November 26th, 2012
My affair with puff pastry continues. I first professed my love for the buttery dough when I shared my recipe for this easy Beet and Feta Tart. It was the second time I’d made a tart using puff pastry after this Zucchini Tomato Pesto Tart. Since puff pastry served me well on the bottom, it was time to give it a chance to be on top.
(Is it me, or is this post taking an unexpected turn towards the obscene?)
I made this easy pot pie using leftover Thanksgiving turkey, but you can use roast chicken just as well. If you’re craving pot pie and don’t want to wait until you have leftovers, quick cook chicken thighs specifically for this dish. Poaching is my preferred method: bring water and/or broth to a low boil and add chicken until cooked through. Add washed, roughly chopped carrots, celery, onion and/or whole peppercorns for extra flavor.
With cooked protein and thawed puff pastry at the ready, this comes together in just a few steps. The recipe is also easily adapted: skip the mushrooms, add potatoes or throw in peppers. It’s all good. How could chicken and veggies tossed in a velvety sauce and topped with puffed buttery layers of dough not be?
(Leftover) Turkey or Chicken Pot Pie
(can be shared with kids 8+ mos)*
3 tablespoons butter, divided
3 carrots, washed & chopped into 1/4″ pieces
2 stalks celery, washed & chopped into 1/4″ pieces
1 leek, trimmed, washed and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups cooked turkey or chicken meat
3.5 oz mushrooms, washed and chopped (I like using chanterelles)
1/2 cup white wine (you can substitute broth)
2 1/2 cups milk, divided
1/4 cup flour
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
2 sheets (or approximately 16 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet set over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add carrots, celery, leek, thyme, salt and pepper; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 8 minutes. Add turkey or chicken, mushrooms and white wine or broth (homemade turkey or chicken stock if you have it—if you poached chicken to make this, the cooking liquid will do—otherwise low sodium chicken broth). Continue cooking until the liquid cooks off. Transfer meat and veggies to a plate.
2. Return pan to medium heat and melt remaining tablespoon of butter. Add 1 cup of milk and, with a whisk ready in hand, sprinkle the flour over the milk. Whisk until no lumps remain, then add remaining milk. Cook for one minute to bring the sauce together, then remove from heat. Pour sauce over meat and veggies, add lemon zest and stir to combine well. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Pour mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish and top with puff pastry.
3. Using a sharp paring knife, cut a few slits into the puff pastry. Brush the top with egg. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, until dough puffs up and turns golden brown.
*Note: To share with beginner eaters, scoop out meat and veggie filling and pulse in a food processor until desired consistency. You can add small, torn pieces of crust for children already safely managing finger foods.