Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pi Day: Thomas Keller's Turkey Pot Pie

I'm getting this in right under the wire for Pi Day!  We made this recipe over Christmas, and I finally managed to get the recipe up.  This is absolutely the most amazing pot pie I have ever eaten.  It seems fussy with cooking all the veggies separately (and I'm still not sure what it does), but I wouldn't want to change a thing given how tasty this was!  The bechamel is incredibly flavorful, and pairs well with all the fillings.  We made a buttery whole wheat crust (50% whole wheat flour, 50% white flour) to go with the pie, which was a nice choice as it stood up well to all the fillings.  We subbed leftover turkey from Christmas dinner for the chicken in the original recipe.  I think this recipe would also be tasty with all veggies if you want to go that direction.  Either way - you must try this!  Even my highly pot-pie-averse dad thought it was pretty good.  :)

Also be sure to check out Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home - this was one of my favorite Christmas presents and I've read it cover to cover at least a few times now!  So it's both a good read and has fantastic recipes (I made the chocolate chip cookies a couple of weeks ago too, although I failed to get a photo - but they were great!)

Turkey Pot Pie (adapted from Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller)

Whole wheat pie crust, for top and bottom crust, well chilled

1 cup 1/2-inch pieces red-skinned potatoes
1-1/4 cups 1/2-inch pieces carrots, cut on the diagonal
1 medium white onion, diced
3 bay leaves
3 thyme sprigs
24 black peppercorns
1-1/2 cups 1/2 inch pieces celery, cut on the diagonal
2 cups shredded cooked turkey

3 T unsalted butter
3 T all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 T finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp finely chopped thyme
Pinch of cayenne

1 egg, beaten

1. Roll out the dough into two circles.  Place one piece in a 9- or 10-inch pie plate and the second on a baking sheet, and chill until ready to use.
2. Put the potatoes, carrots, and onions in separate small saucepan with water to cover.  Add 1 bay leaf, 1 thyme sprig, and 8 peppercorns to each pan.  Bring to a simmer over medium high heat and simmer until just tender, 8-10 minutes.
3. Drain the veggies, discarding the bay, thyme, and peppercorns.  Spread on a baking sheet.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Fill a medium bowl with ice water.  Blanch the celery until just crisp-tender, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.  Drain, transfer to ice bath, and chill until just cold.  Drain and add to the baking sheet with the other veggies.
5. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook 2-3 minutes, without allowing the mixture to brown.  Whisk in the milk, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook, whisking often, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to about 2 cups, 30-40 minutes. Whisk well to assure that the bechamel does not brown.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Strain the bechamel through a fine-mesh strainer.  Season with salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, and cayenne.
7. Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator.  Scatter the veggies and turkey into the pie shell.  Pour the bechamel over the vegetables.  Moisten the rim of the pie shell with some of the beaten egg, and then cover the filling with the top crust.  Press the edges of the dough together to seal, and then crimp by pressing around the edges with the tines of of a fork.  Trim away any excess dough around the rim.
8. Brush the top edge with the egg.  Cut a small vent in the center of the dough.
9. Bake on the lower rack of the oven until the crust is a rich golden brown, 50 minutes to one hour.  If necessary, move the pie to the middle rack of the oven in the last ten minutes to brown the crust.
10. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 10 minutes.  Cut into 6 wedges and serve warm. 


  1. Hmmm, this pie sound so good Sara. It is simply irresistible.

  2. It looks delicious! We made a lemon meringue at Johns' place (both Johns, haha). It wept a little bit, but not bad for my first meringue.