What are you doing tonight? My Thanksgiving Eve’s used to consist of all my friends piling into a car driven by one of our parents and getting dropped off at our local bar for drinks on the “biggest party night of the year” (and yes, we got picked up by the same parent. We were all well into our 20s. Safety first?). This year…well, things have definitely changed. I’m hosting Thanksgiving for 12 adults. Oh yeah, and I have a small child which means I don’t have time to be hungover ever again. Hah. Today is going to be a marathon of cooking and prepping and brining. My hope is that tomorrow will involve SOME relaxation, but as host, I feel like that expectation is usually a little inflated.
There’s just so much to do, even when your guests are chipping in and bringing sides and rolls. I am a perfectionist. Everything has to be “just so” for me to be happy. Since becoming a mom, I’ve had to let go of that a little bit. Well, that’s an understatement. I’ve had to let go A LOT A BIT. I just don’t have the time anymore to devote to perfecting every detail…which is a constant stressor for me that I’m going to be working on for a long time to come. Because I still work while trying to keep up with this blog all while trying to parent my 1-year-old son and be a good wife/sister/daughter/friend to my loved ones, things like cleaning the house, folding the laundry, and having neat grocery lists that are written in the order you walk through the store (tell me I’m not the only crazy person who does this!) have fallen by the wayside.
But! I refuse to let this happen to Thanksgiving. It is, after all, one of the best holidays. If I’m hosting, you better believe I’m going to do my damnedest to get it right. The answer for this busy mom: ORGANIZATION A MONTH IN ADVANCE. Yup. I’ve had the menu planned, all my recipes researched, and my grocery lists tentatively written for several weeks now. Now, the day before, all the grocery shopping is done (save for a few last-minute items that have to be fresh…like baguette), the house is cleaned, and the laundry is folded (and put away! A true feat). I’m ready to get into the cooking!
Despite all my best intentions, there will still be a bunch of things to do tomorrow. There always is. But the next day? I will do N.O.T.H.I.N.G. Nope. Nada. The plan is to hang with Kieran, my sisters, and sister-in-law (who will be here from Florida) all day. No cooking will be involved. We’ll eat Thanksgiving leftovers all day. There will, however, come a point where I cannot face another turkey sandwich. It happens every year.
And since I’m hosting this year, I’m sure there is going to be PLENTY of leftover turkey when this moment hits. What to do, what to do? Make a pot pie! Or pot pie soup! Turkey is the perfect swap in for traditional chicken. Add in some spicy chorizo sausage and tons of veggies and herbs and…ahem…butter…and I’m sold!
Now, if you’re anything like me, you will not want to make your own pie crust for another month. Not after all the cooking and baking that just took place. Also: pie crust still scares me. I’ve made it a bunch of times and I’m always left “wanting more.” When I figure out the perfect recipe, I’ll be sure to share it with you. So, pair that with my post-Turkey Day laziness, and you’ll understand why I opt for a good store-bought crust for this recipe.
Oh! But! If you have leftover pie crust from your feast, this is a perfect way to use it up. More power to ya! Also, you get major props if you prettily crimp your pie crust…I took the lazy fork-crimping route. I blame the tryptophan.
Despite that, this pot pie turned out so delicious! The chorizo just takes it over the top for me. I love the stuff. I am not a huge fan of fennel, so I’m really, really, really picky about my sausage. Chorizo is the answer for me a lot of the time. No fennel! Lots of delicious spice and flava flag! Which is the whole point of sausage, after all.
This may be my favorite use of leftover turkey to date. Happy Thanksgiving, friends! May all your turkey and pie crust dreams come true!
8 oz bulk chorizo (out of casings)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup heavy cream (optional)
2 cups cooked and diced turkey (dark or white meat)
1 cup frozen peas
1 (9-inch) pie crust (I used store bought but feel free to make your own!)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the chorizo. Cook until rendered and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside.
To the drippings, add the oil and butter. Reduce the heat to medium and add the veggies, garlic, thyme, and spices. Stir well to combine and cook for 10 minutes, or until the veggies are soft.
Add the flour and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute.
Slowly stream in the chicken stock, whisking constantly. Cook until the mixture is thickened, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and heavy cream.
Stir in the reserved chorizo, turkey, and peas. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper and then remove the mixture from the heat.
Carefully transfer the filling into a 9-inch pie dish. Top with the pie crust, pinching the edges to seal. Crimp with a fork or fingers, if desired. Cut a couple slits in the dough and then brush everything with the egg wash.
Sprinkle with salt and then place in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden and crisp. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.