And now for the traditional leftover Christmas dinner recipe: Turkey Pot Pie! It is cliche, but it is also so very delicious, and such a good use of the leftovers that I am happy to encourage the continuation of this tradition.
Reader, I must make a confession: I am hopelessly terrible at making pie crust. I have tried multiple recipes and techniques, but every attempt seems to end in frustration, failure, curse words, and dashed hopes and dreams… the last part may be an exaggeration, but the rest is entirely true. I even used store-bought crust for this recipe, and the end result was still laughably, horribly ugly ”rustic.”
Honestly, I can successfully make all manner of complicated recipes – sweet and savoury – but pie crust seems to be my culinary Waterloo. It’s either too dry and won’t roll out, too wet and sticky, or seemingly perfect in dough form but hard as a rock or too crumbly once it bakes. I think one of my resolutions for 2014 will be to make perfect pie crust. I would even settle for “adequate” at this point.
Please don’t let this pie’s non-beautiful, slightly lumpy and uneven exterior put you off. The filling is scrumptious, flavoured with homemade turkey stock, herbs, grainy mustard and mounds of vegetables. The buttery, flaky crust is a perfect vessel for the bubbling, hearty, meaty filling. This recipe works equally well with chicken, and you can switch up the vegetables to include whatever you like. Just make sure whatever vegetables you use are already cooked, at least partly, before adding them to the pie; the baking time won’t be enough to cook all the veggies from raw.
I can’t think of a better parting tribute to what was a delightful Christmas dinner.
Dough for double crust pie (use your favourite recipe, or store-bought)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup button mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups turkey stock (homemade or store-bought; chicken or vegetable stock work too)
½ cup cream
2 cups chopped turkey (light & dark meat are fine)
1 cup steamed carrots, cut into coins or chopped
¾ cup steamed green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup peas (frozen are fine, don’t bother thawing them!)
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 9-inch pie pan with one of the pie crusts.
Put 2 tablespoons butter in a deep skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted, add chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat slightly and stir in the flour; continue cooking until flour turns light golden brown. Add the herbs de Provence, grainy mustard and black pepper.
Add the turkey stock to the mushroom mixture, scraping up any bits that are clinging to the bottom of the pan. Stir in cream and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken. (At this point, the mixture should resemble cream of mushroom soup.) Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Remove mixture from heat and stir in chopped turkey, carrots, green beans, and peas. Transfer mixture to prepared pie crust, spreading evenly. If your mixture is a bit runny, I suggest spooning the mixture into the crust, leaving any excess moisture out (you don’t want a soggy pie!). Roll out second pie crust large enough to cover the baking dish. Lay it on top and crimp the edges to seal, cutting off and discarding excess crust. Use a sharp knife to cut a few slits in the top. Brush the top with the beaten egg.
Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 30 minutes.