[Editor’s note: a copy of the recipe featured in this segment is at the end of this transcript.]

NUNES: Ben and Rachael, thanks so much for doing this today.

RACHAEL: Thanks for having us, Alex.

NUNES: Alright, so before we get into the cooking, I'm just going to explain for listeners the setup we have here. You both are in your kitchen in Exeter, and I'm in my kitchen in Westerly, and we're communicating through Zoom. And we're gonna cook this meal today.

RACHAEL: Yes, you are a talking head on an iPad on our kitchen counter.

NUNES: Before we get into the cooking, I just want to ask you a few questions. How many turkeys have you sold this year for Thanksgiving?

RACHAEL: One-hundred-and-fifty, approximately. It's really 154.

NUNES: When people came to pick up their turkeys this year, what was their reaction? I'm thinking people are having smaller gatherings, yet they're getting these humongous turkeys. Was that something that came up?

RACHAEL: A little bit. So we never raised huge turkeys. But we are trying to raise them to a size that’s going to feed the number of people at a typical Thanksgiving dinner, which, of course, this year isn't a typical holiday for really anybody. 

BEN: You know, we had a lot of conversations on turkey pickup day about cooking and different ways to cook and our favorite ways to cook turkey. And for the most part, they're just really supportive and flexible and excited to learn how to cook. So I think it had the potential to be upsetting to customers, and I'm just really grateful that our customer base is so supportive of what we're doing.NUNES: The great thing is there are a lot of things you can do with leftover turkey meat, and we're gonna make one of those things here today. Can you tell me what we're making?

BEN: We're gonna make a turkey pot pie, which we feel is kind of the ultimate in using all of the leftovers from a typical Thanksgiving dinner. Almost everyone has leftover turkey. But the other ingredients that go into the pie: the crust, the topping, the vegetables, and even the sauce in the middle—you can make them from scratch if you need to, but if you had leftover roasted root vegetables, that can be your vegetables that go in the middle; and if you have leftover gravy, that can be the base for the sauce that thickens up in the filling; and if you have leftover stuffing, that could even be the topping for it.

NUNES: Cool. So we're getting our pans heated up now.

RACHAEL: Yeah, so we have a giant cast iron pan, and we're getting that heated up. And we'll add a little bit of oil and then we'll throw in the garlic and onions first.

NUNES: Should I put my potatoes and carrots in, or just the onions for now?

RACHAEL: You can put it all in. BEN: Almost any vegetable you could mix into the middle of this for the filling, and we just use whatever is in our garden. So while those are cooking, we can start the sauce. If you've got leftover gravy, you really can just use leftover gravy. You do want it to be fairly thick, just because you don't want the innards of the pot pie to leak all over your plate. You want it to be sticky. If you're gonna make it from scratch, we're gonna show you how to do that right now. So just [use] a saucepan.

NUNES: Put it on medium heat?

BEN: Yeah, it doesn't have to be super high. You're just gonna melt a half of a stick of butter. 

RACHAEL: You can do half a stick of butter, but you know, don't be shy with the butter.

BEN: And then in a separate [dish]—you can do it in a mixing bowl; sometimes I just do it in a glass blow—dissolve the flour into milk. I'm lactose intolerant, so butter doesn't bother me but actual milk does, and so we are going to use coconut milk today. It's essentially a half a cup of flour, one-and-a-half cups of milk, and one-and-a-half cups of stock is what we're going to use added to that butter. We're going to dissolve the half a cup of flour into one-and-a-half cups of milk while the milk is cold. Get it totally mixed in and then we'll add that to the melted butter. Once you've got the flour pretty much dissolved into that milk, you can dump it into the pan with the butter. You'll want to add the rest of the liquid pretty quick though also, and then you will want to start whisking it after. 

NUNES: Gotcha.

BEN: Is yours starting to thicken, Alex?

NUNES: Yeah, big time.

BEN: Yeah, it happens pretty quick. You can add maybe a half a teaspoon of salt or so.

RACHAEL: And then a little bit of pepper.

BEN: If you've got the sauce at the consistency you want, you can pull that off the heat at this point.RACHAEL: Alex, our vegetables are on low. You want them to be pretty much soft to the bite. And we're preheating the oven to 400 degrees as well.

