This is a recipe created by my friend Bunny Dimmel for the day after Thanksgiving main meal with her family. “We had it for supper on Friday,” she wrote on a Thanksgiving weekend. “And it was the best ever. We all liked it better than the Thanksgiving dinner itself.”
She makes it first thing on Friday, the morning after, baking it right before dinner. “I do not use any extra seasonings because everything has already been seasoned. I make my own breads in the bread machine for the stuffing, using loaves that have been stored in the freezer. I make my own gravy from scratch. I freeze my own fresh corn cut off the cob and shelled fresh peas from the summer bounty that I get from a local produce stand. These fresh-frozen vegetables make the casserole special. This has to be one of the best left-over dishes ever invented. Enjoy!”
Equipment: A 3-quart oval or 9-by-13-inch baking dish, serving spoon
Temperature at Serving: Hot or warm
- Country Crust
- 4 1/2 cups white pastry flour (Bunny uses Mellow Cream from King Arthur), or all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening, such as Crisco or Spectrum Organic
- 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
- About 4 cups cold leftover stuffing
- About 4 cups cutup/shredded leftover cooked light and/or dark turkey meat, as desired
- 4 cups combination of raw mixed vegetables (peas, corn, and diced carrots), thawed only if frozen
- About 4 cups leftover turkey gravy, warmed
Make the crust. Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add all of the shortening and 1 stick of the butter; pulse till you get small balls. Add the rest of the butter, pulse, and add water till it comes together into a ball. Divide the dough ball into two uneven pieces (the larger will be the bottom crust, the smaller ball, the top crust.).
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the larger ball of dough to fit on the bottom and almost up the sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish (Bunny uses Pyrex; if you use a 3-quart ceramic dish, remember to increase the baking temperature to 375º). Prick it with a fork all over, and bake in the center of the preheated oven until it just starts to get golden. Remove from oven and let cool on the counter while you assemble the rest of the components.
First make a layer of half of the stuffing; Bunny uses forkfuls of it here and there dotting over the bottom. Then add an even layer of half the turkey meat, then cover with half the vegetables. Then layer again stuffing, here and there, more turkey, and finish with the vegetables. Pour the warm gravy all over the dish, quite liberally, and roll out the top crust just to the size of the baking dish. Bunny does not make a crust with crimped edges, just make the size of the top and lay it across it. You can make the top crust any way you like.
Cover with foil and refrigerate for up to a day ahead, or bake immediately, uncovered, in a preheated 350º oven 40 to 45 minutes, till it is bubbly. If it bubbles but is still not quite brown on top, turn on the broiler for a couple minutes to brown the top to your liking. To partially bake, bake only 30 minutes. Cool, cover, then leave at room temperature up to 1 hour before transporting.
A pot pie casserole is one of the great potluck dishes for a family supper. Potluck Preparation: This casserole is best fully or partially baked and then transported. To reheat, preheat the oven to 350º and bake for about 20 minutes, until hot and a bit crusty. Serve immediately hot or warm.
Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016
Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.