I awoke late today, feeling a bit melancholy. Eldest daughter left very early to go back to school, younger daughter is heading off with a friend to a museum, and the hubbub of the Thanksgiving holiday is over. As one who thrives on hubbub, I am a bit thrown by the quiet. Although I had been counting on this free day to get quite a few things done, I find myself uninterested in doing anything, and since it is too cold for a bike ride, I instead waste the morning in front of the computer, allegedly handling email but in reality accomplishing nothing.
My husband, the math teacher, appears unfazed and is preparing math contest problems for his class. He brings a particular difficult one to me for help in solving, and though I remember little about geometry I do find his error – a simple math mistake. I decide that he too must be having trouble today as our little family once again rearranges itself from a quadrilateral to a triangle.
This realization reassures me somehow, and I am jolted back into activity. In short order, I shower, make the bed, eat breakfast, finish last week’s open encounters and lab result reviews online, write a few checks and finish a few odds and ends I’d been putting off doing. I then head out for a much needed mani-pedi, during which I start on my book club’s monthly selection (Age of Miracles, OMG you have to read it) and then come home to tackle dinner, which of course means the turkey leftovers.
Inspired by this recipe from Ina Garten, and remembering this delicious preparation for chicken breasts, I decide to make a pot pie using plenty of tarragon. This will also allow me to finish up that herb’s harvest before frost takes what’s left. (It did not survive last winter…)
Unfortunately, my younger daughter arrives home too hungry to wait for me to make the pies, so instead we compromise and serve half the filling over penne tonight (delicious), with the rest in small individual pies that cook while we eat dinner. They finish baking just as we finish the dishes, and they are gorgeous. We’ll serve them tomorrow night, but of course I take a small taste – yep, this recipe is a keeper.
And so was this day.
Tarragon-Cream Turkey Pot Pie
The tarragon gives a light feel to what could otherwise be a heavy dish. (Much the same way adding lemon can lighten a dish). I made individual pies, but you can make one large pie if you prefer. If you don’t have time for a pie, make the filling and toss it with some penne pasta (pass the Parmesan when serving it).
- 1 double recipe Pate Brisee
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 large leeks, rinsed and into large dice
- 3 large stalks celery, cut into large dice
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into large dice
- 10 ounces Crimini mushrooms,stemmed and cut into quarters
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 4-5 cups leftover turkey, shredded or cut into bite size pieces
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup cream or half and half
- 1/2 cup white wine
- salt and pepper to taste
- Beurre manie -1 tbsp flour mixed with 1 tbsp soft butter in a small bowl (optional)
- Egg wash – 1 egg whisked with 1 tsp water
Prepare pastry and roll out half to line individual tart pans. Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
Heat olive oil and butter is a large skillet. Saute leeks, celery and carrots till they start to soften. Add mushrooms and cook till they just give off their liquid Add garlic and saute another minute. Add turkey, tarragon, thyme, chicken broth, cream and wine and heat to boiling, then turn down heat to low and thicken with flour-butter mixture (if necessary). Cool slightly and pour into tart pans. Roll out top pastry and cover tarts, crimping the edges to close the pastry. Cut three small slites in the top of each tart. Brush with an egg wash. Place on baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes, till crust is brown and sauce is bubbling.
Makes 8 individual or one large pie.