The big man in my life loves cheap frozen pot pies and will even microwave them for a midnight snack. He taught our sons to love them this way, too. I figured that if they liked those gummy crusts filled with pseudo-gravy with a token bit of meat and a tablespoon of vegetables, they'd love a full-flavored, meaty and colorful stew in a nice flaky crust. They do love it, so I plan ahead by making more than enough dough for the Thanksgiving pies, rolling out a top and a bottom crust, laying them between sheets of waxed paper, wrapping it in plastic and freezing until needed. The gravy is where all the flavor in a pot pie comes from, so I make sure that my gravy has a nice color and a great deal of flavor by making oven-roasted stock: I throw the neck and giblets into a stock pot with a whole yellow onion (including the peel), carrots, the tops and bottoms of celery stalks, butter, salt and pepper until they're beautifully caramelized, then transfer the pot to the stovetop, pour in a couple quarts of water, and let it all simmer for about an hour. I add the stock to a roux made from the drippings of the roasted turkey so that there's two levels of turkey flavor. Make sure to save two cups of gravy for each pie you plan to make. —betteirene
For the Pie Crust
2 1/4 cups
butter, preferably unsalted
For the Filling
medium potato, any kind
Salt and pepper
leftover turkey gravy
leftover turkey, chopped
beaten egg, or heavy cream, half-and-half or milk
In This Recipe
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse flour, salt and sugar. Add shortening and butter; pulse until the mixture looks like cornmeal. Pour in water and pulse until the dough comes together into a rough ball.
Divide dough into two balls, one slightly larger (for the bottom crust) than the other (for the top crust). Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate while preparing the filling.
Peel and dice the potato and the carrot. Place them in a medium saucepan with enough water to barely cover them and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until just cooked. Remove from heat but do not drain.
Add peas and corn to the potatoes and carrots; gently stir in the gravy and chopped turkey. If too thick, stir in a little water or chicken stock until the mixture is pourable but a little on the thick side. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Turn oven to 375 degrees and position a rack at the lowest level. Remove the pastry dough from the refrigerator. Roll out the bottom crust into a 12" circle between sheets of plastic wrap or on a lightly floured surface. Fit it into a 9" pie pan. Mound filling into crust. (If you have too much filling, save the extra to serve over toast.) Roll the top crust into a 10" circle. Fit over the filling; bring edges of bottom crust up and over the edges of the top crust. Crimp together, then trim the edges flush with the pie pan. Use a pastry brush to brush top of crust with egg wash or cream. Slash the top crust to let steam escape.
Place pan on a cookie sheet lined with foil to catch any drips. Set on the bottom rack of oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until top is deep golden and filling is bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool 10 to 15 minutes before slicing into wedges.