pot pies, two ways

Three weeks ago, Tuesday texted me and said that she had turnips and parsnips in her weekly CSA. She asked if I had any ideas. I said that I did! She texted me at a perfect time! I would think about it and get back with her! A week later, I realized that I forgot to follow up and my heart sank as I considered the plight of those turnips and parsnips. I contacted Tuesday to check. “I am REALLY sorry for not getting back to you sooner about your vegetables. What is their status?” She replied, “Goners.”

Just as I suspected. After several minutes of guilt, I decided that the only thing to do was get Tuesday prepared for future turnips and parsnips. I would come up with the perfect turnip- and parsnip-containing recipe, so that when those funny guys showed up in her CSA again, she’d know how to handle them. In brief, I was on a mission to avenge the deaths of a few roots.

In another conversation had with Tuesday months ago, I expressed my love for pot pies. This love was cultivated while living in Chicago last winter and having the great fortune of wise and wonderful roommates who took me to the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants that I never would have found on my own. (THANK YOU CAROLINE AND NAT AND DAVID AND KELVIN!) Pleasant House is a lovely little spot in Bridgeport which serves a variety of pot pies. It is perfect for a lot of reasons, one of the biggest being that you can order your pie of choice and then head next door to Maria’s Packaged Goods where you’ll warm up with a drink and board game, and have the pies delivered to your table. It is one of those almost too good to be true things in life. The mushroom and kale option is delicious.

I digress. After learning that Tuesday also enjoys a pot pie and at one time in her life wondered how to make them and that her parsnips and turnips needed a home, I knew this marriage was meant to be. YAY!

I wanted to create a vegetable pot pie to make up for my entirely chicken-focused past recipe post. But, with all of that freshly-cooked chicken sitting around, it seemed a shame not to turn it into a pie as well. Thus, here you’ll find two pot pie recipes. The first is a traditional option featuring a whole chicken that everyone now knows how to cook. The second features a slew of root vegetables — vegetarians, rejoice! In case you don’t recognize them in the image below, the turnips are to the far left (white radish-like orbs with green tops) and the parsnips are in the bottom center, between the carrots and mushrooms. PS — All of these vegetables were found at the winter farmers market in Indianapolis. HOLLA for winter crops which should not be underestimated. Here we go.

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pie crust ingredients (this is for both top and bottom — two — crusts):

  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 16 tbsp. frozen unsalted butter (two sticks)
  • 10ish tbsp. ice cold water

pie crust directions:

Mix together dry ingredients. Grate frozen butter into bowl with dry ingredients. Gently mix to combine. Slowly add ice water to the mixture and combine with hands, working to create a ball of dough. Split dough into two equal parts, wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out dough into a circle to fit inside of and on top of pie pan. (If you want, you can make a large batch of crusts and freeze them for eternity, or until you need them to bake another pot pie, a quiche, or a dessert pie. Pull the crust out of the freezer and leave on the counter for 30 minutes prior to rolling out.)

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20160208_130136traditional pie ingredients:

  • 2 – 3 c. of cooked cubed chicken (from the whole chicken that you cooked!)
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped carrot
  • 1/2 c. chopped celery
  • 3/4 c. diced potatoes
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. chicken stock (from the whole chicken that you cooked!)
  • 3/4 c. peas (I use frozen, but fresh would work too)
  • 2 pie crusts

traditional pie directions:

Preheat oven to 375F. In a dutch oven or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and sauté the onion, celery, carrot, and potato until tender. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and herbs. Once vegetables are tender, and this mixture to the pot and stir to combine. Add milk and chicken stock gradually and bring to a boil. Stir for a few minutes until the mixture thickens and add chicken and peas. Adjust seasoning to taste.

In a pie pan, lay out the bottom crust and fill with vegetable and chicken mixture. Cover with the second finished crust and seal the edges, or allow the top crust to hang over the pan. Make four slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust turns golden-brown.

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winter vegetable pie ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. diced sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 c. diced white potatoes
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped carrots
  • 1/2 c. chopped celery
  • 1/2 c. chopped turnips
  • 1/2 c. chopped parsnips
  • 1/2 c. mushrooms
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. vegetable stock
  • 2 pie crusts

winter vegetable pie directions:

Preheat oven to 375F. In a dutch oven or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and sauté mushrooms. Once mushrooms have softened, add onion, carrots, celery, turnips, parsnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and herbs. Once vegetables are tender, and the flour mixture to the pot and stir to combine. Add milk and vegetable stock gradually and bring to a boil. Stir for a few minutes until the mixture thickens. Adjust seasoning to taste.

In a pie pan, lay out the bottom crust and fill with vegetable mixture. Cover with the second finished crust and seal the edges, or allow the top crust to hang over the pan. Make four slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crust turns golden-brown.

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Lastly, and arguably most importantly, make pinwheels with your leftover pie dough. What on earth is the point of making anything with a crust if you aren’t going to make pinwheels? (Through some googling, I learned that these little creatures are also called bumblebees, tuzzie muzzies, gobblies,schmekels, doodads, and piggies. Has such a simple treat ever had such an adorable and ridiculous lot of names?!)

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Final notes: You may have noticed that the pile of vegetables I used in making these pot pies is enormous. That is because I occasionally get in a stock-piling mood and make a ton of a particular item for the freezer. The batch of veggies pictured made 6 pies altogether which I will happily be eating over the course of several months. On that note, I should mention that completed pies do freeze well. When ready to eat, remove from the freezer and allow to sit for 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 425F; place the pie on a baking sheet and cover loosely with foil. Bake for 30 minute. Reduce heat to 350F, remove foil, and bake for an additional 55 minutes, or until the crust turns golden-brown.

The traditional pot pie recipe I used is adapted from this one. The pie crust recipe is nearly identical to Smitten Kitchen’s, though I am a true believer in butter grating and Deb is not.

Thank you and goodnight!

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