Skillet Turkey Pot Pie & The Difference Between Boiling & Simmering

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Skillet Turkey Pot Pie

This recipe is excerpted from my e-book “I Can’t Even With Pumpkin Spice: 21 Recipes Celebrating the Real Flavors of Fall.” Order it here!

I realize spring has sprung for most of the country but my kitchen and my dinner table seem to be stuck in winter. I’m still craving comfort foods, braises and stews, the hallmarks of fall and winter cooking, even as temperatures climb and flowers bloom. Hence, this Skillet Turkey Pot Pie, which I’ve made twice in the last week. It’s so simple and so wonderfully rich and delicious I can’t resist it. My finicky 9-year-old declared it her “favorite thing ever.” (You can keep your Oscars, Grammys and James Beard awards. That’s the HIGHEST praise around here.)

The trickiest part of this dish — and it’s not tricky at all — is getting the sauce just right. It should be rich and creamy, simmered to perfection. Keeping the sauce simmering and not boiling, is key, because boiling  will cause the fat in the milk to separate and curdle slightly, leaving you with a grainy sauce.

The Difference Between Boiling and Simmering
Simmering and boiling are NOT the same thing. Boiling is hard to miss. Your liquid should be busy with activity with big, rolling bubbles moving all over the surface. Boiling is typically reserved for starches like potatoes and pasta and for blanching vegetables.

Simmering is a kinder, gentler version of boiling. The surface of your liquid should be scattered with small bubbles that  break the surface. Simmering is the middle-man between boiling and poaching.

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Make sure the filling simmers, not boils. Boiling will give you a grainy sauce.

If your puff pastry gets too soft and sticky, place it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes until it’s easier to handle.

Swap out the ground turkey for 3 cups leftover cooked turkey cubed or shredded. Add the cooked turkey  with the herbs after sweating the veggies and cook until heated through, about a minute, before adding the flour.

12-inch cast iron skillet
Wooden Spoon
Rolling Pin
Pastry Brush

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Sweating Vegetables

Winter, why do you taste so good?
Winter, why do you taste so good?

Turkey pot pit