I am the queen of procrastination, as I'm sure you all know by now. I can turn any simple task into a trek up Mount Everest, making myself believe that something is much more difficult and grueling than it truly is. The mind is a funny thing, tricking me into believing that writing a blog post on how I used up my Christmas leftovers is a far more intimidating task than cleaning my bathroom, or in some cases even cutting my own hair.
"Nope, I can't write that blog post right now, I have to clean the bathroom! And what better time to see if I can give myself a haircut! And hey, while we're at it, why not walk all the way to the drugstore and buy an at home waxing kit!"
Some would call my justification and excuses for procrastination absolute insanity! The problem with procrastinating is that the longer you leave a task, the worse it gets, giving you more and more reasons to put it off even further. Which brings me to this very entry, my recipe for Turkey Pot Pie, or how I used up my Christmas leftovers...yup, you heard me! Christmas leftovers! UGH! What the heck is wrong with me?! In case you've been hibernating these past few months, we are now three days into March! March! Christmas has been over for more than two months! What the heck is wrong with me?! As ashamed as I am that I left a Christmas leftover recipe until March, I can see the bright side of this sad little situation I've gotten myself into. I'm hoping that this entry will become a reminder for me about why I should kick my procrastination habit in the bud, and in the future just suck it up and DO THE WORK!
As much as this recipe seems irrelevant at this point in time, it is absolutely a recipe that you can make all year round. No, most of us don't exactly have turkey leftovers kicking around our fridge very often, but luckily you can easily substitute cooked chicken into this recipe, making it the perfect weeknight fix all year! What I love about this recipe is that you are totally transforming your leftovers so that you don't feel like you've been eating the same thing all week long (really, how many turkey sandwiches can one have in a week?), while still achieving that same comfort factor that you originally had with a roasted turkey (or chicken) dinner. Because I was short on time, I wanted to simplify the pot pie even further. I thought back on some of the best pot pies I've had in my life and the one that stood out the most was made by my good friend Rita, who made Ina Garten's Individual Chicken Pot Pies at a dinner party once. The individual pot pies did not have a crust inside, only a thick, flaky crust on top. I initially thought that I would miss the crust on the bottom, but the filling was so delicious, and there was so much pastry on top that I didn't notice the missing pastry inside! Although I wasn't making individual pot pies as Rita had, I still only wanted to put the pastry on the top to save myself some time on a busy weeknight. I was a little concerned that the final dish wouldn't be successful because I was also not making my pastry from scratch, as Rita had also done (she's putting me to shame right now!). Thankfully the puff pastry topping turned out great! I still achieved that delicious flaky crust that I was craving, and had enough so that I could get a little bit of that yummy pastry in each bite, a great contrast in texture and flavour with the hot and bubbling savory filling. Turkey is a holiday menu staple for my family, and I have a feeling this Turkey Pot Pie will make its way onto our table as our holiday leftover staple after each and every one of those holidays!
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cream, heat to hot
1 1/2 cups cooked turkey, shredded (may substitute with chicken)
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1. Preheat oven to 400º. Grease an 8-inch casserole dish with butter, set aside.
2. In a large skillet, melt the 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, oregano and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft. Add the chicken stock and bay leaf and continue cooking over medium-low heat, until stock is hot.
3. In a medium saucepan, melt the 1/3 cup butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot cream and continue cooking f while stirring until mixture thickens. Slowly begin adding in the chicken stock mixture a little at a time, while stirring. Remove the bay leaf. Add the shredded turkey, frozen peas, salt, and pepper.
4. Pour the mixture into the greased casserole dish. Roll out the puff pastry to cover the top of the casserole dish. Place puff pastry over dish trimming excess pastry. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until puff pastry is puffed up and golden. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve in shallow bowls.