Life of Pie

A new take on Thanksgiving leftovers

James Oseland

I love to see a fridge brimming with leftovers the day after Thanksgiving. Sure, the crisp turkey skin is usually gone, but those comforting holiday flavors are big and true, just waiting to star on the plate again. Overstuffed sandwiches or hearty soups are beloved go-tos, but when testing recipes for this month's Thanksgiving and pie stories, I came up with a new way to approach my leftovers: a rich, flaky-crusted turkey pot pie. Acting spontaneously with what was in the test kitchen fridge, I carefully paired my pie fillings to balance flavors and play with textures. A foundation of earthy celery-root stuffing perked up under a layer of bright green beans and sharp, pickled shallots; a dollop of chunky chestnut onion compote complemented the firm sliced turkey; then came a few dabs of tart cranberry relish, which cut through the spoonfuls of sweet tomato pudding. To provide some moisture and tie all the flavors together, I added giblet gravy. No matter what leftovers you use to build your pie, be sure to begin with a blind-baked crust to avoid a soggy bottom or an overcooked filling. Crown everything with a generous layer of leftover mashed potatoes dotted with butter or a second layer of pastry. Bake in a 375-degree oven until golden brown and bubbly for a glorious one-dish meal.