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This is a “recipe” I made up for Thanksgiving leftovers, improvising as I cooked. My mom asked me to write down what I did for her, because she liked it. So here goes. It’s not the most formally-structured recipe you’ll ever come across.

What you need:

Half-stick of butter (or margarine)
Half cup of all-purpose flour
Some heavy whipping cream
Some chicken stock
A chopped-up onion
A chopped-up stick of celery
A chopped-up carrot or two
Handful of frozen peas
Leftover turkey
(optional) mustard seed, rosemary, sage, cayenne.
Two refrigerated pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Onion, celery, and carrots go in a frying pan with some olive oil, black pepper, and salt. Cook on medium about eight minutes until soft and kind of browny. Add the frozen peas after the eight minutes is up.

During the eight minutes you’re cooking the vegetables:

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Slowly add the flour, whisking the whole time. When the flour starts to clump, go ahead and dump the rest of it in and start slowly adding heavy whipping cream, whisking the whole time, until the mixture is no longer clumpy — then switch to the chicken stock, and keep adding chicken stock until it looks like you’ve got about three or four inches of liquid from the bottom of the pan to the top of the liquid. I don’t know how much precisely. Maybe two cups? Should be the consistency of eggnog or a thick melted milkshake at this point.

For seasoning, you can put whatever you want in the sauce. I put tiny amount of fresh rosemary — like the top inch of one of the sprigs — a couple of small sage leaves, chopped up, a pinch of dried mustard seed, and a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper. Lots of black pepper. There’s all kinds of spices you could use. I’ve used curry powder (instead of all the above) before, too, and that was pretty good. Salt to taste. Simmer until it thickens more. It should be the consistency of melted caramel or whatever. If it gets too thick, add more chicken stock. I think this is called “veloute” sauce, but maybe it’s not — I’m not sure if veloute formally actually has the cream in it, or if that makes it something else. Probably makes it something else. I call it “homemade cream of chicken soup.”

Lay the bottom crust into your pie pan, and empty the vegetables into it. Then add your turkey meat. Then pour the sauce on top of that. Put the top crust on, and bake in the oven until the crust is golden brown, which takes 30 minutes, give or take.

Wish these instructions were more specific! I don’t measure when I’m making stuff up in the kitchen! Let me know how it turns out.

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