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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Kale and Sweet Potato Turkey (or Chicken) Cobbler

Inspiration:  Leftover Thanksgiving turkey

I  am currently obsessed with curd cheese (yes! the one you use in poutine).  I can get it fresh every day in most grocery stores in Quebec and it is delicious.  It is best eaten at room temperature the day it is made because once it is refrigerated it will loose its squeaky texture.  These days, I love using any refrigerated leftovers in cheese based sauces.   If you are a cheese curd amateur (like me),  you will be able notice, albeit subtly, its distinctive flavour in this recipe. 

This is a great dish for leftover turkey but I also make it with store bought roasted chicken using the carcass to make a quick chicken broth.  

You can make everything early in the day or even the day before and bake the cobbler just before serving.  Just remember to keep the biscuits and filling separate when you refrigerate it.  Also, bring the filling back to room temperature one hour before placing it in the oven (this allows the sauce to heat fully and the veggies to finish cooking in the sauce while the biscuits are baking).

Turkey (or Chicken) Cobbler:  Serves 6

  • 3 slices of bacon, cut in bite sized pieces
  • oil
  • 1 medium leek, diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, small dice (keep the pieces small enough that they have time to fully cook in the sauce while the cobbler is baking)
  • 2 cups of kale, cleaned and centre stem removed, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of leftover cooked turkey or chicken, in bite sized pieces
  • 3 Tablespoons of salted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1/2 of a Boursin pepper cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup of fresh cheese curds (or you can use cheddar)
  • 2 Tablespoons of pine nuts (optional)

Drizzle a little oil in a large deep pan (10 inches or 22cm, that you can put in the oven) and cook the bacon pieces, over medium heat, until they begin to colour and crisp.  Set the cooked bacon aside in a separate bowl.

Keep the rendered fat from the bacon in the pan and add the leek and sweet potato.  Cook for about 5 minutes, covered but stirring regularly, to soften the vegetables.  Add the chopped kale and cook for another 2 minutes.  Set the cooked veggies aside in the bowl with the bacon.

Return the pan to the heat and add the butter.  When the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk to combine.  Stir continuously to cook the roux for about 1 minute.  

Add the chicken broth and whisk.  The sauce will quickly begin to thicken.  Add the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is bubbling and thick.  

Add the Boursin pepper cream cheese and the cheese curds, whisking until the cheese is melted.  Add the turkey and vegetables and pine nuts and stir to combine everything.  Cook for about one minute.  Set the pan aside while you make the biscuits (see below).

For the herb biscuits:  

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup of cold salted butter, cut 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup of cold whole milk (you may need to add up to 1 cup of milk i.e. enough for the dough to hold together when you stir it with a fork)
  • 1/3 cup of pepper pecornio or parmesan, grated

Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, thyme, sage, rosemary and pepper in a bowl and stir to combine.

Add the cold butter and cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter (or you can pulse in the food processor) until the butter is the size of small peas.  

Use your hands to lift the flour and squeeze the pieces of butter between your finger tips.  You want to create little butter disks.

Mix the milk and cheese together and add to the flour.  Mix with a fork until the dough becomes shaggy.  Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the flour is completely absorbed and you have a smooth dough (this should only take a few minutes - you don't want to over knead it).  Form into a flattened disk and cover with plastic wrap.  The biscuits can be kept covered in the fridge until ready to bake.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).  If refrigerated, bring the turkey filling to room temperature at least one hour before cooking.  This is an important step as you want the turkey filling to heat up fast in order to finish cooking the sweet potato.  If the filling is too cold, it will take too long to get it to a high enough heat.

Roll out the biscuit dough to about 1 inch in height.  Cut out rounds using a floured cookie cutter and place them evenly on the filling.   Brush with a little milk to help them colour and  bake for about 25  minutes in the centre of your oven (or until biscuits have risen and are golden brown).

Allow to cool slightly and serve with a salad.

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