Playing Field Pot Pie
by Kate Heyhoe
Serves 4 to 6
Kick off the game with this hometown favorite, turkey pot pie—baked to look like a football field. All you need is an oblong or oval casserole, some frozen puff-pastry, and a sharp knife. You can create the filling a day in advance, then lay down the puff pastry "turf" right before baking. Don't forget the puff pastry footballs, yard lines, goal posts and team emblems—all cut from puff pastry. Your fans will eat it up!
To save time, buy a pre-roasted turkey breast or whole chicken from your market's deli case. This recipe serves 4 to 6, but you can increase the vegetables and meat by another 2 cups to feed 6 to 8.
Pot pie filling:
2 medium Yukon Gold, red or white potatoes (3/4 pound)
1 medium onion
1 large rib celery, preferably with leaves
1 large carrot
1/4 pound mushrooms
5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1/3 pound)
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 cups coarsely shredded cooked turkey (or chicken or pork)
1/2 cup frozen peas (or lima beans)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon dried tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
salt to taste
pepper to taste
Pot pie topping:
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
1 tablespoon water
Cut the following into 1/2-inch dice: potatoes, onion, celery, and carrot, and set aside. Slice the mushrooms, and set aside.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, fry the bacon pieces until cooked through. Remove them with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels, leaving the bacon drippings in the pot.
Heat the bacon drippings with the butter, onion and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften and turn translucent. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes until the flour cooks through but doesn't turn brown.
Gradually stir in the chicken broth, then add the sherry, potato, celery and carrots. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, turkey, bacon, peas, parsley, salt, and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes for the flavors to blend.
Pour the mixture into a rectangular baking dish (about 12x7-1/2, 13x8-inches or similar size) or oval casserole.
Let the mixture cool to room temperature, or cover and refrigerate until ready to use (as much as overnight; bring to room temperature before baking).
When ready to bake:
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the thawed but still cold puff pastry out to cover the dish by 1 inch all the way around. If you want extra pieces for designs on top, leave enough scrap pastry for cut-outs.
Beat the egg with the water to make an egg wash. Brush the inside and outside edges of the baking dish with the egg wash.
Place the pastry over the top of the dish, crimping the edges around the rim in a tight seal, trimming away any excess pastry. Brush the pastry top with egg wash.
Roll out the scraps of pastry and, using a sharp knife, cut out football-type designs. For instance, place lengths of pastry at the 20-yard lines, and thinner ones on the 10-yard lines, cut out footballs, helmets, and team emblems. Place the cut-outs on top of the assembled dish and brush again with more egg wash. Cut six-2-inch slits at equal intervals across the top of the pastry.
Place the baking dish on a foil-lined sheet to catch any drips. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbly hot, about 40 to 45 minutes. When ready to serve, garnish the playing field with some parsley sprigs at the goal posts, and let the players dig in with a large serving spoon and bowls.
Copyright © 1999, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created January 1999