Thanksgiving came and went by too fast! I always look forward to this time of year because it’s a time to gather with family and friends, cook, eat, drink, and be merry! And the best part of these gatherings, are leftovers.
We cooked a gigantic turkey this year, and as I stripped the carcass of our beloved bird that we had tended to for the last 5 hours (buttering and basting it every 30 freaking minutes), I started thinking about how else we could get more tasty mileage out of this lifetime supply of turkey meat.
Turkey cranberry sandwiches? Club sandwiches? Hot, open-faced turkey sandwiches? (clearly I was in a sandwich state of mind)
That was until Jac suggested turkey pot pies.
I personally believe that anything baked into a rich, buttery pie crust is simply the best. This made all the other ideas look pale in comparison. That, and all my other choices were sandwiches…
I also wanted an excuse to make some pocket pies (a trend that has been popular on this side of town recently). Not to mention, who wouldn’t love a pot pie that is portable? I dare you to find that person. Seriously. I double-dare you.
That being said, I give you my version of some leftover turkey magic!
Things That You Will Need:
- 3 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter (chilled and cubed)
- 1/2- c. ice water
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp. water
- 2/3 c. butter
- 1/2 medium onion diced
- 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 3/4 c. chicken stock
- 1 c. milk (or as needed)
- 2 c. shredded turkey (cooked)
- 1 c. frozen mixed veggies (thawed)
Directions for Making the Dough:
When making pie dough, there are really only two options to ponder. Do I use a pastry cutter, or a food processor? Well friends, as a baking purist through and through, I will settle this little debacle for you and say… for Pete’s sake use a food processor already!!!
Listen, I love the concept of using a pastry cutter. It’s handy, doesn’t require about 10 different pieces to wash after, and gives you a sense of baker’s pride because you put forth your own muscle. However, if you are anything like me (somewhat lazy, have noodles for arms, and are not Amish), there is no shame in using a food processor to do the muscle work for you.
Didn’t that justification make you feel better? It works for me every time.
So let’s get mixing already!
Dump all the dry ingredients into your food processor. Don’t you love recipes that begin this way?
Add the chilled cubes of butter and begin to pulse your ingredients until combined. The texture of the mixture should resemble coarse crumbles of dough (almost like a streusel….mmmm streusel!).
At this point, begin to add the chilled water slowly and in steady increments while pulsing the mixture. This slow addition of water to the dry mixture cannot be stressed enough! If you make the mistake of adding too much water at one time, your dough will not form properly and it will be a sad moment. Case in point, don’t get hasty with your water pouring.
When the dough is finished, it should look something like this…
Cut your dough in two pieces and stick each piece of dough into a sealed plastic bag.
Then, take your pastry roller and lightly flatten each piece of dough into a small square. This will make the chilled dough slightly easier to roll out for later.
(I forgot to take a picture of these action shots. However, if you can imagine two slightly flattened out balls of dough in two separate plastic bags, you’re on the right track!)
Stick each piece of dough into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to chill and firm.
Directions for the Filling:
Begin by melting the butter over medium heat in a medium or large sized skillet.
Add the onions and stir until soft and slightly translucent.
At this point, add the flour and begin to mix well. Stir the flour mixture for about 1-2 minutes to cook the flour. Don’t fret too much if the mixture looks too clumpy. Simply reduce the heat and continue to stir the flour, butter and onions.
Gradually begin to add the chicken broth and milk (alternating between the two). Between each pour of liquid, stir and mix well until the liquid is absorbed. The sauce should never be too liquid or runny. If this does happen though, keep stirring the mixture until it begins to thicken.
It’s so hard to say how much liquid you need to add at this point, because it varies on the temperature of your stove and how you like your flavoring. I tend to like my white sauce on the more mild and creamy side, but if you like your sauce slightly on the less creamy side, use more chicken broth and less milk. Either way though, you want to avoid a sauce that is too runny or else your filling will spill out the sides!
Your sauce should look something like this…
At this point, add your cooked turkey and thawed veggies. Salt and pepper to taste.
Take your chilled dough out of the refrigerator and lightly flour your counter top.
Roll out each piece of dough into a long rectangle (about an eighth of an inch thick).
Since I’m not very good at measuring (it’s my general laziness happening again), I like using a tart pan or a rectangular cookie cutter to cut out my pieces of dough.
Drop a few teaspoons of filling into each rectangle (leaving a small margin on the sides). This margin acts as an insurance for possible spillage that could occur once you add the lid and seal your little pocket pie!
Once all your pies have been filled and covered, seal the edges with your fingers by slightly pressed the edges together. You can also reinforce the edges, by using a fork to press into the sides. This creates a slightly more rustic and decorative look (sounds like a twofer to me!).
Cut steam vents into each little pie and brush on egg wash. You can also add a sprinkle of coarse salt on the top of each pie for added deliciousness!
Stick in a 400* oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Look how fun these are!
They remind me of Pop-Tarts. Meat Pop-Tarts. Nope. That sounds gross. Let’s just stick to calling them Turkey Pocket Pies.