While you’re spending the day prepping for your big turkey feast (or, if you celebrated yesterday, cleaning up afterwards), why don’t you consider what you can do with the leftover bits of that big bird?
I cooked this little baby up after watching a Jamie Oliver Christmas special on the plane home to Ottawa last December, and I served it to the lovely folks at our annual potluck. It’s super easy, super tasty, and a great way to eat up all that leftover turkey. And the best part about Jamie Oliver is he’s big on improvisation. If you watch the videos for his recipes they never end up matching the recipes themselves, and that adds immensely to his charm.
Make sure you have a good package of unthawed frozen puff pastry lying around. I get the President’s Choice brand stuff and it comes in two blocks, which is perfect for our purposes here.
Then you’ll need 2kg leeks.
Leeks are super dirty. My mother told me that as the leeks grow they bury the stems in more dirt in order to keep that stem as pale and tender as possible.
This means you’ll need to clean them well. I find the easiest way to do so is to cut off the scraggly top ends and then slice the whole thing in half lengthwise. Pop those babies in a sink full of water and swish away until all the dirt is gone. Then give them a good shake to drain out the excess water.
Now, chop up those leeks. Make the pale ends a bit chunkier, but slice the tougher green ends up really thin.
Now, take a large, fat saucepan with a lid and chuck in the leaves of about half a bunch of fresh thyme.
Chop up a couple of slices of nice bacon, add a glug or two of olive oil, and cook that for a wee bit on high to medium-high.
Pour in your chopped leeks and let them cook for about three minutes on high.
Then add in some salt and pepper, pop the lid on, and turn the heat down to medium. Let that cook for about thirty minutes, stirring every 5-10, to make sure nothing sticks.
While that’s on the go, chop up your leftover turkey. You’ll need about 800g grams of turkey, chopped or torn into big chunks. Light meat, dark meat, whatever floats your boat. I like half and half, because the dark stuff has more flavour. If you have leftover stuffing it will make a great contribution as well. Huck that into your leek pot when the leeks are done.
Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons flour and stir that to fully combine it with the leeks and turkey.
Then add in 2 pints of stock — turkey, chicken, vegetable, mushroom, whatever you want.
And 2 heaping tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream (or even plain greek yogurt if that’s what you have).
Give that a good stir and bring it back to a boil for a minute. Add more salt and pepper to taste if you like, then turn off the heat.
Pour your leek mixture through a sieve into a pot to get some lovely gravy out of this. Removing the gravy now will also make sure your pie doesn’t end up soggy, and if you drain it directly into a pot then you can easily heat it up before you serve it.
Preheat your oven to 375°F and lay your leek mixture out in a buttered 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
Dust a work surface with flour and roll out a segment of pastry so that it is a few inches larger than your pan size on all sides. If you just have one piece of pastry, then roll it out so it’s double the pan size (you will then fold one side over the other).
Crumble some chestnuts and fresh sage leaves over the pastry (or half the pastry if you’re folding).
Fold the other half on top or roll out the other piece and place it on top of the first and press down a bit to seal the chestnuts and sage inside.
Lay the pastry across your pan and tuck the ends in underneath the mixture on all the sides.
With a sharp knife score the whole pastry surface diagonally.
If you wish you can put an egg wash on at this point by beating an egg, adding a pinch of salt, and brushing that over the top of the pastry, but I didn’t bother. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until your pastry is puffy and golden brown. Serve warm with the reheated gravy. It is so excellent.