Archive for Turkey

Turkey Pot Pie or What to Do with Thanksgiving Leftovers

Turkey Pot Pie.  You can smell it cooking in the oven.  Can’t you…?


Lovely Leftovers…

Leftovers needn’t be lifeless – especially when they are drenched in gravy and then encased in pastry.  Team your Thanksgiving leftovers with flaky pastry and you have all the makings of a turkey pot pie.

Just work with what you’ve got!

When I opened the fridge door two days after Thanksgiving, I found about a pint of turkey gravy, a pile of stuffing, cooked baby carrots, cooked turkey breast and roasted onions.

All I needed to complete my pie was:

  • a large onion
  • 2-3 celery sticks (leftover from a dip)
  • 3 strips of uncooked smoked bacon,
  • ¼ pint cream to enrich the turkey gravy,
  • seasoning
  • and of course a packet of frozen pastry.

To prep the pie filling:

  1. Chop onion and celery finely and dice bacon.  Fry up all three ingredients in a frypan.  Fry bacon until fat turns clear.
  2. Slice baby carrots or dice if using larger carrots and toss into pan
  3. Cube or slice into bite sized pieces your leftover turkey, add to pan together with chopped leftover roasted onions.
  4. Add gravy, cream, and seasoning and keep bubbling for about 10 minutes, stir frequently so that the ingredients do not stick and burn.
  5. Pour pie filling into dish, drape pastry over top.  Don’t forget to make a hole in the top of the pie to allow the steam to escape.  Alternatively use a ceramic pie vent, like my beautiful blackbird, to ventilate the pie.  (I bought the one below from the cookshop in Reading Terminal Market.).
  6. Follow ingredients on the pastry pack in terms of cooking time.  The pie filling is already cooked so all you are doing is baking the pastry.

Nope. It’s not the twitter icon. It’s my pie vent.


Serve with your favorite Fall vegetables!

Crumbly, buttery pastry is just the best!

Jack McDavid’s Tips on Keeping Your Thanksgiving Turkey Moist and Juicy

Thanksgiving Turkeys should be juicy.  Sadly, we’ve all endured our share of dry birds on the Day of Gratitude, but help is at hand.  Jack McDavid, Chef and Owner of the Down Home Diner shared two proven methods of keeping the bird from drying out.  Jack suggests employing both of these strategies on Thursday and he’s never steered us wrong.

Method One:

Immediately before cooking, fill the turkey with hot stuffing and pop it in the oven.  By placing hot stuffing into the bird, you begin an even cooking process from the inside out.  You also avoid the problem of the raw turkey juice seeping into the stuffing and making guests sick, because the interior starts off hot.

Jack’s Stuffing

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
2 TBSP minced fresh sage
1/2 lb butter
1 cup chicken stock (or more if mixture seems dry)
4 cups cubed day-old bread

Melt butter in large skillet and add vegetables and sage.  Sweat this mixture for about 5 minutes.  Add stock, bring to boil.  Add bread to pan and mix thoroughly, keeping heat on.    While stuffing is still hot, stuff into turkey and cook turkey immediately.

Method Two:  Brine and Rub the Turkey

1 20 lb turkey

For the brine:
4 TBSP sugar
5 TBSP salt
1 TBSP white pepper
3 gallons water

Mix all brine ingredients, and submerge turkey in mixture for 24 hrs.

For spice rub:

2 TBSP sugar
21/2 TBSP salt
1/2 TBSP white pepper

Mix all spice rub ingredients.

Remove turkey from brine.  Rub spice blend under skin, in cavity, and massage thoroughly for about 5 minutes.  Or, as Jack said, “Caress it like you would your girlfriend.  Get to know it real well.  Let that turkey know you love it.  Give it a good rubdown.”    Then stuff it as directed above and…

Roast turkey at 300 degrees for 4  hrs.  If you wish to brown top, raise temperature to 450 for final 10 minutes of roasting.  To ensure that turkey is done, check temperature at thigh.  It should be 165.  If it is not up to temperature, return to oven at 300 degrees and check again in 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, cover, and let turkey sit for at least 20 minutes before carving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Stormy’s Thanksgiving: Holiday tips from Reading Terminal Market’s Chef

Today’s guest cook, Stormy Lundy, is by day Director of Special Events of Reading Terminal Market’s Catering Company.

And Stormy is a gal who knows how to throw a stunning party – she regularly orchestrates out-of-hours events at the Market for anywhere up to 2,500 guests.

The Market is a super-cool venue after hours…

Stormy argues that the same principles apply to creating a great party whether that be for 25 or for upwards of 2,500 partygoers…

…some things never change.

One of her key tips is to do with food consumption.

If like us, you tend to over-cater (for fear of being caught short and running out of food), best to heed Stormy’s advice if you want to get the quantities right! 

Two important questions to consider:

What’s the ratio of Men to Women at your event? Guess what? No surprises; Men eat more than Women -especially in a buffet situation. Stormy suggests allowing 1.5 servings per head for a male guest to every 1 serving for your female guests.

Is there a game on TV? If there’s a game on, then expect people to eat even more.

As Men cluster around the TV to watch their fave team over the Thanksgiving weekend, so they tend to pile their plates up with food.

“It’s the psychology of food,” explains Stormy. “There’s a funny thing going on. Men tend to look across and check out what other guys have on their plate. If one person says “these ribs are delicious”, then you tend to get a run on the ribs suddenly.

“In our family – I had 5 brothers & Dad – there was always a fight over the turkey legs; it was a big deal who got the legs!”

Stormy is herself an adventurous cook who loves to push the envelope at Thanksgiving.

Her typical menu features a turkey with oyster stuffing, sweet potatoes bolstered with a dash of Drambuie and turkey gravy enlivened by a cup of Old City Coffee from the Market.

Look for Stormy’s much coveted recipe for oyster stuffing in our next post……

Talking Turkey with Godshall’s

Dean and his crew certainly love their work!

Dean Frankenfield, co-owner of Godshall’s Poultry in Reading Terminal Market was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to chat with us about this season’s most popular fowl. Of course, we took the opportunity to order our fresh killed Thanksgiving turkeys from Dean, and he was kind enough to share these turkey facts:

  • Godshalls sells about 1200 turkeys the week of Thanksgiving.
  • Turkey is absolutely the meat of choice this time of year;  people who don’t need a whole bird (the smallest is 10 lbs) will buy a breast, or assorted turkey parts like wings and drumsticks.
  • Dean’s favorite use of leftover turkey:  sandwiches.  His wife’s:  a casserole made with leftover turkey, broccoli, and cooked rice in a creamy mushroom sauce.
  • As a devoted fan of turkey’s true taste, Dean does not brine, but, being an open minded chap he does not judge those of us who do.

Godchall’s stock, ready for roasting

    And now,  Drumstick roll, please, the information you’ve all been waiting for, Dean’s Top Tips for Successful Roasting:

    1.  Set the oven at 325-350.
    2.  Roast the turkey Breast Down.  This maintains maximum moisture in the meat.
    3.  Cook 12-14 minutes/lb for an unstuffed turkey, 14-15 minutes/lb for a stuffed bird.
    4.  After cooking, remove turkey from oven and tent with foil approx 20 minutes. This maintains moisture and makes for easier carving.

    Happy Thanksgiving!