Okay, so here is the long, long tale behind this particular Lutz family tradition. This was a meal that my mother used to make while they were poor and in graduate school. This is one of those classic, old school meals that just never goes out of style. It was also inexpensive and usually could be stretched to cover multiple meals. It is comfort food at its absolute finest.
Mr. Smith loved it when I made it the first time. He did however, request that I try making it with turkey. Hmmm…never thought of that! Well, I tried it. It is awesome and a regular staple in our house. We usually get at least two meals out of it and the leftovers, well, sometimes, we fight over the leftovers.
It used to be one of those deals that took all day to get ready. Cooking the chicken (boiled, with celery, onion, peppercorns, the whole 9 yards). Stink up the house, make everyone nuts. Well, in the grand tradition of my Aunt Maureen, I can’t be bothered with that process. I wanted to make this and I wanted to make it easier. With a little help from my long-suffering sister-in-law, we found a way to make this in a more streamlined fashion. The sauce is simplified. If you are pressed for time, you can use the packet method to cook the chicken in the oven (See Chicken a la King recipe from Emerile Lagasse). Make the sauce, roast the turkey or chicken, cook up some potatoes and carrots. Throw the whole mess in a 9 x 13 pan, toss with the gravy/sauce. Put it in the oven at 425 for about 20 minutes until the liquid is boiling (this is pivotal to get the biscuits to bake properly and should not be ignored!!!). Add the milk to the biscuit mixture just as you are ready to put it on top of the pot pie. Pop it back into the oven for 18-20 minutes or until the biscuits are this gorgeous golden brown on top and the whole thing is nuclear hot. Now your only challenge is to keep from eating it until it cools enough for you to avoid third-degree burns. Good luck, we have trouble with that around here.
Mr. Smith’s Turkey Pot Pie
8 Tablespoons butter or margarine
8 Tablespoons flour
4 cups water
3 teaspoons Chicken Better Than Bullion
Melt butter or margarine in a saucepan. Add flour and stir until it forms a smooth paste. Gradually wisk in the water, so that the roux (margarine and flour mixture) is dissolved in the water. Now add the bullion. I like the Better Than Bullion because it dissolves much faster than a bullion cube. Once the mixture comes to a boil, it will begin to thicken and look more like gravy.
Stuff for the Pot Pie
3 cups roasted turkey (or chicken if you prefer)
1 1/2 lbs. potatoes (cubed and cooked until tender, but not too tender. You don’t want them to go to mush once they are in the pot pie.)
5-6 medium carrots (sliced and cooked until tender)
Cheesy Biscuit Topping
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
4 Tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
Mix flour, baking powder, salt and mustard together until well blended. Cut in shortening and grated cheese with pastry blender until mixture resembles course meal.
Add milk. Stir with fork until all ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix!
Remember not to put the biscuits on top of the pot pie until it is boiling. I have made this mistake and the biscuits are raw on the bottom and kind of gross.