Thanksgiving is right around the corner and, with it, time to get in the kitchen with your kids and cook up some mouth-watering treats. To help provide inspiration, we reached out to six chefs, restaurateurs and food experts and asked them to share their favorite seasonal dishes. Click through for some tasty inspiration for Turkey day — and beyond!

For a Turkey a Cut Above

Svitlana Flom
Food blogger, Art de Fete
ArtdeFete.com

Mom of Vivi, two, and a mom-to-be

Thanksgiving thoughts: “My daughter is always by my side in the kitchen, helping stirring, measuring or making some mess in the kitchen. This upcoming Thanksgiving will not be an exception. I am hosting a real feast for our family. When I cook a dish, it’s important to me that I talk through the recipe step-by-step with Vivian, and she loves it. She always wants to be picked up and help me out with her tiny little hands. So next on the agenda: we’ll pick the prettiest 15-pound turkey together and my husband will massage the bird to make her really tender. We call it ‘a real shiatsu massage experience Flom-style.'”

Recipe

Herb-Roasted Turkey with Mushroom Gravy and Cranberry Sauce with Pear & Cointreau

Serves 8-10

For the turkey:

12-14 pound organic or kosher turkey

1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped

2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

2 tablespoons thyme, finely chopped

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature

Dry Brine William and Sonoma (A classic medley of fragrant herbs, spices with a hint of citrus)

For the stuffing

2-3 lemons, quartered

2 purple onions, quartered

1 carrot, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 celery rib, cut into 2-inch pieces

3 garlic cloves unpeeled, crushed

For the gravy

2 lb. button mushrooms, thinly sliced

3 cups low-sodium chicken stock

1/2 cup white wine

2 shallots, chopped

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 thyme sprig

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Unwrap the turkey and remove neck and giblets. Rinse the turkey under cold water and pat dry. Following instructions, rub dry brine all over turkey and inside the cavity, refrigerate covered in a plastic wrap for 1 or 2 days. (I like to use dry brine from William and Sonoma but a blend of your favorite spices will work just as fine.) Rinse off dry brine and pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Let it stand at room temperature for 2 hours before cooking. Season cavity with salt and pepper liberally and stuff it with lemons, onions, carrot, celery and garlic cloves.

Preheat the oven to 450 F with the rack in the lowest part of the oven. Set a V-shaped rack in the roasting pan. Place turkey breast side-up onto the rack. Tie the legs loosely with the kitchen twine, the bird will retains its shape and moisture during cooking and tuck the wings under the breast (you might have to break them to do it). Fold neck flap under, and secure with toothpicks. Add 2 cups of water to the pan.

Combine butter, herbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper and massage the herb butter all over turkey. Using your fingers, carefully loosen skin of breast and around thighs and rub herb mixture under the skin of both. Season generously with salt and pepper on all sides to ensure great flavors.

Roast for 30-40 minutes, rotating half way through. Reduce heat to 375 F and continue cooking for 1½-2 hours, basting with pan drippings occasionally (about every 20 minutes), until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 165 F and 175 F in the inner thigh. Cover the turkey loosely will foil and let rest for 1 hour before cutting. (If breast gets too browned, cover it with the foil and continue cooking.)

To make the gravy: Strain the pan juices into a heatproof bowl and skim off the fat. Pour the pan juices into a large glass measuring cup; let stand until grease rises to the surface, about 10 minutes, then skim with a large spoon. Or use a gravy separator, this heatproof tool quickly separates juices from fat and filters solids.

Meanwhile, place roasting pan over medium heat. Add butter, shallots and cook them for 2 minutes, then add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil; deglaze pan by scraping up any browned bits from bottom with a wooden spoon. Add stock; stir well, and return to a boil. Add thyme sprigs. Cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the defatted pan juices, and cook 5 minutes more. In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons of flour with 2 tablespoons of gravy liquid, mix well until it becomes a thick paste; slowly add a little more liquid until it gets thicker, resembling a heavy cream consistency. Whisk it into the pan drippings slowly; simmer the gravy for 2 more minutes.

Remove from heat, and season with the salt and pepper. Pour it into a warm gravy boat, and serve with turkey.

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  • For a Sweet Take on Butternut Squash
  • For a Classic Pie
  • For a Fun Way to Use Leftover Turkey

Share your favorite holiday recipe below!

— Lambeth Hochwald