11.18.2016

How to host an Egg-cellent Thanksgiving dinner: four recipes + a whole lot of egg puns

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For Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or any other holiday gathering you might be hosting, don’t fret because this dinner party master post has got you covered. I’ve teamed up with Eggland’s Best to bring you a simple, easy, and delicious holiday spread. I’m not egg-aggerating here, these recipes are tasty! Included are savory sides such as ‘rosemary biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter’, ‘deviled eggs with honeyed jalapenos’, and ‘herb butter stuffing’. The main event is a ‘lemon thyme hay-roasted chicken’, and for dessert is a ‘pumpkin & brown butter cheesecake with candied bourbon pecans’. The holidays never tasted so good!

Warning: This post contains an exuberant amount of egg puns. Enjoy :)


Hello, friends.

It’s less than a week until Thanksgiving. Are you ready?! When you’re reading this, I will have already left my apartment and will be at my parent's home for the holiday break. I’m pretty excited for this time off. I am in need of a break from higher education. Senior year has been a rigorous semester so far, but I’m making it through. With final exams just around the corner, I’m looking forward to this period of rejuvenation before hitting the books for the final home stretch. For me, thanksgiving break always means two very important things: No classes and a whole lot of baking! Weeks before the holiday gathering, Momma Crawford and I will sit down and brainstorm recipe ideas for the festive dinner. We think of ways to reimagine traditional side dishes or create healthy dessert alternatives that will still taste delicious. It’s always so much fun planning and prepping the Thanksgiving dinner menu with her. Lots of laughs and cups of coffee are shared. But this year, Eggland’s Best reached out to me and challenged me to create a thanksgiving/Friendsgiving dinner all by myself. You can say I was pretty egg-cited to accept this challenge.


Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen Deviled Eggs with honeyed jalapenos | TermiNatetor Kitchen

When drafting this Thanksgiving meal up, I wasn’t feeling the whole traditional turkey vibe. Don’t get me wrong, I like turkey as much as the next guy, but it wasn’t egg-actly what I had in mind. I had my heart set on roasted chicken. The inspiration for this recipe came from the Netflix show “Chef” (which is amazing by way!) I forget which French chef did this, but he/she roasted a whole chicken on a bed of hay in a cast iron Dutch oven. Such a cool idea, right?! Then when I saw Soe had adapted a recipe for it on his site, I knew I had to try it for myself! For the roasted chicken, I adapted my recipe from Eva’s site (and new cookbook!), except I used lemons and fresh thyme to add an herbal-citrus element to the chicken. I also tried a brine for the first time. I was a bit skeptical at first, not knowing if the bird would come out too salty, but what I got was the most tender, juicy, and flavorful piece of chicken I have ever tasted! 

Note: For this master post I wanted to take you along on my own journey in creating this meal from start to finish. I have included a step by step guide showing you when I made each item. One of the biggest tips in hosting I have learned is be prepared and plan ahead! 

Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen

Step 1: Brine the Chicken 
Original recipe adapted from Adventures in Cooking


For the brine
8 cups water
¼ cup lemon juice
6 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 sprigs of thyme
1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds, innards removed 


For the brine. Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl. Add the water, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon, and thyme, stirring to combine. Cover bowl and allow the chicken to rest in the brine overnight. This is what’s going to give you a succulent, juicy roast chicken. Bye, bye days of dried up chicken! 

Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor KitchenLemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen

Step 2: Prep the Cheesecake
Original cheesecake recipe adapted from Southern Living
           


2 cups graham crackers, crumbs
1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped
5 tablespoons brown butter (8 tablespoons butter)
Pinch of salt
4 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon bourbon
4 Eggland’s Best Eggs (large)
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree

1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice 

For the brown butter. In a small saucepan, melt the stick of butter over medium heat until nut-brown in color, about 8-10 minutes Remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediments behind. Allow to cool slightly

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt until incorporated. Pour in the brown butter and stir until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1 ½ inches up the sides of a well-greased 9-inch springform pan. Bake crust for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla, and bourbon until smooth and combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add the pumpkin puree and lemon juice and mix until blended. Pour the prepared batter into the crust.

Bake at 325 F for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to stand in the oven (with the door closed!) for 15 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, and gently run a knife around the outer edge of the cheesecake to loosen it from the sides of the pan. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill for 8 or 24 hours. 

Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen
Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor KitchenPumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen

Every side dish in this spread helps compliment the star of the feast.  A complimentary pairing, the herb butter stuffing is on a whole other level. The boxed stuff has nothing on this stuffing! The herbs and the butter play such an integral part in elevating this dish. Making homemade stuffing does take a bit of time, from drying out the bread to baking it, but once you take that first bite you will see that it was so, SO worth it. Call it culinary egg-ercise! Next, the Rosemary biscuits with the spiced butternut squash butter. This duo adds a sweet and savory combination to the meal. The biscuits are buttery and light while the butter is silky, aromatic, and warm. The deviled eggs are a signature at my families Thanksgiving. My version puts a spicier twist on the traditional recipe by using both Sriracha and cayenne pepper in the filling and honeyed jalapenos on the top. HUGE TIP: Wear gloves when handling hot peppers. I failed to do so and I go a pretty hefty case of chemical burns from them. Not fun. Don’t be dumb like me, take proper precautions! 


