Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Turkey Potpie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust

Winter in New England can be pretty brutal. One way the New Englanders have to cope with the bitter cold is food! Comfort food. Pasta, soups, stews...all these are comfort foods. But nothing is more warming that a pot pie.
That was a totally new concept for me, coming from France, and with an Italian father. Yes we do cook soups and pasta, and we do serve the stews with bread. But we have not yet put the bread on top of the stew! Comfort food at its best!

Turkey Potpie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust

Serves 8

2 Large turkey breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into 1/2-in pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 parsnips, sliced
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and cut in half
4 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems cut, and cut in half
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp butter
2 cups chicken broth or stock

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/4 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
3/4 cup butter, cold, cut into 1/2-in pieces
1 1/4 cup buttermilk

Prepare the filling:
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp butter in a large saute pan, or Dutch oven. Add the onion, carrots, celery, parsnips and thyme and saute for about 3 minutes. Cover and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes.
Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside. Deglaze the juices with 1/2 cup chicken broth.

Heat the remaining oil and butter in the same pan and add the turkey. Let brown on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vegetables to the pan and sprinkle with the flour. Add the stock  and let simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Prepare the biscuit:
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the cheeses and toss. Add the butter and work the mixture with your fingers, until it resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and mix just until a dough forms.

Transfer the turkey filling, still warm, to a baking dish. Cover with dollops of biscuit dough. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the biscuit is puffy and golden, and the filling is bubbling.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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