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The great thing about turkey pot pie is that it uses up so many Thanksgiving leftovers in one dish. But it’s also great if you’re not going to be making a big Thanksgiving meal and you want all the flavors without all the fuss. Serve this with some mashed sweet potatoes and a side of cranberry sauce and you’ll be in a good place.

Turkey Pot Pie

2 cups diced or shredded leftover turkey (or one turkey breast roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper)

2 celery stalks, diced

1 cup carrots, diced (could be leftover, pre-roasted)

1 onion, minced

1 1/2 cups leftover gravy, loosened up with a 1/4 cup water (or use chicken stock thickened with a roux of 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon flour)

1/2 cup white wine

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon rosemary or thyme, minced

Pie dough for 1 9-inch pie or cut into individual ramekin/soup bowl-sized discs

Saute the onion and celery in a couple tablespoons of olive oil until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and herbs and cook for a few minutes if raw, or if leftover, go ahead and add the turkey, gravy, wine, and lemon. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary (however, everything has generally been pre-seasoned, so you need to check).

Divide into ramekins, filling 3/4 of the way up. Cover the ramekins with the pie dough pieces and make sure to seal well along the edges. Cut a couple slits in the dough to let steam escape. They will most likely bubble through, but it’s not a problem. To make the dough brown nicely, you can brush the tops with a beaten egg or some olive oil and sprinkle a little sea salt on top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until the crust starts to brown if already warm, or 45 minutes from the freezer. Make sure to place a pan beneath in case they bubble over.

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Well, it’s time for the pre-Thanksgiving round-up. After several lovely meals for the holiday, I can say I’m done with turkey until next year. Not including turkey sandwiches or ground turkey. But the whole bird…I’ve had enough for a while.

I thought we were getting a de-boned and butterflied turkey breast from the butcher, but it turned out there were bones. Hmmm. So, I set about to deboning. It actually wasn’t that bad, I just cut out the backbone and started from one end of the chest cavity. It took about 20 minutes, but I got those things out of there. They immediately went into a pot for some turkey stock, which simmered for about an hour with some water.

I butterflied the breast and then salted the skin and let it sit in the fridge to dry out for a couple hours. Then the bird got stuffed and rolled and roasted for a while. We served the extra stuffing on the side along with some roasted brussels sprouts, homemade butternut squash ravioli and cranberry sauce. And of course, a delicious apple pie.

Gareth’s Stuffing

1/2 loaf crusty Italian bread, cubed and toasted in the oven

1 onion, chopped

10 sage leaves, chopped

1 apple, diced

1 cup almonds

1 cup beer (we used Dale’s Pale Ale, but any tasty beer would work)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Saute the onion in the olive oil until softened. Meanwhile, blanch the almonds in boiling water for a minute and drain into a towel to rub off the almond skins. Saute the almonds in a teaspoon of olive oil for a few minutes until starting to brown.

Add the sage and apple to the onion and saute together for a couple minutes. Add the bread and toss. Add the almonds and remove to a baking dish. Pour the beer over and bake for 30-40 minutes, until browned on top.

Turkey Roulade

1 deboned and butterflied turkey breast, skin on

1 cup Gareth’s Stuffing (before it’s baked)

2 tablespoons olive oil

kitchen twine

Lay the turkey out skin side down. Season with lots of salt and pepper. Spread the stuffing out in the center, making sure to keep it from the edges since it will spread out as you roll. Starting at one end, roll like a jelly roll making sure to tuck in any loose pieces. Tie with several pieces of twine to keep it as uniform in width as possible. The skin that gets rolled into the center will virtually baste it from the inside out. Place on a baking sheet or roasting pan and drizzle with the olive oil.

Roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, then lower to 350 degrees for another hour or until the center reads 165 degrees on a thermometer. Let rest 20-30 minutes before slicing. The skin should be nice and crisp, if it’s not crisping up while roasting, turn the temp back up to 425 degrees until it does. You can use the pan drippings to make gravy, just deglaze with a little wine turkey stock and whisk in some flour. Cook a few minutes to get the flour taste out and it’s ready to serve when it has thickened a bit. If it’s too thick, add some leftover turkey stock.

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