Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gobble Gobble

So what do you do with all those Thanksgiving leftovers (other than gorge yourself, of course)? While most of the leftovers are long gone by now in my family, there always seems to be a disproportionate amount of turkey still laying around.  Thus, every year Thanksgiving is followed by Turkey Pot Pie.  Really, this is a pretty versatile recipe and you can stretch any poultry leftovers this way.  I really think my family looks forward to this dinner almost as much as our Thanksgiving feast. Also, did you know that you can click on the photos in my blog to enlarge them? (Just saying...)

What You'll Need
2 glass pie plates                                                          Can opener
Large mixing bowl                                                        Butter knife
Mixing spoon                                                                 Kitchen scale (optional)
4 pie crusts                                                                    1 can green peas
1 can cream of celery soup                                            2 tsp minced garlic
1 lb. leftover turkey                                                       Rosemary
1 can whole-kernel corn                                                Marjoram
1 can french-cut green beans                                        Salt and pepper

Now Let's Make Turkey Pot Pie!
To start, preheat your oven to 375F.  Open all your cans of vegetables and drain them.  (Do not try to drain the cream of celery soup - accidentally or intentionally). Set the cans aside.  If you're using whole garlic, mince two cloves to equal about two teaspoons of garlic.  Set this aside as well.

Put 1 crust in each of your two pie plates (two crusts = two pie plates). Press the crust down into the plate, so that it is fitted to the sides and bottom of the glass.  Trim any excess pie crust from the pie, using your butter knife.  Cut the crust right at the edge of the glass; there should be no crust hanging out of the pie plate by the time your done.  This isn't really a necessary step, if you'd prefer to do a decorative crust, instead, but it does significantly trim the amount of fat and calories in the recipe. (And, let's face it, after Thanksgiving we need all the help we can get). Once you've trimmed both crusts, set them aside.

In your large mixing bowl, combine the drained vegetables, garlic, and cream of celery soup.  Stir it together until the vegetables are well dispersed and thoroughly coated with cream of celery soup. (You can also cut a few calories here if you're really concerned by using Campbell's 98% fat free soup). This will create a fairly thick vegetable mixture. As you're mixing, be careful not to overdo it and squish all the veggies; they should be distinguishable (we're not making a mash here)

Gobble... gobble?
Take your leftover turkey meat and begin pulling it apart so that it is in large shredded pieces. Measure out 1 pound (16 ounces) of meat. This is where your kitchen scale will come in handy, because 1 lb. really is the perfect amount, but if you don't own a kitchen scale, don't stress it.  Just eyeball it (isn't that a tasty expression; totally appropriate for a cooking blog) and measure as closely as you can.  When you're measuring out your meat, try to get as much white meat as you can, since dark meat will make for a much gamier pie (unless you go for that sort of flavor). Also, do not let any bones or skin get in with the meat you plan to add.  Bones obviously pose a danger, and getting a hunk of turkey skin when you think you're getting meat is nasty (or gag-worthy, as the case was may be)

Once you've got your meat parceled out, add it to the vegetable mixture and stir it in. Add marjoram, rosemary, salt and pepper to taste.  I usually add about 1 1/2 Tbsp marjoram and 3/4 Tbsp rosemary, but I typically just throw it in on instinct, so it's hard to give a precise measurement.  Again, make sure that you thoroughly mix everything together.  Divide the mixture evenly between the two pie shells.  Spread the filling into all corners of the pie crusts, but if it's very full try to pile the larger amount in the center of the pie.

Top each pie with your remaining pie crusts. Firmly press the top crusts against the edges of the bottom crust using your fingers in order to seal the edges together. Work your way around the pie, until the edges are completely sealed.  Trim off all excess pie crust.  To finish the sealing process (and to make it purty) press a fork along the edges, working your way all the way around the pie.

Use your butter knife to poke holes in the top of the pie crust in order to release any steam or air that might build up as the pie cooks.  Try to do this in some pattern to increase the decorative effect.  Bake the pie at 375F for about 35-40 minutes, until the top crust is golden brown with no raw spots (raw spots look a little translucent compared to other areas of the crust). Remove the pies from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes (or as long as you can stand to wait).

Turkey Pot Pie with Gravy
A serving size is about a quarter of a pie. It pairs nicely with salad or other Thanksgiving leftovers.  I like to top mine with a little shredded cheddar cheese, but it's also delicious with a little leftover gravy. (This picture is sponsored by my Da, who had to wait to eat not-so-patiently as I got the shot just right).


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