Thanksgiving Leftovers…Mini Turkey Pot Pie!

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It's that time of year again and Thanksgiving is definitely my favorite holiday!!
Let's face it, a day where it's perfectly acceptable to pass out from food overload. A day that friends and family get together, bringing their dearest traditions and Grandma's recipes to the table. I die for Green Bean Casseroles and Pumpkin Pie. The pumpkin pie I leave alone… but the casserole, every year I try to step it up a notch.

My brother was the best around Thanksgiving. I could always count on him to be my "fatty in crime". He'd sneak downstairs with me after everyone else went to bed to have yet another plate of leftovers. Piling everything on top of each other in one small bowl, pouring gravy on top of everythinggg, and scarfing it down as our eyes rolled back from fullness.

Yuck. Sometimes I don't understand how I'm not 100 lbs overweight. Do you guys know how much I eat??

When we were young we had a George Forman grill. It's pretty much a glorified panini press, that my brother was the KING of. For days after he would boast "Want one of my amazing thanksgiving leftover sandwiches?!".  I would always turn him down. A leftover sandwich? Why.. Why add extra bread to the mix when the leftovers are perfectly fine the way they are?
At first I judged (but I tend to do what with my brother..) then as I studied his technique I was pretty impressed by the kid!

He would almost soak the bread in gravy (uh….?). Next, a hefty layer of pulled turkey, a decent smear of cranberry sauce and a dollop of cold mashed potato, then under the grill press. Sounds simple, right?  This thing was INCREDIBLE! crispy golden buttery, saucy, hot, fluffy ohh myy goddd…

Wait, this post isn't even about the damn sandwich! Sorry sorry… I get carried away when I think of leftovers, which brings us to the Turkey Pot Pie!

I love Pot Pies, I just often feel like there's never enough crust to filling ratio.  These cutie little individual pie's are perfect- Maximum crust, and great for on-the-go or quick snacks. You can even make a bunch & freeze them to enjoy later, just pop them in the microwave or oven to reheat.

What you'll need:
-Regular size muffin tin
-2 ring molds (Cup's work too, Anything to cut out perfect circles from the dough)
-1 Egg for egg-wash
Pie crust: Of course you can make this, but we're talking a quick fix to next day's lunch
here… I always have pie crust in my freezer. trust me it's worth it! You can find it easily in the frozen section of your local grocery store. It's usually rolled up and comes in packs of 2 just after the ice cream section.

Pie filling:
-2 cups Leftover turkey cut in small cubes
-3 cups leftover veggies, small diced. In this recipe i used frozen peas, carrots and pearl onions, but you can use anything that's leftover from the night before. Brussels sprouts, Carrots, sweet potato?

Sage Gravy:   Definitely use leftover gravy if you have some! 
1 Cup Butter
1 Cup AP Flour
8 Cups Chicken Stock
One Bunch Sage
1 Tbl Whole Peppercorn
3 Whole Cloves
2 Clove Garlic, Smashed
2 Tbl Dried Sage
2 Bay Leafs

Making the gravy:
-in a small pot combine chicken stock, fresh sage, peppercorns, cloves, smashed garlic & bay leafs. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer to infuse flavors into stock. You'll strain all the "goods" out later on, so don't worry too much about them.

-If there's one thing I learned from living in New Orleans it's how to make a good "Roux". Roux is a mixture of flour and fat (butter in our case) and is used as a thickening agent for soups, stew's, gravy's and GUMBO!
The key here is not to rush. Melt butter in a medium sized pot and add flour. Stir with a whisk to combine, then switch to a wooden spoon, turn the heat to medium-low and keep stir. Keep stirring! it'll come together and look like Play-doh. This is totally normal.
The point is to cook out the raw flour flavor in the Roux, before adding it to your stock.
As you cook the mixture longer it will take on a warm nutty smell and start to look golden brown in color. This step takes about 10-15 minutes, but it's WORTH IT, DONT RUSH!
Be sure not to leave the roux unattended as it burns easily. keep stirring…

When you feel you can't handle the smell of toasted butter any longer, strain your stock into your Roux pot. Whisk to combine. Season with salt & pepper and add the dried sage. As the gravy heats it'll thicken. It should be THICK, slightly thicker than your typical gravy. If your gravy/filling mix is too thin it will make the bottom of your pot pie soggy and nearly impossible to finish. If your gravy is too thin, make more roux and thicken it up.

Combine gravy, turkey and veggies together, let cool. Now its time to start assembling. Use 2 different size cutters, one large, one small to cut out the pie dough- Test the sizes you've cut before punching out the rest to make sure they're big enough.  Spray your muffin tin with cooking spray. Using your fingers, stretch out the larger circle and press into muffin tin. Be sure to leave some excess dough sticking up as it will make it much easier to seal after.

Repeat for each muffin hole, filling each one with 1/4 cup of filling. Stretch out the smaller circle of dough and cover pie's. Pinch and seal dough to keep filling inside. Get creative- you can make the tops look pretty if you take some time.

Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle a pinch of Salt onto each pie.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Each oven is different, so check after 20 minutes and see how you're doing. It should be golden brown and bubbly. You should be able to take the little pie out of its hole and the bottom dough should look fully cooked. If not, give it a few more minutes.

These suckers come out HOT, so be careful!
Keep some extra gravy on hand, I like a little extra on my plate or drizzled on top.
De-li-cious! Enjoy! #PotPieonFleek

Cheers to this wonderful day, to leftovers, and to stuffing your face. Where savory treats and sugary sweets are shared amongst friends and family. Be thankful for those around you and to the stomachs we feed, for the support they give, and for the life that we live.

Until we eat again,