Cranberry and Crystallized Ginger Chutney

Makes 2 cups

  1. One 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries or frozen
  2. 1 orange, juice and grated zest
  3. 1 teaspoon pomegranate vinegar
  4. 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  5. 1 shallot, minced
  6. 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  7. 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, minced
  8. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine cranberries, orange juice and zest, vinegar, sugar, shallot and mustard seeds in a heavy saucepan. Simmer the mixture stirring occasionally over medium heat until the cranberries start to pop. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Stir ginger into the cooled chutney. Season chutney to taste with salt and pepper. Check seasoning and adjust sugar if needed. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

Note: Chutney can be prepared up to 5 days before Thanksgiving.

Apple Cider-Brined Holiday Turkey with Pan Gravy

Serves Ten to Twelve

Brining the Turkey:

  1. 2 cups kosher salt
  2. 4 quarts (16 cups) cold apple cider
  3. 7 whole allspice berries
  4. 2 bay leaves
  5. 4 quarts (16 cups) cold water
  6. Freshly ground black pepper
  7. One (12-14 pound) Diestel turkey, neck and gizzard reserved (approximately 1/4 pound per person)

Gravy Stock:

  1. 4 cups low-salt chicken stock
  2. 1 yellow onion, quartered
  3. 1 celery stalk, cut into 4 pieces
  4. 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 4 pieces
  5. 8 fresh sage leaves

Night Before Thanksgiving | Brine Turkey:
Simmer 1 quart apple cider, salt, allspice, and bay leaves in 20-quart pot 5 minutes, stirring until salt is dissolved. Cool completely. Add remaining 3 quarts cold cider and 4 quarts cold water. Place turkey in brine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (Turkey should soak from up to 8 to 16 hours)

Make Stock for Gravy:
Simmer all ingredients in large saucepan for 45 minutes. Pour stock through a fine sieve into a bowl. Cool stock completely, then refrigerate tightly covered.


  1. 2 cups apple cider
  2. 1 stick unsalted butter

Prepare Turkey for Roasting:

  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. Freshly ground black pepper
  3. 2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped


  1. 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves
  3. 1/4 cup Calvados or brandy
  4. 1/4 cup heavy cream

Thanksgiving Day
Remove turkey from the brine, rinse under cold water, then pat it dry with paper towels, and refrigerate until ready to roast.

Make glaze:

Simmer cider in wide saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 15 minutes. Whisk in butter and set aside to cool.

Roast the Turkey:
Remove turkey from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you are ready to put it in the oven.

Set oven rack to the lowest position in the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Rub turkey with butter inside and out and season with finely ground black pepper. Turn the turkey breast-side up and fold the wing tips underneath the turkey so that the tips are almost touching. Tie drumsticks together with kitchen twine. Place turkey breast side up on a rack set over a large roasting pan. Add 1cup water to the pan and chopped onions. Roast turkey for 30 minutes, then turn down the heat to 350 degrees and baste with some of the glaze. Roast turkey uncovered basting with glaze until it becomes golden brown and then cover with foil. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 165 degrees. Remove turkey from oven and allow to rest in a warm place 30 minutes before carving.

Skim fat from the pan juices and reserve 3 tablespoons fat. Pour stock into roasting pan. Bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits. Combine flour, sage leaves, and reserved 3 tablespoons fat in a heavy wide saucepan; stir over medium heat 1 minute. Whisk in stock from the roasting pan and reserved pan juices. Add calvados and cream and simmer until gravy thickens, whisking often, about 4 minutes. Season gravy with salt and pepper to taste and strain into a gravy boat. Carve turkey and serve on a large platter with gravy boat on the side.

Crème Fraîche Mashed Potatoes

Serves 8

  1. 3 pounds large Yukon Gold potatoes
  2. 1/2 cup kosher salt
  3. 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and room temperature
  4. 1 cup crème fraîche
  5. 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  6. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Peel and slice the potatoes into quarters and place in a large stockpot. Cover the potatoes with at least 2- inches of cold water. Add the salt and bring the potatoes to a simmer. Do not boil. Simmer the potatoes until fork tender, about 35 minutes.

Strain the potatoes through a colander, reserving one cup of the salted cooking water. Allow the potatoes to cool in the colander for 2 minutes.

Process the potatoes through a food mill or ricer with the butter. Mix in the cream fraîche and black pepper. Add the heavy cream and/or salted water until potatoes are smooth and creamy and the desired thickness. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Balsamic-Braised Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Serves 8

  1. 1/2 pound pancetta, sliced 1/4-inch thick, then diced
  2. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  3. 2 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, halved (quartered if large)
  4. 2 shallots, minced
  5. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  7. 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  8. 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (to taste!)
  9. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the pancetta until brown and crispy. Remove the pancetta from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the Brussels sprouts until crispy on the outside, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until the garlic is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, chicken stock and red pepper flakes. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered until the Brussels sprouts are tender, about 15 minutes. The braising liquid should have reduced by half. Season sprouts with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour Brussels sprouts onto a serving platter and garnish with pancetta.

Traditional Stuffing

Serves 12

  1. Nonstick cooking spray
  2. 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  3. 2 stalks celery, small dice
  4. 1 small yellow onion, small dice
  5. 12 cups Draeger’s Pain Beaucaire, cubed
  6. 2 tablespoons sage leaves, chopped
  7. 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, chopped
  8. 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped
  9. 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  10. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9”X13” baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and sauté the celery and onion until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the vegetables to a large mixing bowl. Add the bread cubes and herbs and toss gently to combine.

Add one cup of chicken broth at a time to the bread cubes, tossing gently to evenly moisten and combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the stuffing mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until thoroughly heated through and lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Additional ingredients (you can mix and match!)

  1. 1/2 pound diced bacon, cooked with fat drained off
  2. 2 cups roasted chestnuts, peeled and coarsely chopped
  3. 2 apples, diced and sauteed
  4. 1/2 pound wild mushrooms, coarsely chopped and sautéed with butter
  5. 2 cups dried cranberries, soaked for 1 hour in hot water to re-hydrate