For the years I lived in Boston, I often spent Thanksgiving with family in Seattle. It was an easier trip than coming home to Hawaii (cutting down the travel time by at least 6 hours). We had many traditions over those long weekends but one that was assigned to me was turning some of the leftover turkey into a pot pie. It started as a way to give my aunt a break after cooking the Thanksgiving feast and then became an annual tradition.
So basic but where do I start?
Turkey (or chicken) pot pie is a classic recipe but I needed some kind of guide to get me started. I knew it had some basic veggies – carrots, onions, celery – and a white sauce but I didn’t know where to go from there.
I turned to Joy of Cooking for an answer. I used the turkey a la king recipe as a starting point. The recipe is very straight-forward and just what I was looking for.
For ease, I decided to use store-bought pastry. I use refrigerated pie dough or frozen puff pastry. Again, for ease, there is only a top crust, I didn’t want to mess with a bottom crust.
Modify as you like
This pot pie can be made throughout the year. Just substitute rotisserie chicken for the turkey.
And while the recipe is intended to use up leftover turkey there may be other things from the Thanksgiving table that you want to throw in. Add chopped green beans or Brussel sprouts or even cubed sweet potato. If you have a ton of mashed potatoes, then instead of a pastry crust, use the potatoes as a topping, like a shepherd’s pie.
As written, this recipe makes a casserole-sized pot pie to serve family style. If you prefer, use individual ramekins or other ovenproof dishes to make single-serve pot pies for each person at the table.
As traditional as this recipe is, take the opportunity to have fun and give your Thanksgiving leftovers new life.Print
This classic Thanksgiving leftovers dish can be made any time of the year (just substitute the turkey with rotisserie chicken). Store-bought puff pastry or refrigerated pie dough are easy, time savers.
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
8 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
4 cups cooked turkey, diced*
3/4 cup whole milk**
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
salt and pepper, to taste
2 store-bought pie crusts or 1 sheet store-bought puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, scrambled with 1 teaspoon of water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9” x 13” casserole dish or eight oven-proof ramekins. Set aside.
In a saucepan, add potatoes with just enough cold water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until just tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain potatoes and set aside.
In a large, dry skillet, sauté the mushrooms until their water is released. Let mushrooms cook for 1-2 minutes longer until lightly browned. Remove from the skillet and add to the potatoes. Set aside.
In the same skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the diced carrots, onion, celery, and thyme leaves. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Sauté until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add to the potatoes and mushrooms. Set aside.
In the same skillet, melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour, until smooth, to form a roux. Continue whisking for another minute – you want to cook out the raw flour taste, but you want the roux to remain light in color.
Slowly add the turkey or chicken broth, continuously whisking to avoid forming lumps. Add the whole milk and bring the mixture to a simmer, continuously whisking.*** Add the nutmeg and lightly season with salt and pepper.
Add the peas, diced turkey, and cooked vegetables to the sauce and allow everything to warm through. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish or ramekins. Roll out the refrigerated pie crust just large enough to cover the casserole. If you are making individual portions, do your best to square off the crust before cutting into eight pieces, large enough to cover the ramekins. Lay gently on top of the mixture and brush with the egg wash. Cut a few venting holes in the pastry.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Serve immediately.
*I prefer the turkey diced but you could shred the meat. I generally use the breast meat but use any combination of white and dark meat you prefer.
**You could also use half and half or heavy cream.
***If the mixture seems too thick, add a little more chicken broth or milk.
I often take an additional sheet of puff pastry, cut it into squares, brush it with egg wash, and bake it with the pot pie – who doesn’t love some additional crust?
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Main Dishes
- Cuisine: American
- Calories: 471.47
- Sugar: 5.97 g.
- Sodium: 289.4 mg.
- Fat: 28.1 g.
- Saturated Fat: 11.73 g.
- Carbohydrates: 36.21 g.
- Fiber: 3.52 g.
- Protein: 19.62 g.
- Cholesterol: 90.89 g.
Keywords: turkey, puff pastry