Chef's New Thanksgiving Menu

After years of serving the holiday dinner only to customers, what does a chef cook for family and friends? (Serves 10 to 12)

Chef's New Thanksgiving Menu

Make-Ahead Strategy

Up to 3 days before
Salt turkey and chill (step 1). Make dough for fig tart (step 2).

2 days before
Roast nuts and make dressing for hazelnut herb salad (steps 1-4).

1 Day before
• Cook beans for mushroom ragout (steps 1 and 2) and chop remaining ingredients.
• Prepare sweet potatoes with meringue through step 1.
• Make cornbread croutons; cook aromatics for apple bacon cornbread stuffing (steps 1-5).
• Cook dried figs for tart (step 1).
• Prepare aromatics for mussels with sausage and thyme (steps 1 and 2).
• Tear lettuce for hazelnut herb salad, wrap in paper towels, and chill in a resealable plastic bag.

Morning of
Finish fig tart. Assemble apple bacon cornbread stuffing (steps 6 and 7).

5 hours before
Preheat oven and prepare juniper-and-herb roast turkey (step 1). Make stock for pine nut gravy (step 1).

4 hours before
Roast turkey

1 1/2 hours before
Bring apple bacon cornbread stuffing to room temperature. Make mushroom ragout.

1 hour before
Let turkey rest. Bake stuffing. Make pine nut gravy. Finish sweet potatoes with meringue.

20 minutes before
Carve turkey and arrange on a serving platter (cover to keep warm). Toss hazelnut herb salad with dressing.

10 minutes before
Reheat aromatics for mussels with sausage and thyme, and cook mussels.

Sunset, November 2007