3 Chefs From Boca Raton And Delray Beach Share Their Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes And Traditions

by Holly Gambrell Oct 23, 2018 12:39 PM

Thanksgiving is one of America’s favorite times of the year. It involves family, friends, great food and traditions passed down from generation to generation.

We were curious to see how local chefs and restaurateurs in Boca Raton and Delray Beach like to celebrate the holiday, and asked them to give us their favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Keep reading to find out how to cook like a pro this holiday season.

Main Course: Oven-Roasted Turkey

Recipe courtesy of Patrick Delay, Prezzo

Prezzo
Photo courtesy of Prezzo

“Thanksgiving dinner is great, but the leftovers leave room for imagination and creativity,” says Delay.

Brine And Preparation

1 turkey

1/2 cup molasses

1 cup kosher salt

4 bay leaves

1 bunch thyme

1 bunch rosemary

4 gallons water

Ice

Combine molasses, salt, bay leaves, water and herbs in a large pot. Over high heat bring to a boil stirring occasionally to dissolve salt. Remove from heat, pour hot liquid over ice and let cool completely.

Once cool, pour over turkey and let sit three to five days, depending on the size. The longer is stays in the brine, the more flavorful and moist your turkey will be.

After the turkey has been brined, remove from liquid and let air-dry overnight in the refrigerator. This step can be skipped, but you will not get as crispy of a skin. 

Oven-Roasted Turkey

1 brined turkey

1 bunch rosemary

1 bunch thyme

2 onions, roughly chopped

1 carrot, roughly chopped

1 head of garlic, left whole

2 pounds butter

Kosher salt and ground black pepper as needed

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine herbs, carrots, onions and 1 pound of butter and place in cavity of turkey. Using the microwave, melt the other pound of butter and set aside. While the butter is melting, generously season turkey with kosher salt and black pepper. Cavity should be seasoned along the entire surface area of the bird. 

Place turkey in roasting pan set up with a roasting rack. Cover with aluminum foil and place in oven. Cook for one hour at 350 F. After one hour, turn oven up to 375 F and remove foil. Depending on each oven, turkey may need to be rotated every 15 minutes to ensure even browning.

Using a calibrated thermometer, check the internal temperature between the leg and breast of the turkey. Once turkey has reached an internal temperature of 155 F, remove from oven and let stand at least 15 minutes. 

Note: All poultry needs to be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 F. Pulling the turkey out at 155 F allows the turkey to continue cooking to 165 F, ensuring it is fully cooked, but not overcooked. 

Once turkey has hit an internal temperature of 165 F, slice to your liking.

Side Dish: Yia Yia’s Stuffing Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Eric and Alex Smith, Ouzo Bay and Loch Bar

Atlas Restaurant Group
Photo courtesy of Atlas Restaurant Group

“This dish is something my Yia Yia (grandmother in Greek) has made my whole life each Thanksgiving for our family,” says Eric Smith. “She’s 87 years old and still makes it every year, tasting just as good as the very first time I had ever tried it.”

1/4 pound of butter

1 yellow onion

2 stalks of celery, chopped in Quisinart

2 pounds of ground beef

2 bunches of parsley

1 cup chopped chestnuts (or more, if desired)

Handful of golden raisins

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup Uncle Ben’s rice

Brown onions and celery in butter, then brown meat. Throw in chopped parsley, chestnuts and raisins. Add tomato paste, salt, pepper and sugar. Add rice in last. Simmer, then put in casserole and bake at 350 F till rice is done. Tent casserole dish with aluminum so it doesn’t burn. Needs at least an hour in the oven. Make sure rice is cooked thoroughly before serving.

Dessert: Apple Cobbler

Recipe courtesy of Bill Ring, Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar

Bill Ring and Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar
Photo courtesy of Bill Ring and Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar

“My mom would make apple pie every Thanksgiving and I’ll always remember the smell taking over the house,” says Ring. “This dish reminds me of my family and my childhood, because we always were together on Thanksgiving.”

Cobbler Topping Filling

4 ounces diced apples

1 orange, peeled

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 cup cognac

Juice of one orange

Soak raisins in cognac overnight. Put apples in a pot with enough water to cover them. Add half the orange peel. Bring to a boil and cook until apples are soft. Drain water and add apples to bowl with sugar, cinnamon and orange juice. Place raisins and cognac in and cook until liquid is reduced. Add raisins to bowl with apples, mix and cool.

Cobbler Topping

1 cup organic granola

1/2 pound butter, cut into small cubes

1/4 pound of brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups waffle mix

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Place all ingredients, except butter, in mixing bowl. Slowly add butter and work with your fingers. Once mixed, put on sheet tray and bake for 20 minutes at 325 F. Let cool.

Vanilla Whipped Cream

1/2 quart heavy cream

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

Put all ingredients in mixing bowl and whisk until medium peaks appear.

Cinnamon Caramel Sauce

1/2 pound butter, cut into squares

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 quart heavy cream

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Place butter in medium sauce pan, add sugar and stir until dark amber colors appear. Slowly add cream (mixture will bubble, so be careful). Add cinnamon and stir. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To Assemble

Scoop cobbler filling in a serving bowl. Spoon cobbler topping onto filling. Use piping bag and place whipped cream on top. Spoon caramel on to the middle of the whipped cream.

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