This Christmas we bought a delectable smoked turkey from The Belmont Butchery. That bird was only $40! The first evening we sliced part of the breast and luxuriated in the smoky flesh. (Yes, I am drooling just like Homer Simpson.) We then consumed sandwiches on pillows of soft loaf bread. But, sandwiches get old. Now what? I found the answer in two areas – Smoked Chicken Chowder, adapted from epicurious.com and my own version of Shepherd’s Pie with Smoked Turkey. Both turned out to be quite yummy.
For the chowder I, of course, made some adjustments. Obviously, I used turkey – both white and dark meat. I sautéed the onions in peanut oil, used a lot more chicken broth, and cut the heavy cream down to ½ a cup. I also chopped an entire chipotle chili in adobo sauce to go in the mixture. In fact, I could have easily added another chili. But, no matter. This chowder hit the spot, especially last week when the temperatures dropped in the teens (hard to imagine it was so frigid when today was 70 degrees!).
And on to the pie. Basically, sauté a bunch of chopped carrots and onions in butter using a pot large enough to incorporate the entire dish and that can be placed in the oven. Add dried thyme and lavender. Cook on medium heat, stirring often, until the onions are soft (this could take a while if you are making a large batch). While the onions are softening, make the gravy and the mashed potatoes. For the gravy, make a roux of butter and flour – heat over medium heat. Once the two are incorporated add hot chicken stock and whisk. Then throw in minced garlic and simmer, stirring occasionally, until ready to put the pie together. Make enough mashed potatoes to top the pie ensuring to use butter and cream. Once the onions are softened, add the smoked turkey and stir. Then add the gravy along with chopped parsley. Let everything meld, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Top the mixture with the mashed potatoes, sealing the pie with the potatoes. Pop the pie in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. With this method, you can make a lot or a little. I made a big pot full and we will be enjoying some leftovers for dinner tonight.