to crimp the edges of the two crusts together to make it look pretty– as I always say you eat with your eyes first– plus the crimping seals the two crusts together. It’s not as hard as you think, I promise. Hold up your right hand, palm facing out, with the thumb and index finger slightly touching, forming a ‘v’. That is what you’ll use to make the ridges. Now, place your left thumb on the edge of the crust, and use that pinching motion we just talked about with your right hand. Go all around the edges and crimp (and seal).
Kitchen tip: Roll out the crust between two sheets of parchment paper; it makes transferring the crust into a pie plate so much easier. When you transfer the crust, place the plate upside down, on top of the crust and flip it over then adjust it so there are gaps between the plate and the crust. If you happen to get a crack, just wet your hands with water and reseal the crack. If it’s a big crack or a gaping hole, simply take a little bit of dough off the edges, place it over the hole and seal with water. The edges will get sealed later anyway. As you can see, I clearly need a manicure and I’m so vain that I almost didn’t post this picture but decided to sacrifice my vanity for the sake of the readers!
Don’t skip brushing the pie crust, after assembly, with an egg wash. The egg wash (a simple mixture of water and an egg) not only gives the turkey pot pie a nice golden sheen as it bakes, it also prevents the crust from burning as it bakes. Trust me, I speak on behalf of the poor pie crusts I’m guilty of burning. Look at that beautiful sheen, and it hasn’t even taken a trip into the oven yet!
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen shredded hash browns
- ⅓ cup shredded cheese (I used a mix of sharp cheddar and colby jack)
- 2 pie crusts (thawed if using frozen crusts)
- 3 cups chopped cooked turkey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken stock, heated
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1 egg lightly beaten with 2 tbsp cold water
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- On medium high flame, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add onions and saute until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots and celery, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Cook until slightly tender, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add peas and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add hash browns, stir together and cook until slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Add turkey and take off heat. Set aside in a separate container.
- Return pan to to high heat and add remaining vegetable oil. Heat for 1 minute and test heat by adding a pinch of flour. If the flour sizzles, add the rest of the flour, whisking vigorously with a wire whisk so no lumps form. Cook for 2 minutes while whisking.
- Add chicken stock slowly and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp pepper. Add milk and bring to a boil. Once the sauce is boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes to thicken sauce. Remove from heat and mix with turkey and vegetable mixture until fully incorporated. Stir in thyme and parsley.
- Line a 9-inch pie pan with 1 pie crust. Fill with turkey and vegetable mixture. Top with cheese. Cover with the other pie crust.
- Seal the edges by crimping the crusts together.
- Brush the crust with egg and water mixture (egg wash). Cut several 2 inch slits into the pie to let steam escape while cooking.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
- Let stand 5 minutes before serving.