Step 3: Prep Deviled Egg filling
Original recipe adapted from Food Wishes


12 Eggland’s Best Eggs (large)
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup mayo
½ teaspoon hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste 

Place one dozen Eggland’s Best large eggs into the bottom of a Dutch oven. Fill with 3-quarts of cold water and cook over high heat until the water temperature reaches 210 F. Once the water reaches 210 F, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and leave covered for 17 minutes.

Remove the lid and carefully drain out the water. Then, with the lid on the pot, carefully shake the pot, allowing the eggs to hit the sides of the pot, but not too hard. This will create little cracks and indents on the exterior of the eggs making them easier to peel. Then cover the eggs with cold water. Allow the eggs to sit in the cold water until they are cool enough to work with Remove all the yolks and transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the cream cheese, mayo, hot sauce, ground cayenne pepper, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. 


Deviled Eggs with honeyed jalapenos | TermiNatetor Kitchen Deviled Eggs with honeyed jalapenos | TermiNatetor Kitchen Deviled Eggs with honeyed jalapenos | TermiNatetor Kitchen


Step 4: Make the squash butter 


Original recipe adapted from Food52


1 cups roasted squash, pureed
¼ cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon spice blend* (mix spices in a small bowl)

½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


*for the roasted squash. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Cut the butternut squash in half, scooping out the seeds and stringy bits. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet in the oven and roast until the squash is very tender, between 40 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before scooping innards into a food processor and processing until smooth. Use a spatula to scrape the mixture from the processor into a medium saucepan.

To the saucepan, add the brown sugar, butter, salt, spice blend*, lemon juice, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar. Bring mixture to a simmer and continue to simmer, scraping the bottom to prevent sticking and burning, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until mixture is thick and velvety. Remove the heat and allow to cool before transferring butter into a prepared Mason jar or container. The butter will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks. 


Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor KitchenRosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor KitchenRosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen

And finally the dessert (arguably the best part!). Pumpkin pie is a tradition in my family. Grandma Cooley would always bake the pies for the feast. I wanted to pay homage to her by combining her pumpkin pie with my love of cheesecake. This pumpkin cheesecake is the perfect party dessert. You can make it a day or two ahead and let it sit covered in the fridge. You’ll be running around the kitchen the day of anyways, the last thing you need is a hectic, timely dessert to worry about. The graham cracker crust is made with brown butter that adds a subtle nuttiness to the cake. The candied bourbon pecans on top add a flavorful crunch and texture that works extremely well with this dessert. I couldn’t stop eating these candied pecans, they were so addicting! 

Step 5: Make candied pecans + assemble cheesecake
Original candied pecan recipe adapted from Allrecipes


½ cup white caster sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Eggland’s Best Egg (large), egg white only
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 pound pecan, halves

Icing glaze ~ 1 cup confectioners’ sugar + 1/3 cup heavy cream


For the bourbon candied pecans. Preheat the oven to 250 F. In a small bowl, mix together the sugars, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites, vanilla, and bourbon until frothy. Toss the pecans in the egg white mixture until coated. Mix in the sugar mixture until evenly coated. Spread the pecans onto a baking sheet or a 9-inch cast iron skillet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes until the pecans are evenly browned. Allow to cool before garnishing on cheesecake.


Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen Pumpkin & Brown Butter Cheesecake with Bourbon Candied Pecans | TermiNatetor Kitchen

Step 6: Assemble the deviled eggs 


Original recipe adapted from Food Wishes

2 jalapenos, diced
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons water 


For the honeyed jalapenos. Slice jalapenos and place them in a bowl. In a small saucepan, heat water and honey over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and pour simple syrup over the jalapeno slices. Allow to sit and cool. 

Assembly. You either can simply spoon the filling mixture back into the reserved egg whites (just like my Grandma Cooley always did) or, if you want to be fancy, transfer filling to a piping bag and pipe the filling into each egg white. Garnish with honeyed jalapenos and red pepper flakes.  

Deviled Eggs with honeyed jalapenos | TermiNatetor Kitchen
Deviled Eggs with honeyed jalapenos | TermiNatetor Kitchen
Deviled Eggs with honeyed jalapenos | TermiNatetor Kitchen Deviled Eggs with honeyed jalapenos | TermiNatetor Kitchen
Deviled Eggs with honeyed jalapenos | TermiNatetor Kitchen Deviled Eggs with honeyed jalapenos | TermiNatetor Kitchen Deviled Eggs with honeyed jalapenos | TermiNatetor Kitchen

Step 7: baste & roast the chicken 
+ make the herb butter stuffing
Original roast chicken recipe adapted from Adventures in Cooking
Original herb butter stuffing recipe from Epicurious


For the glaze
¼ cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

            For the roast chicken
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 sprig of rosemary
3 lemons, cut into slices 
5 cloves + 5 allspice 


For the glaze. Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a small saucepan over high heat, add the chicken stock, lemon juice, honey, white wine, olive oil, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and ground cardamom and bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes or so. Set aside until needed.

