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Turkey Herder Pie - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Turkey Herder Pie [Dec. 5th, 2011|10:47 am]
Zoethe
If I'm going to be serious about writing a food blog, I really have to learn to take pictures of my cooking while I'm doing it. But alas, this dish was not captured in the wild.

Nevertheless, I have to write it up. Because Ferrett has declared it the best turkey pot pie ever. And the dinner guests who ate it with us pretty much agreed.

I know you're thinking, "Turkey pot pie for company? Seriously?" And, yes, it is rather a humble dish. But I had rather a crazy, stressful day of working that required a lot of driving, and while I was driving around I started dreaming up this dish. I was definitely in a comforting food mood, and I wanted to make a dent in the leftovers from Thanksgiving. This is where things got a bit more interesting.

Because one of the leftover I had in abundance was mashed potatoes. With my acute judgment of proper food amounts, I encouraged Ferrett to cook enough mashed potatoes to feed the Duggars. So there was rather a lot of them left.

That's why this dish was not a classic pot pie. It was, instead, a hybrid between that and a shepherd's pie -- hence the name.

Now, I could just give you a list of ingredients, but then I thought about Erin and her desire to learn to cook, and thought I'd give a little more of a cooking lesson on how to pull together a dish like this, and how to make it all work.

First of all, I knew that I didn't want to make this in a regular pie tin. I wanted to make more pie than that--enough for dinner and a good bunch of leftovers. So I used an oval 8"x13" baking pan. I sprayed it with cooking spray and pressed the mashed potatoes into the bottom of the pan and set it aside.

The next step is mise en place, the preparation of ingredients for the cooking process. Taking the time to chop and prepare everything before you start cooking makes everything a hundred times easier. It might seem to take up a lot of bowls and a lot of time in order to get everything set up, once the cooking starts the time is definitely worth it.

That's not to say that everything has to go into separate bowls, only separated by the cooking time. So this is how the ingredients went in.

First bowl:

  • Large onion, diced

  • Head of garlic, chopped (yes, a whole head)

  • 3 Carrots, peeled and diced


Second bowl:

  • Several stalks of bok choy, leaves removed and sliced (I don't like celery, so I substitute bok choy)

  • Green beans, cut into 1/2" pieces

  • Mushrooms, coarsely chopped

  • Cooked turkey, diced


(No, I have no exact measurements. I don't cook that way, and I believe in learning to guesstimate. You don't have to use the exact same vegetables, either. Feel free to experiment)

Saute the first bowl's ingredients in a tablespoon of butter or olive oil until the onions are soft and slightly browned. Add the ingredients from the second bowl and cook until they are softened.

Push all the ingredients to the sides of the pan and make a roux in the middle of the pan: melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the center, add three tablespoons of flour, stir together and cook until slightly browning, then incorporate with the vegetables. Add chicken stock, probably 1-1/2 to 2 cups, just enough to make it thick, then add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of heavy cream - the flavor intensity is totally worth the small amount of heavy cream in one of 8 servings. Season with rosemary and a little bay, maybe some tarragon, but don't have too heavy a hand with the herbs. Salt and pepper to taste. Adjust to proper thickness.

Once all this is warmed through, ladle over the potatoes. Over this, place a pie crust rolled to the proper size for your baking dish. Yes, you should take the time to make your own pie crust. It's much tastier, and flakier, than a purchased crust. Slice several vent slashes into the crust and bake at 375 degrees for half and hour to 45 minutes.

I served this with fresh bread and a green salad. It easily would have served 8, and Ferrett and I ate it the next day for both lunch and dinner.

All Ferrett wants to know is when we can have it again.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: merle_
2011-12-05 05:24 pm (UTC)
Turkey pot pie is also a great use for what are likely copious leftovers from two weeks ago. They freeze nicely, too!

(for what it's worth, I don't mind the lack of pictures.. very few pictures are actually worth more than a paragraph, much less a thousand words)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-05 06:21 pm (UTC)
Yes, but there is a certain aesthetic with pictures.
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[User Picture]From: merle_
2011-12-05 07:22 pm (UTC)
There is. And I do enjoy photos, but just one of the final product would be fine. Trying to take photos while cooking is like juggling a walrus, a towel, and a chainsaw. (well, I suppose since he likes the food Mr. Zoethe could take a few photos for you while dancing a happy dance ;-))
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-05 07:53 pm (UTC)
I could recruit him, but he's usually working while I'm cooking.
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From: anonymousalex
2011-12-05 06:19 pm (UTC)
"Turkey pot pie for company? Seriously?"

That was just about the farthest thing from my mind. This sounds both delicious and perfect for company (especially company who like seconds, which is much of my company). Thanks for sharing it!

I was going to comment on the disproportion between butter and flour in your roux, but then I noticed the oil. As for not using quantities, that's fine as far as it goes, but some idea of proportion helps, especially if pictures are not present.

-Alex
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-05 06:26 pm (UTC)
A handful of fresh green beans, about 8 oz. of mushrooms, about a cup and a half of the turkey.

Or, "as much as looks right and fits your own tastes."

Homey foods for company aren't always considered fancy enough. Having a fleet of really fine cooks among my friends, I tend to get insecure.
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From: anonymousalex
2011-12-05 06:43 pm (UTC)
Fie upon that! Just call it Provençal and run with it. :-)

Thanks for the rough proportions. If I still had leftover mashed potatoes, it would probably be tonight's dinner.

-Alex
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-05 06:44 pm (UTC)
Well, you could go more traditional and just have pie crust top and bottom.
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From: anonymousalex
2011-12-05 06:46 pm (UTC)
Are you kidding? The mashed potatoes might be the most attractive part!

I really like mashed potatoes.

-Alex
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-05 07:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, well then.

I suppose you could actually make mashed potatoes for the express purpose.
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From: simulated_knave
2011-12-06 04:56 am (UTC)
What Alex said. If you had me over and made turkey pot pie, I might not leave.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-06 05:19 am (UTC)
Okay, so maybe I shouldn't scoff at hearty, honest food.
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[User Picture]From: whyelaborate
2011-12-05 07:37 pm (UTC)
Your food entries are one of my favorite things to read on LJ. I happen to be in Northeastern Ohio until Christmas, I know I'm a stranger but if you happen to have a dinner party again before then and have an extra place I'd love to come! :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-05 07:54 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you! I'm going to try and be more regular about them.
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[User Picture]From: jenni_the_odd
2011-12-06 01:41 am (UTC)
Huh, I never would have thought to put the mashed potatoes at the bottom--I'd have reversed the layering so the ingredients were in a pie crust topped with potatoes (and probably mixed an egg into the potatoes and swirled it up with a fork to get delicious browned edges on top). Interesting. I shall have to try that sometime.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-06 04:32 am (UTC)
I like pie crust on top where it stays flaky, hence potatoes on the bottom. Also, it was pie crust made with butter instead of shortening, so very flaky this way.
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[User Picture]From: delosd
2011-12-07 03:12 am (UTC)
Mmmm... pot pie!

Sigh.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-07 03:51 am (UTC)
Bet I could adapt it to acceptable for your dietary needs.

I'm clever like that.
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[User Picture]From: pjhandley
2011-12-08 05:54 am (UTC)
That sounds truly decadent. And yay for comfort food! When I have dinner guests, the most often requested meal is homemade Macaroni & Cheese.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-08 01:07 pm (UTC)
It was quite the yummy thing!
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