Turkey Pot Pie with Cornbread Crust

November 29, 2010

Just short of making a scrapbook, I’m not entirely sure there’s a way to appropriately celebrate the feast that was Thanksgiving. Sure there was roasted turkey…there was cornbread dressing, brown sugar mashed butternut squash, roasted brussels sprouts, green bean casserole with a mustard mascarpone cream sauce, cranberry orange chutney… And though I may have politely squealed into my napkin when I repeatedly constructed the perfect forkful of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry orange chutney, and even though my family asked me kindly to refrain from dragging my tongue on my dinner plate, and even though my pre-meal version of “Grace” included a list in which the first seven things I claimed to be thankful for this year were plated on our table, and even though I considered erecting an ice luge to more efficiently guzzle cranberry sauce… I just don’t know that these things properly portray a Thanksgiving well spent. Or well eaten, to be clear.

But these might… Freshly made caramel apple pie with streusel topping and all-butter pastry dough, served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. German chocolate pecan pie drizzled in chocolate ganache and served with a dollop of maple whipped cream. Spiced pumpkin custard pie with homemade gingersnap crust and a top layer of cinnamon whipped cream.

I know. Even typing them, I teetered precariously on the edge of sweet, euphoric oblivion. Imagine. You see, I cannot be asked to choose one dessert to prepare. It’s asking too much of me. And I’m nothing without my eccentricities and reverence for decadence. So I baked and plated three intensely rich, over-the-top, heaven-really-does-exist pies, each with their own special garnishes, and called the trio a dessert sampler. And then I thanked myself. And then I gave to myself. And then I smiled. And then I spent a solid forty minutes in heaven, hotly debating peanut butter, bacon, and banana sandwiches with Elvis. He hasn’t tried Fluff, he tells me.

But then I returned to reality, turned the lights out in my kitchen, said two prayers that by morning technology would advance so wildly while I slept that I’d be able to pick up a robot to clean said kitchen in the Black Friday sales, and drifted to sleep with a semi-permanent whipped cream mustache. And today is a new day. There’s a world of fun to be had with leftover turkey, and this turkey pot pie recipe that I’ve plastered here is my favorite, just after turkey-stuffing-cranberry sauce sandwiches. Tender chunks of leftover turkey, sweet softened carrots, celery, onion, and green beans, swimming in a rich, creamy gravy, and nestled under a blanket of sweet, gritty cornbread. The crumbly topping serving as the perfect sponge for the flavorful sauce. Here’s the beautiful part: the luscious sauce that lays like cashmere over the turkey and vegetables? It’s healthy, light, and wholesome. It’s made with a roux of olive oil and flour and then a streaming in of chicken or turkey stock, yielding a thick, glossy gravy. It makes a decadent, comforting dish a bit lighter than those that call for cream and butter. And I probably don’t need to tell you, but it pairs beautifully with cranberry sauce.

Here's the recipe:

Turkey Pot Pie with Cornbread Crust

-Andrea Mitchell, Foodista staff and blogger at CanYouStayForDinner.com

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