BEN: So we've made our own gluten free pie crust that we're about to put into the pie pan. You can just use a frozen pie crust or your own pie crust recipe. We're going to chop up the turkey now. So we found about two cups of chopped up turkey seemed about right for one pie pan. We're just gonna do that in a bowl. And then we're going to mix the sauce, the vegetables and the turkey all together, and then put it into the pie crust. 

NUNES: I think the next person I interview is gonna wonder why my microphone smells like butter.

RACHAEL AND BEN: [Laughter]

RACHAEL: Once you're happy with the flavor of it and the consistency of it, you just add it to your crust.

NUNES: I got the inside down. Am I ready to put my crust on [top]?

RACHAEL: Yeah, we have some—there’s a term in making biscuits called drop biscuits. So it's a little bit more of a wet dough. Just literally take it and make little lumps or biscuit-esque shaped things and put it on top of the filling.

NUNES: Alright, I think mine's good to go.

BEN: Let's do it. Put it in the oven.

[Sound of timer ticking and going off.]

NUNES: Alright, so through the magic of audio editing our turkey pot pies are now done.

BEN: Yeah, that's great.

NUNES: We're also joined now by my nine-year-old son, Julian. He wanted to be part of the tasting part. 

JULIAN: Hi.

RACHAEL: Hi.

JULIAN: Pot pie looks good. [Sound of blowing on pie to cool it down.]

RACHAEL: I was just thinking that, as we're here poised with our spoons over [the pies], I'm thinking this is gonna be like molten lava.

BEN: Normally, we would let it sit probably 20 minutes or so.

NUNES: How's it taste, dude?

JULIAN: Good.

RACHAEL: Oh, yeah. Mm hmm. 

NUNES: Very good.

BEN: Yeah, we're very pleased.

RACHAEL: That's really tasty. You know, I think COVID is teaching us so many things. But one of the things it's teaching us is just to stay flexible. And so the key to being able to cook using local ingredients is being flexible. You could just order a smaller piece of turkey from a farm far, far away. But for those folks that gave it a shot to have a bigger turkey with more to work with, we are grateful for their flexibility this year. And we're grateful for folks being brave and creative with their turkey.

NUNES: Rachael Slattery and Ben Coerper, owners of Wild Harmony Farm in Exeter, thanks very much for speaking with me and showing me this delicious meal.

BEN: Thanks so much for having us, Alex.

RACHAEL: Thank you, Alex. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Ingredients:

- 2 tablespoons olive oil

- 1 chopped onion

- 2 chopped garlic cloves

- 1-2 chopped carrots

- 2 russet potatoes cubed (substitute with other available varieties)

- 2 cups chopped leftover turkey

- Half-stick of butter

- Salt and pepper to taste

- .5 cups all purpose flour

- 1.5 cups whole milk

- 1.5 cups vegetable or turkey stock, or water 

- Store bought or self made pie crust

- One container store bought or self made biscuit dough (or other topping)


Steps:

- Heat large pan to medium heat

- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or other preferred cooking fat

- Add 1 chopped onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves; cook for 3 minutes and add 1 potato cubed and 1-2 chopped carrots (cook until vegetables are soft, then reduce heat to low)

- (Prepare sauce as vegetables cook) Add half-stick of butter to separate smaller pan on medium heat

- In separate bowl, slowly mix .5 cups all purpose flour into 1.5 cups cold whole milk

- Pour milk/flour mixture into cooking butter, add 1.5 cups stock (vegetable or turkey, or water) and whisk until sauce thickens to desired consistency (approximately 6 minutes)

- Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit 

- Butter pie dish or Pyrex container and press premade pie crust into dish

- Mix cooked vegetables, 2 cups chopped leftover turkey, and sauce in mixing bowl; add salt and pepper to taste

- Pour mixture over pie crust

- Top pie with biscuit dough or additional pie crust; leftover stuffing can also work as a topping

- Place dish on baking sheet in case of overflow and slide onto center rack in oven

- Bake for 30 minutes

- Remove pie from oven and cool for 20 minutes

- Serve and enjoy!


Alex Nunes can be reached at anunes@thepublicsradio.org.