Saturday, December 6, 2008

Turkey Pies

Last Sunday I used leftover turkey & gravy to make pot pies. I had the camera on to do a tutorial and that is what ran it out of charge. It's also a bit covered in food, LOL. Jerry & I love these and always try to put a few in the freezer after cooking a turkey. You don't have to defrost them to cook - just take from the freezer into a preheated oven.

I started by wilting most of a yellow onion, celery and smalled diced potato.

I mixed leftover turkey cut in bite sized pieces with the leftover gravy (you could use those packets to make more if needed) and a can of carrots from the hurricane box. (We are determined not to let the canned good go out of date and be thrown away as in previous years.)

When the onions and celery is wilted and potatoes softened, add them to the turkey meat mixture. This doesn't need to be cooked because everything is already cooked. I put it in a pot for convenience in mixing.

Assemble the tools and ingredients you'll need - pastry recipe, flour, shortening, salt, cold water, measuring tools, celery seeds, pastry blender, a fork, and a large bowl.

Per your recipe you'll be mixing flour and salt together. I also add celery seeds. You'll also add shortening - I buy the crisco blocks because they keep in the fridge forever whereas the can goes rancid here in Florida and it's messy to measure.

Using a pastry blender, you cut the shortening into the flour/salt/seed mixture until most of it is about the size of small peas.

Add very cold water one tablespoon at a time. Check your recipe for how many but don't be surprized if you have to adapt. I almost always seem to need more water than called for.

Mix in the cold water with a fork. It will start to cluump together.

Eventually it will form a ball - well mostly, you might have to use your hands to gather it all into the ball :)

Next you need to flour a surface. I often use my countertop but this time I actually ended up putting a large piece of parchment paper (i LOVE that stuff and always have it on hand) on the counter and then flouring it.
Be sure the ball of dough gets floured on both sides so it doesn't stick to your rolling pin or the surface you are rolling it on.
Roll the dough out to 1/8 - 1/4" thickness. The stiffer the dough the easier - the stickerier the harder it is to do; however, the thinner makes the nicest finished product.
Use whatever you have on hand to use as a template to cut a circle into the dough. My suggestion is no smaller than 6" and no larger than 12" but who knows!
Here's a round of dough just waiting to be filled with the yummy mixture!

Notice the mixture isn't runny even with gravy. I wish I knew how to use more gravy for when it's cooked so it's wetter yet dry enough to work with when making the pies. Humm...I just though of something. Pehraps adding small frozen cubes or slivers of gravy just before closing the pies. I believe that would work!

After filling the pie you fold over the dough, pinch the edges, and cut 3 small vents on top. If you forget to vent, or if the dough is too sticky to work with, you can cut them after they are frozen and/or before cooking.

Here's a tray of them all made up. This year I only made 4 individual pies for our freezer - 3 for us and 1 went to Marge. Nice to have on a winter night. They are quite hardy and definetly a comfort food.

I place them in the freezer just to firm them up before putting them in zip locks or individual containers. This steps helps to keep them from sticking together if they share a contianer in the freezer and to retain their shape.

The reason I only made 4 individual pies is because I made a big pot pie. Thought it would be a good meal for when my Dad comes during Christmas. Just a nice thing to have in the freezer and that Corelle French White dish goes from the freezer to the oven with no problem. I made a large pie shell for the inside.

Then filled it with the remainder of the turkey, onion, celery, carrots, potato, and gravy mixture which smelled so good!

I also made a pastry shell to cover the top. I folded in half and then in half again so that I could handle it more easily.

I unfolded one side to cover half the pie.

Then unfolded the remainder, pinched off the edges, put in freezer for 30 minutes before covering so that the cover wouldn't stick to my crust when I remove it to cook.
That's it! If you've never tried this before, I hope you will try it. Everytime I have done it I thought how much fun it would be if I had a helper or two and we could do an assembly line. I can't tell you exactly how long to cook them because it will depend on many factors - how thick the crust, how much filling, how large the pies. Basically I take them from the freezer into a preheated 350 oven and begin looking at them after 20 minutes. They do cook rather quickly. I watch for a little something coming out of the pie to show it's done. You 'll also smell them!


Julie said...

YUMMMMMMM...I want some now! Great step by step tutorial. I have not ever tried pot pies, but I could use a baked chicken cut up and be VERY happy!!! I will try one soon! Thanks for showing!

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

That sounds so good. I especially like the celery seed in the pie crust.

Zoya, Patrick, Nora and Stuart said...

Ok-that Looks ABSOLUTELY delicious. Patrick has wanted me to make these for FOREVER, so now I have no exuse to give it a try. The photos rock, Vickie!

:) Zoya

luvonne said...

You make pie crust assembly look so easy. By the time I'm done with my kitchen is completely trashed...flour everywhere!! It definitely challenges my perfectionist flaw - I've never had a perfect crust goin' in the oven, but coming out, it always fixes itself and I wonder why I was so frustrated.

My LIttle Family: said...

Luvonne I typically have flour everywhere too. One time in Kodiak Jerry asked how in the world I got flour on the kitchen light fixture!

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