Turkey for many people is confined to being eaten on celebratory occasions such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. While the big annual roast is understandably a very special occasion for many families around the Western world, it is equally a great shame that this tasty, low fat bird is not widely consumed on a more regular basis. There are just as many recipes which can be prepared using turkey as there are using chicken and while chicken and mushroom pies are very popular, it is fair to say that not so often would you encounter a pie made using turkey. If your local supermarket does sell turkey cuts all year round, this is a recipe you will hopefully wish to try. Alternatively, a very similar dish could be prepared using leftover turkey from the Thanksgiving or Christmas table simply by eliminating the initial turkey cooking procedure.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 1 pound turkey breast meat
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium white onion
- 3 medium garlic cloves (1 for pie and two for serving accompaniments)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pint fresh chicken stock
- 20 small button mushrooms
- 1/2 pound puff pastry
- Flour for dusting pastry rolling surface
- Beaten egg for glazing pastry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 fairly hot small red chili
- Small (8 ounce) can of sweet corn
- 2 generous handfuls baby spinach leaves
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon freshly chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
Pour the vegetable oil in to a large pot and bring it up to a medium heat. Peel and slice both the onion and one of the garlic cloves before adding them to the oil and sauteing for a minute or so, stirring with a wooden spoon, until just softened.
The turkey breast meat should be diced to around one inch. Add it to the pot with the softened onion and garlic and season with salt, pepper and the dried sage. Carefully stir the turkey meat around in the onions for a couple of minutes until all the pieces are evenly sealed.
When the turkey meat is evenly sealed, pour the chicken stock in to the pot and bring it to a gentle simmer. Cover the pot and continue to simmer for twenty minutes.
After the simmering period the turkey will essentially be cooked and ready for the pie but it is absolutely imperative that you firstly leave it to cool. If you attempt to make the pie with a hot filling, the steam will cause the underside of the pastry to become soggy and there is no way it will cook properly or rise.
When the turkey is cooled, wash the mushrooms and add them to the pot. Stir them through the turkey and stock mix. Take a large slotted spoon and lift the solids from the pot in to a pie dish like the one shown. This dish measured ten inches by seven inches by about one and a half inches deep. Pour in enough of the stock to approximately half cover the turkey and mushrooms only.
Start your oven preheating to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6.
Roll out the pastry on a clean, dry, lightly floured surface to a rectangle slightly larger than the pie dish. Lay it over the dish, crimp around the edges and trim. Glaze with the beaten egg using a pastry brush and cut a small vent in the middle. This is to allow steam to escape during cooking and further prevent the chance of the pastry becoming soggy. Put the pie in to the oven for half an hour or until the pastry is beautifully golden.
When you take the pie from the oven, you will see that the pastry has shrunk. This is deliberate. While the pastry could initially be secured to the edges of the dish using pastry cut-offs and glaze, this not only makes it more difficult to plate, it can adversely affect final presentation as the pastry is more likely to break. While the pie in the dish may not look as attractive this way, it looks much better on the plates. The pie should be left to rest for ten minutes before it is served and some of this time can be used to prepare the accompaniments.
Pour a tablespoon of olive oil in to a small saucepan. Peel and finely chop one of the garlic cloves and finely slice the chili. Add both to the pan and saute briefly and gently.
Drain the sweet corn well and add to the chili and garlic. Saute for a further two to three minutes, stirring very frequently.
To a second saucepan, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Peel and finely chop the final garlic clove, add it to the oil and briefly saute. Wash the baby spinach leaves and squeeze as much water from them as you can before adding them to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and add the lemon juice. Saute for about a minute until the leaves are just fully wilted.
The cilantro should be added to the corn at the last minute and carefully stirred through.
Cut the pastry of the pie in half and carefully lift both halves temporarily to a holding plate. A slotted spoon should then be used to divide the pie filling between two serving plates. A pastry half should then be laid on top of each portion of filling.
Divide the spinach and corn between the two plates to serve.