Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Meal Swap - Turkey Pot Pie

My wonderful friend, Jessie, has made me turkey pot pie twice when my family has needed freezer meals. This is such a delicious dish that I wanted to make it for my freezer meal swap and after finally cooking enough turkey I was able to manage it affordably for last month's swap. I learned that this meal is quite labor intensive and I spent a good deal of my day putting together 8 pans of the stuff. I'm not sure I'll make it again just because of the sheer time involved. We'll see. The recipe is actually quite large so I'd recommend doubling it and filling three pie plates, one for dinner and two for the freezer. Here are the assembled ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless turkey or chicken - cubed or shredded
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen peas
4 medium potatoes, diced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. celery seed
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk

2 pie crusts

You can see in the photo I have containers of turkey that I had just been saving for this occasion. I also found six large frozen baked potatoes when I was surveying the contents of my freezer, so that helped. I also used corn instead of frozen peas because I had a huge Costco can of corn in my pantry and I like corn more than peas anyway. Those plastic containers covered in ice on the right are chicken broth.

Here is a photo of Eve helping me with food prep. She sliced all the celery.

Here we are mid chopping & prepping:

Cooking Directions:
1)In a saucepan combine chicken, carrots, peas, celery, and potatoes. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
2)While veggies and chicken are boiling use another saucepan to cook the onions in butter until the onions are soft & translucent (4-5 minutes). Stir flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and celery seed into onions. Slowly add the chicken broth and milk, simmering over low heat until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
3)Preheat oven to 425.
*At this point the chicken & veggies are probably done and ready to be drained.
4)Pour the hot liquid mixture over the chicken & veggies and mix well. Your pie filling is ready!
5)Put one pie crust in your pie plate and fill it up. Cover with the second pie crust and seal the edges, cutting way excess dough. Cut several slits in the top of the crust for steam venting.
6)Bake 30 to 35 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is warm. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Working on the filling:

I ended up filling our freezer swap tins without a bottom crust and putting store-bought crust on top. I had planned to make my own crust, but I ran out of shortening and I had frozen store-bought crust in the freezer. I used it because I was basically out of time with my swap buddies arriving about an hour after I realized I didn't have shortening.

I made 8 batches of the pie filling and easily filled 8 pans for the swap. I threw the rest in a big tupperware container and put it in the fridge for later. The next day I used the cooled filling to make all these additional pies. The cooled filling worked well to fill the bottom crust because it didn't cause sogginess the way the hot mixture might have.

So I ended up with many, many meals in my freezer, but I was so happy to have them as over the next three weeks I delivered four meals to families with new babies and I had a main dish all ready to go.


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