For roasting the chicken. Remove the chicken from the brine solution and pat dried. Rub it down inside and out with the softened butter, minced rosemary, minced thyme, and salt.

For traditional roasting technique. Place the chicken in the roasting pan, place the rosemary and thyme sprigs in the cavity and truss. Arrange the lemon slices in the pan around the chicken. Lightly brush the chicken with the glaze.

For hay-roasted technique. Place two handfuls of organic hay in the bottom of a cast iron Dutch oven. Toss the cloves and allspice on top of the hay. Place the rosemary and thyme sprigs in the cavity and truss. Arrange the lemon slices in the pan around the chicken. Lightly brush the chicken with the glaze.

Roast chicken for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375 F and continue roasting, brushing the chicken with the glaze every 15 minutes, for 50 minutes to 1 hour more, or until a thermometer inserted into the thigh of the bird reads 165 F. If the bird is browning too quickly, tent the pan or Dutch oven with foil. Allow the bird to rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving. 

Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen


10 cups day-old white bread, cubed into 1-inch pieces
¾ cup unsalted butter
2 ½ cups chopped yellow onion
1 ½ cups celery, sliced
½ cup fresh parsley, minced
2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 ½ cups chicken broth, divided
2 Eggland’s Best Eggs (large) 



Preheat the oven to 250 F. Butter a 13x9 baking dish and set aside. Scatter the bread cubes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, tossing occasionally until dried out, about 1 hour. Allow to cool before transferring to a large mixing bowl.

In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add in the onions and celery, stirring often until just beginning to turn brown, about 10 minutes. Add the parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook for a minute or two. Transfer to large bowl with the bread. Drizzle in 1 ¼ cups broth and toss gently together. Let cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1 ¼ cups broth and eggs. Add to the bread mixture, folding gently until thoroughly combined. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish, cover with foil, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of dressing registers 160 F, about 40 minutes. Uncovered the stuffing and bake until set and the top is browned and crisp, 40-45 minutes longer.


Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor KitchenLemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen
Herb Butter Stuffing

Step 8: Make the biscuits 

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
5 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons rosemary, minced
2/3 cup butter, cubed and chilled
2/3 cup shortening, chilled
1 ½ cups milk
2 Eggland’s Best Eggs (large), 1 whole and 1 beaten 


For the biscuits. Pre-heat the oven to 450°F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and rosemary. Cut the shortening and butter into the flour mixture. Gently pour in the milk and the whole egg and stir to combine. The dough will be incredibly sticky, so add in one tablespoon or two of flour to make it more pliable.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead for five minutes. Roll the dough out to a little more than ½ inch thick. Take a donut cutter or a sharp knife, and cut out six to seven biscuits. Re-roll and cut for more. Transfer the dough to an ungreased baking sheet.

Note* If you are making the biscuits the day before, just cover the baking sheet of unbaked biscuits completely and place in the fridge until needed. Allow to the biscuits to come to room temperature before baking.

Brush each biscuit with the beaten egg. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the tops are slightly golden brown. Serve immediately or allow to cool slightly on a wire rack. 

Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor KitchenRosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen
Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen
Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen
Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen
Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen
Rosemary Biscuits with spiced butternut squash butter | TermiNatetor Kitchen

And Enjoy! 

That’s the last step, enjoy. While developing these recipes, I was genuinely impressed by the high quality of eggs that Eggland had. I could tangibly see a notable difference, from the perfectly cooked and easy-to-peel shells of the deviled eggs to the texture and flavor of the cheesecake, these eggs are the real deal! I've used both farm fresh and store bought eggs in the past, and using Eggland's eggs reminded me of the fresh eggs I have gotten from First Fruits Farm. Get yourself a dozen and try some for yourself! 

One last point before I sign off. One of the greatest lessons I have learned from hosting is that above all you want the guest as well as yourself to enjoy the time together. With all this craziness happening in the world today, it can be hard to come together in good company, but that’s where food comes in I think. With food, it helps connects us, it brings ideas, thoughts, and people together. It’s like the old saying “the heart of the home is in the kitchen” and I think there is something to that.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


I have another post coming out Monday (hint, hint: it involves pears and brandy) and then I’ll be back Black Friday for a seasonal soup recipe. I can’t wait to share these with all of you!

Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen Lemon Thyme Hay-Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter Stuffing | TermiNatetor Kitchen 



Click on the images below to print the recipes!






Huge thanks to Eggland's Best  for sponsoring this recipe. Be sure to share your holiday baking creations with the hashtag #TKbakes so we can obsess about food together. And as always, all opinions, ramblings, stories, egg-puns, and recipe/adaptations are my own.

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3 comments:

  1. So very beautiful and the photos create such a warm and joyful feeling of love, home, beauty, and family. It all looks so delicious and inviting. It makes me want to be there.
    (Riley's Mom--Jeanne)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just steeped in today at your blog and i became a fan of urs. Stunning photography,imposing blog.

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow these photos are incredible this looks so amazing, xxx

    ReplyDelete