Cooking With Class



Thanksgiving Menu – Serves 10




Jumbo Shrimp and Cocktail Sauce

Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella and Fresh Basil

Drizzled with Garlic Infused Virgin Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

Tuscan Crispini Bruschetta with Calamata Olives and Capers


Chopped Greek Salad with Feta Cheese

Warm Potato Rolls

Sweet and Salted Butters




Slow Oven Roasted Bacon Drenched Salt Cured Purdue Turkey Hen

Dry Rubbed with Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

Convection and Steam and Injection Basting



            Three Oven Roasted Gourmet Stuffing Selections


Roasted Chestnut and Smoked Bacon

Italian Sausage and Raisin

Wild Mushroom and Vidalia Onion


Whole Cranberry Sauce

Baked Yams

Yukon Gold Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Home Style Turkey Pan Gravy

Mushroom and Bacon Gravy

Sautéed Baby Peas

Broccoli Florets in Lemon Butter Sauce




Lasagna Al Forno




Crème Brulee

Apple Pie with Cheddar or Ice Cream

Fresh Whip Cream

Assorted Fruits and Nuts


Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to celebrate family and friends by sharing a bountiful harvest.  My menu is based on a cultural heritage of Italian cooking enmeshed with American traditions.  

What follows is a recipe for the main portions of this dinner: Turkey, Lasagna and Stuffing(s).


This year I decided to try some new techniques in roasting the Bird: Using an Injection Baste and Rack and Roast/Steamer combination in a convection oven, I reduced cooking time, increased control and created a new “family” standard.  Apportioned to serve 10.



The Bird was a Purdue Hen, weighing 12 ½ lbs.  The Hen was salt cured for 1 hour, dry rubbed with a spice mixture of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.  The Bird was racked and roasted in a convection oven at 325o for 1 hour in an open pan. 


A Mirapoix (country cut/mixed) was added to the base of the roaster and the Bird was covered with 1lb. of bacon.  On the stove, I prepared a basting mix (finely ground Mirapoix sautéed in butter and simmered in Chicken stock).



I injected the breasts at 1-hour intervals with an equal mixture of basting broth and drippings while steaming the bird (covered) for the next 2 hours.  The last fifteen minutes I uncovered the bird and reduced the heat to 250o.  What results from this process is a deeply hued hen, with crispy skin and moist meat.


Lasagna Al Forno:  Preparing the traditional baked Lasagna, begins with preparation of the cheese layer and the meat and sauce layers. 

This year, I blended 4 different meats: sirloin, pork, veal and ham; in a tomato concasse seasoned with fresh basil, fresh Italian parsley, onions, garlic, hot red pepper, salt and pepper (white, green, red). 


The cheeses used for this layer were: ricotta, fresh mozzarella, parmesan and locatelli; and mixed with 3 whole eggs, fresh chopped parsley, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and a dash of cinnamon.  One can add asagio, processed mozzarella to the mix.

The casserole is roasted lightly tented for 1 hour. 

Brown the top and melt mozzarella and shaved reggiano prior to serving:



To Go Portion and Extra Sauce



Gourmet Stuffing Selections: 


This year I decided to make three different kinds of stuffing combinations, each a variant of a “traditional” recipe. 

Each stuffing required a mix of different ingredients to create a unique accompaniment to the “bread and the “bird”.


Mushroom, Butter, Mirapoix, Parsley, White Wine, Salt and Pepper



Sausage, Raisins, Onion, Italian Parsley, Salt and Pepper (white, red and green)



Roasted Chestnut, Onion, Parsley and Smoked Bacon