Turkey Pot Pie is much better when made from scratch
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Turkey Pot Pie
When my husband would be out of town and I had just myself to worry about for dinner, I'd often stop at the grocery store on the way home and pick up a turkey pot pie. They are one of my favorite go-to quick dinners.
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find them lately. Not to worry. I have a much better solution.
On Sunday we had a turkey breast for dinner (I had been dreaming about turkey sandwiches). Since it was just the two of us, and it was a pretty meaty turkey breast, there were plenty of leftovers. I decided to make homemade turkey pot pie.
Now, if you are going to go through the trouble to make anything homemade, then you should make it all from scratch, including the crust. It isn't hard, and it really doesn't even take much time.
If you have your own recipe for pie crust, then by all means, use that. If not, this is my favorite, which I've been using for as long as I've been making pie, be it turkey or apple. This crust is tender and flaky, and I love it.
In addition to the turkey (and you could easily use chicken), the basis for the filling is a simple white sauce. And while I used a bag of frozen vegetables (yes, I know I said 'homemade'), you can use fresh vegetables that have been blanched or parboiled. They will finish cooking in the oven.
This recipe really didn't take that long to put together, with cooking time, you could have dinner on the table in little more than an hour.
Homemade Turkey Pot Pie
For a standard 10-inch pie crust:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
7-8 tablespoons ice water (I put a glass of very cold water in the freezer, just as I assemble my ingredients and leave it in there until I am ready for it. If the top starts to freeze, just tap it with a spoon, and use the water underneath.)
In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, salt and shortening. Blend with two knives, using a criss-crossing pattern, or with a pastry blender, until it forms crumbs the size of small peas. Drizzle water, a tablespoon at a time, until you've added about five tablespoons. Stir with a fork to combine.
Add more water as needed, stirring with the fork, until the dough forms a ball (see tip below). Separate into two balls.
Place a sheet of waxed paper on your counter and place one ball of dough in the center. Cover with a second piece of waxed paper and using a rolling pin, roll dough out to about a 12-inch circle. Remove the top piece of waxed paper and carefully flip the dough into a 10-inch pie pan. Set aside.
Tip: Don't use your hands at all other than to gather the dough into a ball. The more you handle the dough with your hands, the more likely you will have a tough finished product.
Half a medium onion, chopped
6 tablespoons butter, separated
2 cups leftover cooked turkey (or chicken)
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (I used peans, green beans, corn and carrots)
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
Melt two tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan. When melted, sauté chopped onion until transparent. Remove from heat and scrape into a small bowl, then set aside.
In the same saucepan, melt remaining four tablespoons of butter. When melted, add four tablespoons of flour, a half-teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of black pepper. Whisk over low heat to cook out the flour taste. After about a minute, pour in about a quarter cup of the milk, whisking constantly, as the roux thickens.
Slowly add remaining milk, while whisking. Cook and stir constantly over medium heat until the sauce thickens. Add cooked onions, frozen mixed vegetables, turkey and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Heat through for just a minute. If the sauce has gotten too thick, especially after adding the remaining ingredients, you can add a splash of milk or chicken broth, but don't add too much. Less than a quarter cup, if any, should be fine.
Pour the turkey and vegetable mixture into the pie pan.
Using the directions above for the bottom crust, roll out the top crust and cover the pie, sealing the edges. Cut vents into the top crust and then bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes.
Remove from oven and let rest for about 5-10 minutes.