Thanksgiving keeps Giving
It has been a long time since we made a turkey because we have been so lucky to be asked over to friends' homes over the past few years. This year, we were again invited to our friends' home to enjoy their company, their cooking prowess, their lovely farm, and their sweet farm animals. They had a 27 lb turkey, but this year, I wanted a turkey too. My friend at work has the equipment to make Southern Fried Turkey. He had a small turkey, he injected it with a bunch of cajun style spices and deep fried it. Oh, it smelled so good when I was driving around with it in the car to our friends' farm. So, needless to say, with 2 turkeys at one Thanksgiving meal, there was a lot of turkey left over. What to do with turkey?
Well, we had nearly the whole Southern Fried Turkey left over, and there is only us and a cat. The cat doesn't eat turkey with cajun spices (too spicy for her), so she is no help moving thee turkey out of the fridge, so eating the turkey fell upon us humans. That is a lot of lbs of protein for us. We spent a few meals eating turkey straight up with gravy, cranberry sauce and stuffing, but it was getting a bit fatiguing for my taste buds. What to do next. Well, I went on a biz trip on Monday after Thanksgiving. I was feeling a bit like "Hooray! I get a break from eating turkey!" One guys I was on the biz trip said he made is own Tur-duck-en, and he said he definitely had more lbs of protein left over that I did, and he said he made a bunch of pot pies from the left over meat and put the pot pies in the freezer for future easy meals. Oh what a great idea!
Because we haven't had turkey leftovers for years (celebrating at other's homes, we didn't take left overs), I have become out-of-practice as to dealing with turkey leftovers. The pot pie idea was just a spark of genius for me. So the guy said he got pre-made pastry dough, and then filled it with pot pie stuff, and then rolled the top pasty dough on top, and then put it in the freezer. The guy eluded to the finding fresh rolls of pastry dough, not frozen, but we could not find any such thing is our local store, so we went with frozen dough. For the filling, I small diced turkey because I really dislike huge chunks of protein in pot pies, stir fries, stews etc. We got a bag a frozen mixed veggies, and tossed some in with the turkey. We got one can of cream of mushroom soup, and stirred that with the turkey. Three ingredients all stirred up, and I was wondering if I should add paprika, smoked paprika, garlic, caramelized onions, or something else besides, turkey, frozen mixed veggies, and a can of condensed soup. Nope. That was it. I tossed that mix into the pie shell, topped the mix with the 2nd pie shell, and baked the pot pie for about 30 minutes at 375F.
The result: it was a good way of eating yet another turkey meal. The crust was better than pre-made frozen pot pies because the pre-made pot pie crust has been formulated for microwaves, not conventional ovens. This frozen crust was formulated for a conventional oven, and it was good. Believe it or not, this August, yes August 2009, is the first time I have ever owned a microwave oven. Yup, I have never owned a microwave oven. Now, in our new house, the former owners left a very nice microwave for us, so this is the 1st time ever to own a microwave. Just to let you know, all these years without owning a microwave, all the frozen bread, pie crust, pizza crust etc that is formulated for the microwave, does not do well being baked for an hour in a regular oven. That is why I don't generally buy pre-made frozen bread/crust products because it is just bad while made in a conventional oven.
The plan is, next time, I will attempt to make my own pie crust. I put some turkey up in the freezer, there is mixed veggies still in the freezer, and all I need to do is get more condensed soup. The pie crust, I am going to modify the cracker recipe to make the crust. Mark Bittman did mention that the cracker recipe is a modified pie dough recipe, so I I think I have the tools to make pie crust now. I just won't put cheese in the crust dough, it will just be butter and cream. Mmmm yum.