SoldierMan’s mom came to visit earlier this week, and while she was here, one of the fun things we did was cook. We’ve only cooked together a couple of times, but food and the love of cooking is something that we share and enjoy doing together. So, when we found out they were coming to visit, I knew that we had to make one of SoldierMan’s life-long favorites: Turkey Pot Pie.
(Actually, one of the reasons I wanted to make this again with her was because it had been so long since I made it, I had forgotten how. So this was also a refresher course for me ;))
I know a lot of pot pie recipes are circulating around pinterest, newer, lighter versions that use biscuit rounds and a splash of milk.
Those versions are not welcome in this house.
Now, obviously, just because this is called Turkey Pot Pie doesn’t mean it can’t be made with chicken. Traditionally it’s made with leftover Thanksgiving dinner. We happened to have some leftover turkey from the last time we fried a turkey.
And I’ve already been informed we (and by “we,” I mean “me'”) are going to make this again this weekend.
Good thing I’m going to start running again on Monday. *knock on wood*
You will need:
- 4 cups flour
- 1.5 cups Crisco
- 1 cup ice water
- 4 cups(ish) turkey (or chicken, of course)
- Vegetables, whatever you want
- 3 cups milk (ish, you might need more)
- Half a stick of butter
- Salt and Pepper
- An afternoon. Yes, really. But it’s worth it.
If you are using leftovers, de-bone your meat into bite-sized chunks.
Keep a weather eye out for stalking puppies.
All in all, wind up with about 4 cups of meat, cooked. Then set aside.
Start on your crust:
Grab a large bowl and dump in 2.5 cups of flour.
Add 3.5 tsp of Salt, and whisk them together thoroughly
Measure out the Crisco in 1/2 cup portions
Add one portion at a time and cut up with a pastry cutter until they’re in little pieces
This part is important: using a butterknife, scoop flour over and around the pieces of Crisco
DON’T STIR – SCOOP.
Keep scooping until you’ve got what looks like a bunch of powdery peas.
Now drizzle in a tablespoon or two of the ice water
Now stand back and let gravity do its job. The water will seep into the flour for you.
Then take your knife and scoop flour and Crisco from the bottom into the water. Keep scooping – not stirring – until the water gets absorbed. Then repeat. Add more water, wait a minute, then scoop. Keep going until you have a ribbony, sticky dough. Not wet, just sticky.
Not all of the flour will be used. There will be a good bit of crumbles left on the bottom of the bowl. That’s fine. We’ll get back to them later.
Next, scoop – but don’t squeeze – a couple handfuls of dough onto a floured surface. Gently press into a ball. Again, don’t squeeze it. Be nice.
Really, really grease your baking dish with some Crisco.
Now gently shape your ball to match the shape of your baking dish. Since mine is oblong, I made an oval.
Again, don’t smoosh it. Just gently reshape it.
Roll your dough out until it’s about a half-inch thick, and/or big enough to cover the bottom and sides of your dish. Be very careful not to apply too much pressure. You want to smooth it out, but not smoosh it. Smooshing will squash all the lovely ribbons of pastry we just spent all that time making, and it turn your finished crust from flaky to cracker-y. No bueno.
This part is a little tricky but it’s worth it. Take the thickest part of the dough and fold it in half.
Slow and steady.
Then in half again.
Now gently lift the dough and settle it into your baker.
Very gently unfold it into your baker.
Carefully press the dough into all your corners
If there are any tears, don’t worry about it. Just patch it with your fingers, tearing off pieces from the edges if you have to.
Now, that leftover flour mixture in the bowl? Repeat all the steps again to make the topper for your dish. Roll it out and leave it.
Time to move to the stove.
Preheat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit
Melt half a stick of butter in a large pot.
Add a 1/2 cup flour (ish) and let it mix. If it needs to be thicker, add a little spoonful of flour into the melted butter and stir it around until it is mixed well. This is what you call “making a roux.”
Pour in the milk and mix over heat. Let it heat through until it’s a gravy, mixing a lot to keep it from scalding.
Now, this is a matter of personal preference, but if you want to thicken up your filling gravy, like I did, spoon out a some of the gravy into a small bowl. Add some cold water to cool it off, then whisk in a spoon or two of flour. Once it’s mixed thoroughly, put it back in the pot. You can repeat this as often as you want to thicken up your filling.
Once it’s as thick as you want, add your seasonings. You can add sage, thyme, poultry seasoning, whatever you like. I added a teaspoon of cumin, mostly for color.
Then add your meat.
And your veggies. If they aren’t a frozen mix like this, they need to be cooked first.
Now pour it into your dish.
Use the same quarter-fold method to put the top crust over your pie.
Push it carefully into the corners and gaps.
Now, fold the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust, tearing off parts that are too big. You want it to be not much more than 1/2-inch thick all the way around.
Now seal it by squeezing the edges between your finger and a fork. Also this makes it look nice.
Poke some holes in the top
Stick it in the oven for about an hour and twenty minutes.
Reward the puppies with some leftover turkey for not stealing any ingredients.
Take the pot pie out when the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden and dry to the touch.
Let it sit a few minutes to cool off and “gel” up a little inside.
Try to stop eating before you make yourself sick.