Turkey pot pie (repurposing Thanksgiving leftovers)

This is a recipe for remaking Thanksgiving leftovers. It’s very flexible, just put whatever you want in it! If you hate mushrooms, put corn in. If you really love mushrooms, double them and cut back on some of your other version. If you think it would be delicious in a turkey pot pie, it belongs there!

The basic gist of the recipe is that you’ll be making a quick gravy with vegetables, turkey, potatoes, and herbs. Then you’ll cover it with a sheet of puff pastry and bake it off. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, kids!

You could easily make this with a rotisserie chicken or leftover pot roast. You could also very easily convert this into a vegetarian dish; just swap mushroom stock for chicken/turkey and omit the turkey (or use tofurkey without the stuffing instead). For the vegans, just use mushroom stock, your favorite vegan pie crust, and Earth Balance (or your favorite butter substitute).

Olive oil*
3 small/2 medium sized carrots, peeled
1/2 a medium sized onion
2 ribs of celery
6 baby Bella or white button mushrooms
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes
About 1.5 cups of leftover turkey
About 6 or 7 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 cloves fresh garlic*
2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 quart of chicken (or turkey or mushroom) stock
1/2 cup half and half
Roughly 1.5 cups leftover vegetables
1 thawed sheet of puff pastry — cut slightly larger than your casserole dish
1 lightly beaten egg

1. Preheat oven to 400* Farenheight (or whatever your puff pastry calls for).

2. Start prepping veggies. Cut your harder veg (onion, carrot, potatoes, and celery) into a small dice, but I like to leave the mushrooms in slightly bigger chunks. Those puppies will shrink down in no time due to the higher water content.

3. Start heating 2 tablespoons or so of olive oil* in a heavy skillet over medium/medium-low heat. I use cast iron (12″ pan, for reference), so I start my pans super low.

* I used Trader Joe’s garlic flavored olive oil. It has a really nice garlic flavor, and it’s great for when I am too lazy to crush a little garlic. If you’re using plain oil, then make sure to have your garlic cloves minced/crushed through a garlic press and ready to go.

4. Once the oil is shimmering, add your raw veggies (onion, carrot, celery, and garlic…DON’T ADD THE POTATOES YET). Season liberally with salt and pepper, and keep eveverything nice and low. You’re trying to sweat, not fry the veg. (Sweating means keeping it nice and low to draw oout the moisture and concentrate the flavors. Try not to keep the flame high enough for your veg to sizzle.) Mince the rosemary. You can mince the thyme if you’d like or just keep it whole on the stem.

5. After everything is sweated down and is nice and soft, add the butter, minced rosemary, and thyme. Once the butter has melted, dust the flour over everything, give it a good stir, and add the potatoes and chicken stock. Cook everything down until the potato chunks are a very firm al dente (they’ll finish cooking in the oven). You can turn up the heat to medium here.

6. Gently add in the turkey chunks. Let them get warmed through. Add the half and half, stir, and turn off the heat. If you used thyme on the stem, pull out the stems now. Gently stir in any leftover veggies and pour into a casserole dish (I think mine is about 8×6).

7. Top with the puff pastry and put a few cuts in the top with a paring knife (you’ll want to vent it). Brush the puff pastry with the beaten egg and bake at 400* until the pastry is golden brown and puffed. It took about 35 minutes in my oven.

8. Let pot pie stand for 10 minutes or so before eating. Enjoy!

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