This is the time of year that you want to have a homey recipe to pull out on Sunday afternoons, maybe specifically the Sunday after Thanksgiving? Enter pot pie. While it’s not a quick recipe, the directions are pretty easy to follow, and I’ll give you a few shortcut ideas – like puff pastry. This recipe is simple, but the leeks add a lot of dimension to the sauce. Start with cooked turkey (or chicken if it’s not Thanksgiving season). Spend the day before simmering homemade stock on the stove, snacking on leftover pie, and enjoying time with your family and friends. The next day, shred some turkey, get out the stock, and grab a handful of veggies from your CSA Share box.
The dough needs to chill so ideally you’ll make the crust then prep the veggies. As I mentioned earlier, there’s no reason you can’t use pre-made stock and puff pastry to save on time. This crust is so easy, and so flaky if you have a food processor just whir it all together and then wrap it up to chill.
While the dough chills, cut the root vegetables into a dice, wash the leeks, and then slice into rings. Sauté everything in butter before making this into a simple sauce. I use this method in our Roasted Root Vegetable Pie, and it’s an easy way to thicken the sauce. Sprinkle the flour over the cooked vegetables, and then add the stock slowly, whisking constantly. Let the sauce thicken before adding the milk so it doesn’t curdle.
We had a nice deep pie pan to use, but you can also use a casserole, or cast iron skillet. Roll the dough out so it’s a little on the thick side (it’ll be really flaky), and cut some holes to vent it. I’ve had pot pies boil over on me, so I always cut 5 or 6 quarter size holes. You can also place a baking sheet under the pot pie to catch any drips.
Leek Pot Pie
3 cups shredded chicken or turkey
2 leeks, tops and bottoms removed
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 small celeriac or about 1/2 a large celeriac, peeled and diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
3 – 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
1/2 cup milk salt and pepper
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon whole milk or cream
Crust 2 cups flour
1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 – 10 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Make the crust. In a food processor blend the salt and flour together. Add butter in small pieces until mixture looks sandy. Slowly add ice water and apple cider vinegar pulsing until just mixed. Stop when mixture looks like wet sand but holds together when pinched. Dump into plastic wrap and chill for about 20 minutes. Roll out between parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a saucepan or cast iron skillet. Sauté the leeks until just about cooked, 4 – 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celeriac, and parsnips and cook until the vegetables until just tender, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to combine. Add the stock 1 cup at a time, whisking each cup, and then simmer until thickened about 5 – 8 minutes. I used 4 cups, but if 3 or 3 1/2 cups looks right then use that. Stir in the chicken or turkey and transfer to a baking pan. Roll out the crust, add vent holes, and gently lay over the top. Whisk together the yolk and milk or cream, then brush the crust. Bake at 375°F for 50 – 60 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let sit 10 minutes before cooking.
Shortcut ideas. Look for an all-natural or organic rotisserie chicken (I’ve seen them at Wegman’s and Greenstar). Use puff pastry in place of the homemade crust, and there’s no shame in buying the stock if you don’t have time to make it.