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turkey pot pies

Thanksgiving dinner in a pie.Canadian Thanksgiving was last weekend.  Four hundred and forty-two years ago an English explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Orient, established a settlement in what is now called Newfoundland.  He held a formal ceremony to give thanks for surviving the long journey. This is considered the first Canadian Thanksgiving.  There have been several dates which Canada celebrated Thanksgiving but in 1957 parliament proclaimed that it is to be observed on the second Monday in October.   This long weekend is highlighted by a turkey dinner which my family has done so for four generations.  I continue to carry on with this tradition as do my adult children.  I enjoy all the details that go into planning this turkey feast but one of the things I don’t like is coming up with creative ideas on how to use leftover meat.  It’s a task when it’s just the two of us.  My solution?  Make individual turkey pot pies.

Making pot pies is relatively simple and easy to do.  You most likely already have the ingredients on hand from the turkey dinner (carrots, peas, stuffing etc).  Pot pies are a perfect way to utilize leftovers and you don’t have to be too precise on measurements (yay!).  This recipe is one of my favourite comfort foods.

turkey meat, chopped into bite-size chunks
carrots, chopped
celery rib, chopped
small onion, chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
canned baby peas, drained
sage powder
cumin powder
dried tarragon
homemade pastry dough or purchased pie dough
4 pie tins (5-inches in diameter) or your own cooking vessel such as ramekins

Preheat oven to 400f (200c).  In a large frying pan over medium heat, add a splash of olive oil and toss in onions, carrots, and celery.  Cook until al dente then add turkey meat and garlic.  The meat only needs to be warmed up then add peas.  Stir until combined.  Season with sage, cumin (about 1 teaspoon) and dried tarragon (1 to 2 teaspoons).  You may need to add a splash of olive oil if filling looks dry.  Take three tablespoons of flour and sprinkle over filling.  Stir to combine then add half a cup of milk.  Stir until well combined.  Add more milk if too dry.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  This step is crucial unless you like a soggy pastry bottom.

Use the pie tin as a guide to cut pastry.  You will need 8 circles.  Place one pastry circle in each pie tin and divide filling evenly.  Top with pastry and crimp edges with a fork to create a seal.  Brush tops of pastry with egg wash.  Cut a small X in the middle of the pastry to allow steam to escape.  Place in oven and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and filling is bubbling.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Use whatever you have leftover from your turkey dinner.  Add gravy to the filling…you’ll be happy you did.  Enjoy!

About Heather Chase

The Culinary Chase was coined by my husband whilst in a coffee shop in Hong Kong back in 2006. We wanted something that would be a play on my last name and by the time we finished our coffee, the name was born. As long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed cooking. It wasn’t until we moved to Asia that I began to experiment using herbs and spices in my everyday cooking. Not only do they enhance the flavor of food but also heighten it nutritionally. Over the years, I began to change our diet to include more vegetables, pulses, whole grains and less red meat. Don’t get me wrong, we love our meat, just not in super-size portions (too hard for the body to digest). I always use the palm of my hand as a guide to portion control when eating red meat. If the meat is larger than my hand, I save that portion for another day. Also, if the veggies on your plate look colorful (think the colors of the rainbow) – red, green, yellow, orange etc. then you’re most likely getting the right amount of nutrients per meal. I post recipes that I think help maintain a healthy body. I use the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time I make a conscious effort to eat healthy and 20% for when I want french fries with gravy (poutine). Balance is the key and to enjoy life with whatever comes my way. Thanks for visiting!


The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.


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