Leftovers

Here is a thanksgiving leftover treat, turkey potpie with fennel and carrots, and Parmesan crust. Most everything I cooked is simple and relatively quick, but every once and a while I want to spend hours in the kitchen. This recipe is a great way to hide from the crazy, fast, supplement taking, I want my sandwich and I want it now, world, and just chill for three hours. The recipe is also very flexible, you can add or subtract what you like.

Start with the crust. Get a bowl and measure out one-cup flour. Chop up one stick of butter and add it to the flour, grate in about two tablespoons of Parmesan cheese (1). Mush the butter into the flour and cheese until it looks about like picture 2. Then add three or four tablespoons of milk. Mix with your hands until the dough starts to come together, then form it into a ball (3.) Cover and put into the refrigerator. Normally I am not a stickler about following instructions in recipes, but it is important to chill the dough. First of all, it is important to keep the fat source in the crust solid; it helps everything cook evenly so you have a uniform flakiness. Second, it is a heck of a lot easier to roll out cold dough, when it starts to warm in can become very sticky.

I am using fennel and carrots because there was fennel and carrots in my fridge threatening to spoil, you could use onions, or leeks, or celery, whatever is handy and needs to be used up. Chop up the vegetables (4). Cube up leftover turkey. I remove the skin because it will lose its crispiness, and mushy turkey skin is not very appealing to me. (This recipe is also quite delightful with not meat at all.) Place the biggest skillet you own over medium high heat. Add a pat of butter and a couple tablespoons of olive to the pan. Wait for the pan to get hot (5). Add carrots and fennel to the skillet and sauté until soft, ten to fifteen minutes.  Then add the turkey and a liberal amount of ground sage, salt, and pepper (6). If you have any fresh herbs feel free to add them but it is not necessary. You will notice that the ingredients are sticking to the pan, just go and finish stirring until things are evenly distributed. Then pour about a half a cup of white wine or lemon juice into the pan and stir, to de-glaze the pan of all the crunchy yumminess suck to the bottom. Add four-cups chicken broth, or any broth really (7). Cover, turn the heat down to medium and let simmer for about 15 minutes (8).  Remove the lid and add a cup or so of milk or cream.  Re-cover and cook for another ten minutes. Then remove the lid again and add some frozen peas. The peas with thaw in about five minutes (9). And here is my big secret thickening agent, not cornstarch, not flour, but leftover mashed potatoes. Add around three cups, and stir and the filling becomes thick and luscious (10-11). Spoon the filling into a large glass baking pan (12).

Pre-heat your oven to 350.  Get the dough out of the fridge. Lay some wax paper down on a flat surface and get a rolling pin. Flour the wax paper and flour the rolling pin. Put your dough in the center of the wax paper and roll until is about a quarter of an inch thick. Don’t be intimated, its not rocket science I promise. Then cut the dough into fun shapes. Arrange the shapes on top of the filling in the pan, and strive to be better at geometry than me (13-14). You may have to roll out the dough a second time if you have a lot of scraps. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Enjoy.

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