It’s that time of year when I get a little more homesick than usual. We haven’t lived in the U.S. for six years, and it’s been even longer since we’ve spent Thanksgiving with family. I miss that a lot – but we are cultivating our own Friendsgiving tradition that I also love. We host and make the staples: turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce; our friends bring sides, desserts and many bottles of wine. This past Sunday, we celebrated our third Thanksgiving since moving to Barcelona (a little early because tomorrow is just another Thursday here).
Our first year, we prepared a 5 kg. (11 lb.) turkey for a large crowd; it was the biggest bird we could find, and I don’t think we could have fit anything else in our modest stove. Everyone had enough to eat, but we had no leftovers… which made me very, very sad.
So last year we made two turkeys. One in the oven and one on the barbecue. Problem solved! (Also, grilled turkey is amazing). We did the same this year, and now we have an abundance of leftover turkey.
You should make them with your leftover turkey this Thanksgiving. They are the definition of comfort food. They’re individually sized, so you don’t have to share. And the crust-to-filling ratio is so much better than a regular pot pie. Everyone wants more crust.
For this recipe, I used four ceramic baking dishes that hold 8 oz./1 cup. You could use ramekins or any other small, ovenproof dishes.
Pot pies with double crust always seem like a lot of work … until I take a bite and I remember that single-crust pot pies are not even worth your time. I use Joanne Chang’s easy and tasty pâte brisée recipe from her Flour, Too cookbook (do yourself a favor and buy it immediately); one batch is perfect for four mini pot pies. Or buy pre-made pie dough. Whatever it takes to get this deliciousness in your belly.
- Pie dough, enough for 2 regular pie crusts (store-bought or homemade)
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups diced veggies (I used a mix of carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms and leeks)
- 2 1/2 cups chopped leftover turkey
- 4 Tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock
- A few splashes of whole milk or cream
- Salt, pepper and herbs (poultry seasoning, thyme, oregano, etc.)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Roll out chilled pie dough and line each baking dish with a round of dough that extends about 1/4 inch beyond the rim. Press the dough gently onto the bottom and sides of the dish. Refrigerate the baking dishes for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Line each of the pie shells with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add chopped veggies and cook until they start to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add leftover turkey.
- Stir in flour until everything is evenly coated. Gradually add broth while stirring; cook for a few minutes until the filling has a thick, stew-like consistency. Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste, as well as a few splashes of milk or cream.
- Divide the filling evenly among the baking dishes.
- Cover each dish with another round of pie dough, trimming any excess and crimping with your fingers around the rim to seal.
- Brush the top of the crust with the beaten egg. Poke a few small holes in the center to let steam escape.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool slightly, and enjoy.