Here’s a holiday-themed confession for you: I’m actually pretty indifferent about Thanksgiving dinner. I mean, sure, it’s delicious and all, but what I get really excited for are the leftovers. All year, I wait for that moment on Thanksgiving night when the kitchen is clean, my jammies are on, and I can happily dig into a turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich while I sip on a glass of wine and watch Elf (because everyone knows the Christmas season starts as soon as you get up from the Turkey Day table). That sandwich is worth all the work of cooking the massive meal. That sandwich is stuff dreams are made of.
And then, by about day three of having my favorite sandwich for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I’m so sick of it that I can’t imagine ever wanting another turkey sandwich (until next year). That’s when I start to bring out the other uses for leftover turkey. Turkey soup is good. But turkey pot pie is even better.
I know most people make pot pies with pie crust or phyllo dough (or even canned crescent rolls—don’t knock it ’til you try it, it’s delicious), but I’m a biscuit kinda girl, and I love topping turkey pot pies with biscuits. These sweet potato biscuits are an amazing way to complement the turkey-veggie filling underneath. It’s like a supercharged version of biscuits and gravy. Yum.
My favorite part of this recipe is how adaptable it is to whatever leftovers you have kicking around. Put in chicken instead of turkey. Throw in your leftover veggies from Thanksgiving dinner (Brussels sprouts, green beans, whatever). Switch out the sweet potato puree for pumpkin or squash puree (or leave it out all together). Half it if you just have a few leftovers. Double it and share it with friends and family if you have lots. This recipe is incredibly flexible—really, it’s pretty much impossible to mess up.
We were lucky enough to have a whole bunch of smoked turkey leftover from Canadian Thanksgiving when I went to make this dish. My Dad was in charge of the turkey this year, and he brined it in apple cider, and then smoked it beer-can style for hours and hours on Thanksgiving morning. It was, without a doubt, the most moist and delicious turkey I’ve ever had. We all agreed that we’ll never roast a turkey again! Bonus: the oven didn’t have to be on all day heating up the house.
And the smoked turkey was absolutely incredible in this pot pie! Non-smoked turkey or chicken would also work great, but if you can get your hands on some that has been through a smoker, I highly recommend it.
I’m a big fan of turkey soup, but I think this might be my new favorite way to repurpose holiday leftovers.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken or turkey broth
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
- 3 cups shredded, cooked turkey
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup chilled butter, cut into ½" chunks
- 1½ cup sweet potato puree
- ½ cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- To prepare the filling: In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat, add in the garlic and onion and cook until fragrant and tender, about five minutes. Add in the celery, and carrots and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the veggies, stir to coat, and cook for two minutes. Then add in the broth, bring to a boil and add in the potatoes and peas. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until all veggies are tender.
- Remove from heat, stir in the parsley, turkey, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- To prepare the biscuits: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until well-mixed.
- Using a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter pieces are a touch smaller than a pea.
- In small bowl, whisk together the sweet potato and buttermilk.
- Gently stir in the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix. The mixture will (and should!) be very sticky and liquidy—about the texture of a thick cake batter. If it isn't liquidy, add more buttermilk.
- Heavily flour a work surface, and dump the dough onto the flour. Flour the top of the dough well, and then pat out until ½-inch thick. Fold the dough in half horizontally, then pat down again until ½-inch thick, adding more flour to cover sticky parts if necessary. Fold the dough in half vertically, then pat down again until ½-inch thick. Repeat this process 5-6 more times (this is creating the delicious, delectable layers that make the final biscuit so awesome).
- Flour a circle biscuit cutter or a drinking glass, and press straight down to cut the biscuit. Do not twist the cutter! Twisting “seals” the sides of the biscuit and stops it from rising. Just push straight down and bring the cutter straight up.
- To assemble the turkey pot pie: Pour the filling into an ungreased 9 x 13 baking dish, top with the biscuits (butting the biscuits right up next to each other). Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.