Every holiday has a unique set of traditions, of course, but Thanksgiving is special because it comes with an extra set of conventions for the flip side of the holiday. Naturally, there’s football, football and football, but there’s more: many families use the day after Thanksgiving to put up a Christmas Tree; there’s the annual depleting or deploring of stores that open on Black Friday; and there’s also the ritual complaining or rejoicing about the abundance of leftovers.
For many folks, eating the remains of the day is a simple thing; turkey sandwiches are legion and come layered with dressing, perhaps a generous spread of mashed potatoes and a side of gravy for au jus style dipping. And it can be a fun way to close the holiday and play top chef as you present your creation with chefly jargon like “a clever riff on the holiday” or “a deconstruction of the feast.”
And as much fun as all that can be, leftover turkey presents yet another opportunity to gather together at table, touch the souls of your family and friends, and maintain the comfortable mood of the holiday regardless of bad punt returns, strands of lights that expire only after they’re on the tree and even the stress of maddening crowds at the mall.
A steaming pot pie, fresh from the oven is a nearly iconic symbol of the special kind of comfort that comes with a Sunday at Grandma’s house. But it’s easy to create that feeling at your own home with Mahasti’s simple recipe – especially since the bird is cooked, and you’ll probably have many of the other ingredients on hand, too.
There are two things that make Mahasti’s Pot Pie stand out. One is the inclusion of pumpkin. It will be easy to think about leaving that out, but, if you do, you’ll miss a rich and almost mysterious flavor element that really amps up this recipe. When cooked like this, adds a subtle sweetness and earthy flavor that matches perfectly with potato and cream sauces. And it enhances the velvety, even luxurious texture of the sauce.
The other element that makes this recipe stand out is that instead of a pie crust or puff pastry, Mahasti tops the pie with biscuits. I don’t have to tell you what a biscuit can to do a meal, but when it sits on top of a pot pie it gets a beautiful brown top, a fluffy middle, and a bottom that’s happily situated in the pie’s gravy-like sauce. These particular biscuits get a seasonal surge from the inclusion of fresh sage that fills every bite with flavor – and if you haven’t tried sage and pumpkin together, you’re missing a very fine savor sensation.
Pot Pie is a simple way not only to put those leftovers to a delicious use but also to extend the warmth and fond memories of family time around the table.
¼ cup oil
1 cup celery. diced
1 cup carrot, sliced into half moons
¾ cup onion, diced
1 medium sized potato -1 cup diced
1 cup cooked turkey, shredded or diced
Peel the potato, cut into ¼ inch thick slices. Cut the slices into strips and dice the potato. Place the potato in a pot of cold water. Place the pot on the stove and cook the potato until it the chunks are just firm, 20 – 30 minutes, depending on the size of your chunks. When the potatoes are cooked through, drain them and place them in a large bowl.
Heat the oil in a large skillet, over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for about 1 minutes, then add celery and carrots and sauté for 2-3 minutes until vegetables are just beginning to soften. Add the vegetables to the bowl with the potatoes. Add the cooked turkey.
Place skillet back on the burner, over medium heat and make the sauce.
For the cream sauce:
2 ½ Tbl unsalted butter
2 Tbl all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup water
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup pumpkin puree, optional
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 Tbl fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Add the butter to the skillet. When the butter has melted, add the flour and whisk until all the flour is absorbed into the butter and no lumps remain. Mix together the milk, water, and heavy cream, pour the mixture into the butter mixture and whisk constantly until the sauce thickens slightly. Add the pumpkin puree, if using, then add salt, pepper and parsley. Pour the sauce over the cooked vegetables and turkey mixture and stir until the everything is mixed well.
Pour the pot pie filling into an 8×11 baking dish. Top with Sage Buttermilk Drop Biscuits and bake in a 400-degree oven for 25 – 30 minutes, until biscuits are slightly golden brown on top, and the mixture is bubbling.
Prep time: 30 – 45 minutes
Cook time: 20 – 25 minutes