Turkey Pot Pie
On Thanksgiving you can count on three things: football on TV, turkey for dinner, and lots of leftovers. But when dinner is done and the games are over, it’s those leftovers that endure, especially the ones from the turkey.
There's very little lost in turkey leftovers. You can find something worthwhile in every scrap: slices for sandwiches, chunks for salad, bones for soup. Even those smaller, less lovely-looking tidbits come in handy for pot pie.
Pot pie is a most wondrous dish, beginning with the admirable crispy top, soft inner chunks, rich, velvety sauce and a wholesome flavor too. And while it isn’t the kind of glamorous-looking dish that people run to their phones to photograph, it does have that inviting appeal of home.
Bonus: the recipe is incredibly versatile! Look in the instructions below – in addition to the variations in the filling, you can use different doughs for the top and either cover the whole thing and give it a crimped edge to make it look fancy or not bother so much and give it a more rustic look.
Preparing pot pie takes several steps, so it’s not a quickie 15-minute fix. But you can prepare it ahead (even freeze) and bake it later, which of course means it’s perfect for the Shabbat that follows Thanksgiving. It’s not as if you are going to roast a traditional Shabbat chicken the day after you served a roasted turkey.
Although it is a one-pot dish, all pot pies have three parts: solid ingredients, sauce, and crust. For turkey pot pie you can use leftover or freshly cooked vegetables and choose among many that work with the poultry: potatoes, carrots, corn, broccoli, zucchini, peas, parsnips, onions – and so on. Use what you have!
The sauce is usually based on a roux, made by heating vegetable oil with flour, then adding stock and cooking the mixture until the sauce thickens. But I’ve taken a shortcut – I cook the meat and vegetables together with the sauce. It takes less time, there’s less equipment to clean up and the pie tastes exactly the same as if you prepared everything separately.
Crust? So many options here! Biscuit dough, pie dough, phyllo sheets and such. After a big dinner prep like Thanksgiving, I make it easy on myself – I use packaged parve frozen puff pastry, cut it to the size I need depending on the pan I use, and place that on top. You can use leftover mashed potatoes of course, but then instead of pot pie you are making Shepherd’s Pie.