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Turkey Pot Pie

I do love to cook, but sometimes the stove just is not going to be turned on. Maybe it’s the fact that my recent discovery of Desperate Housewives leaves me couchridden on many weekday nights. Maybe it’s a long day of work or maybe those grad school essays have melted my brain for the night. There are many things I could blame. But whatever the reason, their convenience is one of the many, many reasons I adore leftovers.

Thanksgiving at my house produced an astonishing amount of leftovers. My brother, a law student in the throes of exams, got first dibs. I unashamedly whined that I had a hard week ahead and deserved just as much food as he did. Was it ineffective? Yes. Did it matter? No. Even after my brother got enough food to feed himself and his roommate for a week, I still had two full coolers for my drive back to New Orleans. Gleeful is a good way to describe me as I packed them into my car.

Remember that beautifully browned turkey from my Thanksgiving? It ensured that I arrived at my apartment with a gallon-sized zip-lock filled with turkey slices. Because there’s only so many cranberry sauce-topped, turkey sandwiches one can consume in a week and since the temperatures in New Orleans have finally dropped (60 degrees is astonishingly cold considering it was in the 80s last week…), Turkey Pot Pie was an obvious comfort food go-to.

Before I share the recipe, I have a confession: every time I make a potpie, I use crescent dinner rolls for the crust. Is that weird? You don’t have to answer. The buttery goodness it so easily adds to the dish makes up for the strange geometric pattern that gets stamped across the casserole. Also, I am really bad at making pastry.

Turkey Pot Pie
Serves 4

This recipe is very basic, but is still delicious. If you want to jazz it up, add a few more spices, like rosemary or oregano. If you have a lot of leftover Thanksgiving veggies, you could even throw those in.

2 tbs butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 1/3 cup chicken broth, divided
½ cup milk
½ cup flour
¾ cup frozen green peas, thawed
2 ½ cups leftover turkey, chopped
1 ½ tsp thyme
salt and pepper
1 can crescent dinner rolls

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, cooking with a teaspoon of salt and pepper until softened. This should take about 5 minutes.

Add 1/3 cup chicken broth and continue to cook the veggies until the liquid is reduced by about half. Add the remaining broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 425°.

Add the milk to your pot. Slowly add the flour, stirring constantly to incorporate. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Stir in turkey and peas. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a 2-quart baking dish and cover with pastry. Bake the potpie for 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown.

Picnic tip: A “hot and cold” food carrier keeps your dish warm from your oven to a picnic or friend’s party. Look for one that is big enough to hold your dish flat.

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