cold weather forces everyone inside it's time for
comforting foods like turkey pot pie.
Thanksgiving turkey needn’t be an afterthought. In a
creamy pot pie, bolstered with root vegetables, it might
actually taste better than the original feast.
when the menu changes, when pasta with fresh tomatoes and
basil retires to also-ran status, when the prospect of gravy
makes our mouth water.
of fall and winter are all about comfort, about settling in,
about spending a bit more time in the kitchen because the
tennis nets at the park have been packed up for the season.
It’s time for pot pie.
that is, for really good pot pie — which some people have
never experienced, if their experience is limited to most
grocery freezer cases. Sure, college lore of the 19-cent pot
pie upended into a pot of rice retains a certain nostalgia,
and surely helped shift funds to the beer budget.
Convenience is a contemporary argument, but there’s a
tipping point between saving time and sitting down to a
tipped in favor of making homemade pot pie, with a crust
that’s both flaky and flexible, and a filling that you can
customize to your heart’s content as long as you honor the
is our protein of choice, because such leftovers are on the
horizon. But with half-breasts more available, you can roast
just enough turkey within an hour to make six pies. Swap in
chicken, or go vegetarian with more of the pot-pie trinity:
potatoes, carrots and peas. Experiment with other
vegetables, such as turnips, rutabaga, pearl onions,
mushrooms, sweet potatoes, corn or peppers.
favor the classic trio, but add a twist and some texture
with some crumbled bacon.
lie: Pot pies from start to finish take a little time. The
pastry comes together quickly, but must rest in the
refrigerator for an hour. The vegetables need to be
par-cooked for a few minutes to make sure they’ll cook
through in the oven. The gravy is best when you give the
onions at least 15 minutes to melt into savory goodness.
tempted to skip the egg glaze, don’t. It lends the pastry
a luscious golden crackle, but also is oddly affirming.
Taking the time to paint the whole surface of the pastry
with care, instead of a slapdash splash across the top, is
what cooking with love is all about.
you’ve come this far, cut a few leaf shapes from the dough
scraps to make your pies even more appetizing. Painting the
leaves with a bit of paprika-tinted egg yolk takes about as
long as reading this story, and guarantees an "ooh-ahh"
reaction at the table that makes every minute worthwhile.
this is before your diners have even taken a bite!
enough for 6 individual pot pies.
This crust is from "The New Midwestern Table" by
Amy Thielen. You’ll need only half for 6 individual pot
pies, so freeze the remaining dough for a single-crust pie,
or future pot pies. (The recipe also makes a 9- to 10-inch
double-crust pie of any kind.) Pot pies may be assembled 4
hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until it’s time to
(2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut in 16 pieces
1/2 cup milk, or more if needed
large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. With a pastry
blender, cut the butter into the flour until the larger
remaining chunks are the size of small peas.
the egg yolk into a liquid measuring cup and add milk until
you reach exactly 2/3 cup (you’ll use about 1/2 cup plus 1
tablespoon). Mix the egg yolk and milk with a fork until
combined, then add it to the flour mixture all at once. Mix
the dough with a fork until you can gather most of it into a
ball. This is most easily done in the bowl, like packing a
large snowball; if it seems any drier or more difficult than
that, add another tablespoon of milk.
the dough in half and pat each half into a 1-inch-thick
disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill in the
refrigerator for at least 1 hour and as long as 2 days. Let
dough come to room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling
POT PIE FILLING
enough for 6 individual pot pies.
A roasted half-breast makes about 3 to 4 cup of diced
turkey. You also can substitute chicken, or use more
vegetables, just making sure your total ingredients add up
to 6 to 7 cups. The bacon is optional, but a nice touch.
3 to 4
cup diced turkey, from leftover turkey or roasted
slices bacon (not thick-cut)
cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
cup finely chopped yellow onion
chicken or turkey stock
small red potatoes, cut in roughly 3/4-in. dice
carrots, peeled, cut in roughly 3/4-in. dice
grinds of freshly ground pepper
cup heavy cream
cup minced fresh parsley leaves
roasting a half-breast of turkey, preheat oven to 325
degrees. Lightly rub turkey with oil and roast in shallow
pan until temperature probe registers 170 degrees, 50-60
minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones
and cut into 3/4 inch dice. If not using immediately, keep
bacon, if using, until crisp. Remove to paper towels to
cool, then crumble.
large saucepan, melt butter, then add onion and sauté over
medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally,
until soft and translucent.
the onions are cooking, heat the stock to just boiling. Add
potatoes and carrots to the stock and cook for 2 to 3
minutes, until slightly tender. Turn off heat. With a
slotted spoon, remove vegetables to a bowl and set aside.
softened onions, add flour and cook, stirring constantly,
for 2 minutes.
the hot stock to the onions and simmer until thick, stirring
constantly, about 1 minute.
in salt, pepper and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Add turkey,
potatoes, carrots, peas and parsley, stirring to mix well.
Check for proper seasoning. Remove from heat.
assemble pot pies:
the filling among 6 (8-ounce) ovenproof ramekins or
straight-sided dishes no more than 4 inches wide. Crumble
bacon and divide among the pies. (If there’s any leftover
filling, serve it on toast!)
small bowl, beat egg yolk with 2 teaspoons cream. Set aside.
crust dough from plastic wrap (remember: you took it out of
the refrigerator 30 minutes ago), and place on lightly
floured surface. Roll dough into a 10- by 16-inch rectangle.
With a knife or pizza cutter, cut six (5-inch) squares. (You’ll
use the remaining inch of pastry to make decorative leaves.)
small brush or your finger, brush the rim of each bowl with
beaten egg yolk, then drape pastry over the filling,
pressing gently on rim to seal. Brush the entire surface of
pastry with egg glaze.
sharp paring knife, cut small leaf shapes from the remaining
dough, using the blade to press "veins" into the
surface. Arrange 2 or 3 leaves on each pie. Stir paprika
into the remaining egg glaze, then paint the leaves with
this tinted mixture.
pies on a rimmed baking sheet; this will catch any possible
drips. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 to 40
minutes, or until the tops are golden and the filling is
information per serving:
656; Fat: 39 g; Sodium: 1025 mg
44 g; Saturated fat: 23 g; Calcium: 92 mg
32 g; Cholesterol: 200 mg; Dietary fiber: 4 g
exchanges per serving: 3 bread/starch, 3 lean meat, 6 fat.