Turkey Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust
Note: This crust is so good, you'll be tempted to bake it as biscuits, too. If so, decrease the buttermilk to 1 cup.
Carcass from a 12- to 14-pound roast turkey
10 cups water
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large parsnip, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups roast turkey meat, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
10-ounce package frozen baby peas, thawed
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking power
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk
1. Place the skin and bones of the turkey carcass in an 8-quart pot. Cover with water; simmer until the liquid is reduced by a third, about 90 minutes. Strain. Set aside 3 1/2 cups stock, and freeze the rest.
2. Cook the onion, carrots, celery, parsnips, thyme, salt and pepper in the butter in a wide, shallow pot over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are almost tender, 10-12 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, uncovered, stirring until tender, 5-7 minutes.
3. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in reserved stock, scraping up any brown bits. Bring to a boil, stirring, then simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in turkey, peas, and salt and pepper to taste. Reheat over low heat just before topping with biscuit crust.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, salt and pepper. Add cheese and toss to coat. Blend in butter with a pastry blender or fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk; stir just until a dough forms.
5. Drop biscuit dough onto the filling in 8 large mounds, leaving space between. Bake until biscuits are puffed and golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 35-40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then serve.
-- Tanya Steel, "The Epicurious Cookbook" (Clarkson Potter, $27.99, 400 pages)