This is – for real – a delicious turkey pot pie recipe. I know because I have very acute memories from my childhood to compare it to. Ah, the sound of the little cardboard box opening, the frost covered mini aluminum pan landing on the counter with a thud. Always, ALWAYS served with a bottle of ketchup and canned peas. Some nights if we were very lucky and the pot pies had been sitting in the freezer for long enough we could actually taste the metallic aluminum with every bite.
Easy Turkey Pot Pie Recipe
These kind of meals were not uncommon in my neighbourhood at the time. Every kid who ran outside after dinner to play a quick game of hide and seek either had fish sticks, frozen pot pies or canned mushroom soup on their breath. Mothers worked, frozen stuff was always on sale and kids would eat it because it was a non threatening shade of beige and all pretty much tasted the same; like salt.
Years later, when I had moved out on my own, I picked up a frozen chicken pot pie and was kind of shocked at how it was nothing like I remembered it. It wasn’t delicious. It wasn’t even good. That’s when I started to develop my own Chicken Pot Pie recipe. Most of them also weren’t delicious or good. But a few years ago it all finally clicked. I found a recipe online that acted as a good base and over the years I’ve changed it over and over again until it’s now ready for unveiling.
The best part is you can use Thanksgiving leftovers to make this turkey pot pie recipe, which is exactly what these are made out of. After Thanksgiving I stripped the remaining meat off of my turkey and the turkey I pilfered from my friend Amos. (Every year I pilfer at least one Thanksgiving turkey carcass from a friend or neighbour.) Those two turkeys gave me over 20 jars of delicious turkey broth (here’s my recipe) and several Turkey Pot Pies.
You can make your own pie dough or just use a frozen crust. You can make it BIG or you can make small individual ones. I used disposable aluminum pie tins from the Dollar store but I just saw that Amazon has reusable 5″ pie pans that would be perfect for meat pies.
TIP: For a perfectly balanced crust use 60% butter and 40% lard. 100% lard and your crust will be so flaky it’ll fall apart. 100% butter and it’ll be too dense. 60/40 is the perfect ratio.
I often use this recipe from Ashley English of Small Measure but I use the 60/40 butter and lard ratio instead of 100% butter. It’s from her cookbook A Year of Pies.
You can make it with more sauce or drier with less sauce. It, like all recipes, should be adapted to your own tastes.
It’s filled with chunks of chicken, peas, carrots and seasoning. Nothing weird. Nothing you won’t have on hand. Well … except the celery seed. You might not have that and it is CRUCIAL. The celery seed is what gives it that indescribable but delicious flavour.
It took a while to figure out the ratio of liquids I liked. I like the pot pie to be creamy and gravy filled but I don’t want it to be so filled with gravy that it oozes all over the plate when you cut into it. If you’re an oozer I’ll tell you how to amend the recipe for some ooziness.
- 1 pound of cooked chicken cubed or shredded
- 1 cup of carrots diced small
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 1/2 cup of celery sliced thin
- 1/3 cup of butter*
- 1/3 cup of flour*
- 1/3 cup of onions diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 2 cups chicken broth*
- 1/2 cup of milk*
- 2 unbaked pie crusts
- *If you like a pot pie with a lot of gravy oozing out of it then double these ingredients.
Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C)
- Combine carrots, peas and celery in a pot with the chicken broth.
- Bring it to the boil then simmer it with the lid on until veg are tender.
- Remove vegetables from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl.
- (DO NOT DRAIN AWAY YOUR BROTH ... you'll need it later)
- Cook onions in butter in a saucepan until translucent.
- Whisk in flour, salt, pepper and celery seed.
- Slowly whisk in reserved chicken broth and the milk.
- Simmer until thick and gravy like.
- (NOTE: if you have gravy leftover from Thanksgiving dinner you can simply use that as your gravy base and omit the broth and milk. You'll need 2 1/2 cups of gravy.
- Add the vegetables and chicken to your saucepan of gravy and mix.
- Pour mixture into pie shells, cover with top crusts and seal.
- Cut slits into top of crust so steam can get out.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden.