12 November 2010

From the Cook: Uncle Joe's Turkey Pot Pie

I used to host a huge Thanksgiving bash the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. I’d supply two roasted 25 lbs. birds, stuffing, and homemade eggnog, and my guests would contribute their favorite side dishes. It became an annual competition—who could whip up the kitschiest dish?  Imagine all of the legendarily weird Thanksgiving-Americana dishes you’ve ever seen assembled on one table—curious casseroles of unknown origins, Aunt Sill’s marshmallow-ed this alongside Great Grandma Mayflower’s jello-ed that—and you’ll get the picture. Of all the oddities that showed up at my table, there was nothing that I feared as much as the dreaded turkey pot pie—who knew what horrors lurked beneath that golden Crisco crust?

But alas, times change. I stopped holding that wild turkey rager - scraping pecan pie from the ceiling at 3 am lost it’s charm. And thanks to Uncle Joe, I got over my silly turkey pot pie queasies—I cannot wait for this year’s batch! Joe, take it away… “Years ago, we were sitting at my in-law’s beach house on Vashon the day after Thanksgiving, contemplating the mound of leftover turkey in the fridge. ‘Let’s make turkey pot pies!’ I suggested. Despite their questioning glances, the recipe was a huge hit, and it has now become a family tradition.”

Purchase or prepare a double recipe of your favorite pie crust.  Grease a couple of 9” pie pans or several individual pie pans and casserole dishes. Heat 6 T. butter in large pan over med.-high heat. Add: 1 cup chopped onion; 1/2 cup chopped celery; salt & pepper to taste, and cook for 2 min. Add 6 T. flour and cook 3-4 min., stirring constantly. Add 2 cups chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce to med.-low and simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 min. Add 1 cup half and half and cook 4 min. Add: 1 cup peeled and diced potatoes; 1 cup diced carrots; 1 cup peas; 2 cups shredded leftover turkey; 2 T. chopped parsley; salt & pepper to taste. Fill pie pans—there’s no bottom crust. Cover with pie crust. Vent crust.  Bake in preheated 400º oven for 25-30 min., cool briefly, and enjoy! 

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