So I made turkey stock this week. A LOT of turkey stock. My goal had been to make a big batch of turkey noodle soup. But then I saw a bag of peas in the freezer … and the soup turned into pot pie.
This isn’t really a post about how to make turkey pot pie. This is a post about stubbornness. Because from the moment I started till the moment I finished, it was just one obstacle after the other. Here’s the list as I remember it:
–I gave my last white onion away and had only red on hand
–No dried thyme
–No white wine
–No yukon potatoes, only three bakers
–No eggs for the pie crust
–Not enough butter for the pie crust
–No deep dish pie pan. Couldn’t find it anywhere.
–No memory card in my camera … a fact I only realized after I had documented the entire process. So you’re only getting a few “afters,” as in “after I dug my card out of my camera case and stuck it back in.”
The thing is, I had already told Dave, as he was heading out to meet with the guys at church for Men’s Ministry, that he would be coming home to a nice, hot, turkey pot pie. Tera, on her way out the door to drivers’ ed, left with a rapturous look of anticipation. I couldn’t let the two of them down just because 2/3 of my ingredients were missing. So here’s where stubbornness and resourcefulness come together to make pie.
In the very little butter I had on hand and a few swirls of olive oil, I sauteed the red onion and the three baker potatoes, chopped, which I was doubtful would have the right consistency. To that I added a hefty mound of sliced mushrooms, a little porcini powder, and some garlic.
I love to add thyme to my pot pie, but I was out. But then I remembered my little pot of fresh herbs still sitting in my window sill. The rosemary had died, the sage had dried to nothing … but there were just a few twigs of thyme in the back. Not regular thyme, mind you, but lemon thyme. But we’re improvising here. And who doesn’t like a little hint of lemon?
I had plenty of stock and plenty of half-n-half to use for a roux, but I didn’t have any white wine. Or so I thought. Because at the last minute, I remembered the little bottle of white wine we’d been given on our flight home on Air France. It was the cutest thing, and I’d kept it thinking I’d put it in the window along with the mango juice bottle I’d bought in Paris just before boarding. (That’s going to be perfect for holding blossoms.) In went the white wine.
No carrots … that really bothered me. I don’t think I’ve ever made a pot pie without carrots. And the mixture just looked sad without some color. So I reluctantly opened a can of corn. It felt like a sacrilege, but I did it anyway.
Finally, I added some chopped turkey which I’d saved after making the turkey stock.
With the filling bubbling away, I turned to the crust. The first problem I encountered was the lack of butter. Had I had enough butter on hand, I would have made a rosemary Pâte Brisée. But without that, I was going to have to make a different crust and use … oh, I hate even typing this … use, uh … shortening. I know, I know. Please hold back all your hate-mail. I didn’t even know I still had shortening, but there it was, high up in the cupboard. What … did you want me to not have pot pie waiting for Dave and Tera when they got home?
Having overcome my shortening aversion (temporarily), I then encountered pie crust obstacle #2: no eggs. That threw me for a good minute, until I spied the mayonnaise. I’ve learned over the years that if you’re one egg short while making a cake, you can substitute a scoop of mayonnaise for that missing egg. It has worked for me every time. And yes, I am often one egg short. (Hey, wait … that sounds a little self-disparaging. Hmm. ) So I took a deep breath, scooped out an egg-sized amount of mayonnaise, and mixed up my pie crust. And … it worked! Like a charm, actually. I might have to make this my go-to recipe.
Now for the pan. I have one big deep dish pie pan that I use every time I make chicken or turkey pot pie. Every. Time. It’s just the perfect pan. But I couldn’t find it anywhere. I know it’s there somewhere, back in the deep recesses of my baking cupboard … probably hiding under the angel food cake pan. I’ll find it eventually. But I didn’t have time to dig just then, so I grabbed the first semi-appropriate dish I could find: a stoneware casserole dish with sides that bend out at the bottom instead of in the bottom, the way a pie pan would. It made fitting my pie crust a little challenging, because the top of the bottom crust (if you can follow that) kept falling in on itself. But by this time, I wasn’t about to be daunted.
And so … that’s the story of my turkey pot pie. I brushed a little half-n-half over the top crust, popped it in the oven, and held my breath for 45 minutes.
And they loved it.
The moral of this story? Never give up!