Turkey Leftovers? A One-Dish Wonder

In the days after preparing (or even just eating) a big Thanksgiving meal, I don't want to spend much time in the kitchen, especially on a weeknight. As I looked ahead to post-Thanksgiving meals, I found a gem in Pam Anderson's book Perfect One-Dish Dinners. (NB: This is Pam Anderson, formerly of Cook's Illustrated, not Pamela Sue Anderson, formerly of Baywatch.)

Her recipe for potpie calls for simple ingredients: shredded meat, pantry items, apples and onions. It's quite adaptable. The first time I made it, I didn't have the exact ingredients, but used what I had on hand, and still ended up with a great dish. It will be an ideal recipe when I'm staring down a pile of leftover turkey.

I've made a few adjustments to Anderson's recipe. On my first attempt, overflowing pans set off the smoke alarm. I figure the smoke added even more flavor. In any case, even my kids ate it. This, on top of its one-dish, simple ingredients made it a trifecta in my book.

Turkey Potpie with Apples and Whole Wheat Cheddar Biscuits, adapted from Perfect One-Dish Dinners by Pam Anderson
(serves 8, or makes 2 4-serving casseroles) Remember to put a stick of butter in the freezer ahead of time.


For the turkey:

2 cups chicken or turkey broth
12 ounces evaporated milk (I used 2%; it's what I had)
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) butter, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine (Anderson calls for 2 leeks, washed and sliced thin)
2 large firm-fleshed local apples, quartered, cored and sliced fine
 5 to 6 cups leftover shredded turkey, skin removed
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dried sage
1/4 cup sherry

For the biscuits:

2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, frozen solid
1 cup cold buttermilk


For the turkey:

1. Place oven rack in lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Microwave broth and milk in a large microwave safe bowl for 3 to 4 minutes or until steamy.

2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and apple; cook for 7 to 8 minutes or until tender. Transfer to large bowl.  Add shredded turkey and set aside.

3. Melt remaining 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter in now Dutch oven over medium heat.  When foam subsides, whisk in flour and sage; cook for 1 to 2 minutes until golden.  Whisk in warm milk mixture. Simmer, stirring constantly, about 1 minute or until sauce thickens to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat; stir in sherry then turkey mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in Dutch oven or 13-by-9-inch high-sided baking dish.*

For the biscuits:

4. Whisk flour, powder, soda, salt, and cheddar with fork in medium bowl. Coursely grate frozen butter with box grater (watch your knuckles!) into dry ingredients. Mix quickly with fingertips to blend.  Mix in buttermilk with fork until dough just comes together. Pinch off small rounds of dough and place over filling. Bake until top is golden brown and filling bubbles, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve.

*Anderson also suggests 2 8-inch-square baking pans or 9-inch pie pans. I used the latter and the filling spilled out over the sides onto the racks and bottom of the oven, burning and setting off the smoke alarm. Lesson: use pan with high sides.


Kristin Boldon is a frequent contributor for Simple Good and Tasty, who also writes for the Eastside Food Cooperative's newsletter on health and wellness, Minnesota Monthly's food blog Dara & Co., and for her own blog Girl Detective. Her last post for us was "The Last CSA Box of the Season: Savory Autumn Stew."