What comes to your mind when you hear pot pie? Comfort? Warming? Satisfying? Swanson’s? That’s right, I said Swanson’s. You know, those individual little pies with a tasteless crust and gluey filling. Although we ate very little processed food growing up, my first memory of pot pie is the classic frozen entre made by Swanson’s. My Mom would on occasion serve these when my father was working or otherwise not available for family dinner. Next to liver, always cooked to resemble shoe leather, this was my worst nightmare. I hated them! Even the smell made me want to throw up and the texture of the “gravy” was reminiscent of the paste we used in kindergarten. The reason being, they both are essentially made from the same ingredients, flour and water. The golden rule in our household was that you ate what was on your plate so needless to say I had to learn to gag these down whenever they were served. Fortunately, as I stated before, it was a rare occasion.
Imagine my surprise when, early on in our relationship, my husband expressed his love of this dreaded dish. Always up for a challenge, I set out on a quest to develop a pot pie recipe that would be comforting, satisfying and appealing to my palate. Besides looking like kitchen royalty in my husband’s eyes, I also realized that another benefit was that it is a perfect way to transform leftovers into something fabulous. This recipe can be made with turkey, chicken, seafood or straight vegetable, whatever makes you happy or whatever leftovers you may end up with in your refrigerator.
Remember the turkey I made over the holidays? Well, this is one of the things I made with it. It went down like this.
5 c turkey or chicken stock, preferrably homemade (remember my last post about making use of those bones or you can use commercial, whatever you have)
2 chicken bouillon cubes, optional (if needed for richness, taste and decide)
12 T unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 c onion, diced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (remember, if using bouillon, it is salty, so taste first)
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1 T fresh thyme, chopped fine
1/4 c heavy cream
4-6 c cooked turkey, shredded or cubed
2 c carrots, medium dice, blanched for 1-2 minutes
2 c frozen peas
1 c frozen pearl onions
1/2 c fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 egg + 1 T water beat together
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat the stock in a saucepan. Taste and if not really rich, add bouillon cubes and dissolve.
- In a large pan or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions on medium-low heat until translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.
- Add the hot stock and simmer until thickened.
- Add the salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and heavy cream.
- Add the turkey, carrots, peas, onions and heat through.
- Add the parsley and mix well.
- Place filling in a 10 x 13 x 2-inch rectangle or oval baking dish and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
- Roll out the puff pastry on a floured board until it is large enough to fully cover the baking dish with 1 1/2 or 2-inches to hang over the edge.
- Using a pastry brush, dampen the edges of the baking dish with the egg-wash. Place the pastry over the top and press the edges to seal around the dish.
- Brush the top with the egg-wash and cut a few slits on the top with a sharp knife.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 60 minutes (turn dish midway through if cooking unevenly) until filling is bubbly and pastry is golden brown. Remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Things to note; I have cut this recipe in half and it works great (obviously use a smaller pan). To make ahead, complete through step 8 and finish right before serving. Also, I have made this in individual ramekins many times for a very pretty presentation. Who doesn’t love their own little pie?
Leftovers made into a masterpiece. Guaranteed to be loved by all. I made this for my 10-year-old granddaughter and she loved it so much she requested it reheated for breakfast the following day. Leftovers of leftovers? It can’t be beat! She has since put this at the top of her list of things for Nonna to make when she visits. Try it soon. What’s your favorite recipe for leftovers?