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Home-Cooked Thanksgiving Feast

Chef Melody stopped by the set of Fox 5 News to discuss alternative recipe items including Le Rouge Chicken with Roasted Fall Veggies, and a scrumptious Pecan Bar Cheesecake. Cooking for Thanksgiving just got a whole lot better.
Ingredients
For the le rouge chicken
  Rouge chicken 1 1⁄2 Pound (Whole Label Rouge with giblets removed)
  Himalayan salt/Kosher salt 2 Tablespoon
  Black pepper powder 2 Tablespoon
  Paprika 2 Tablespoon
  Dried thyme 1⁄2 Bunch (50 gm)
  Dried rosemary 1⁄2 Bunch (50 gm), crushed
  Garlic head 1 Large (Optional)
  Onion 1 Large (Optional)
  Rosemary sprigs 1⁄2 Bunch (50 gm) (Optional)
For the roasted fall veggies
  Butternut squash 1 Medium, peeled, seeded and cut into ¾ inch cubes
  Carrots 3 Medium, peeled and sliced into ½ inch pieces
  Red onion 2 Large, peeled, halved, quartered,
  Fennel bulb 1 Medium, halved, sliced
  Sea salt 1 Teaspoon
  Black pepper powder 1 Teaspoon
  Extra virgin olive oil 2 Tablespoon
  Serrano chile honey balsamic vinegar 2 Tablespoon (Optional)
For the pecan cracker crust
  Graham crackers/Graham cracker crumbs 12
  Light brown sugar 1 Tablespoon
  Unsalted butter 8 Tablespoon, melted
For the pecan filling
  Unsalted butter 8 Tablespoon
  Light brown sugar 3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)
  Light corn syrup 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) (with Vanilla)
  Heavy cream 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Salt 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Ground cinnamon 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Pecans 2 Cup (32 tbs), chopped
For the cheesecake filling
  Cream cheese 2 1⁄2 Pound, room temperature
  Sugar 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Eggs 5 Large, room temperature
  Egg yolks 2 Large, room temperature
  Sour cream 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)
  Vanilla extract/Vanilla bean seeds 1 1⁄2 Teaspoon
Directions

For the Le Rouge Chicken
GETTING READY
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and place an empty cast iron cooking dish in the middle rack.

MAKING
2. While the pan is heating, pat dry the chicken with paper towels. Season the cavity with salt and pepper and then stuff it with garlic, onion and fresh rosemary sprigs.
3. Tie the legs with a kitchen string if needed. Season the entire chicken generously with salt, pepper, paprika, dried rosemary and dried thyme.
4. Once the oven reaches 450 degrees remove the pan from oven and place the chicken, breast side up in the pan uncovered.
5. Roast the chicken for about 55 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh away from the bone reaches 165 degrees.

SERVING
6. Place the roasted chicken in the center of a large platter and surround it with the roasted vegetables.

For the Roasted Fall Veggies
GETTING READY
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and place a rack in middle position.

MAKING
2. On a large baking pan, place the butternut squash, carrots, onion and fennel. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper and drizzle it with olive oil and Serrano Chile Honey Balsamic Vinegar. Toss well.
3. Place the baking tray in the oven and roast until tender and slightly caramelized for about 30-40 minutes, tossing occasionally.

SERVING
4. Place the roasted vegetables around the roasted chicken and serve immediately.

For the Pecan- Bar Cheesecake
GETTING READY
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and set a rack in the middle.
2. Place graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until very finely ground.

MAKING
3. For the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter and brown sugar until moistened.
4. Take a 10-inch spring form pan and spread the above mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Place pan in the oven and bake it for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
5. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees.
6. For the Pecan Filling: In a large saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter and add in the brown sugar, corn syrup and bring it to a low boil. Stir the mixture for about 2-3 minutes or until it is smooth and slightly darkened.
7. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the cream, salt and cinnamon. Mix in the chopped pecans.
8. Pour this filling into the pan and spread it evenly, gently pressing in the mixture to create a flat and even surface. Set aside to cool.
9. For the Cheesecake Filling: In an electric mixer, cream the cheese and sugar on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce it to a low speed and add the eggs and egg yolks two at a time, mixing well in between each addition.
10. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides and add the sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined. Now pour this mixture on top of the cooled crust and lightly tap the pan on a flat surface to remove any air bubbles.
11. Place the spring form pan in a large baking pan (at least 1 ½ inches deep) filled with hot water and place it in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes then turn the oven temperature to 225 degrees. Bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Once done, let it rest inside the oven for 30 minutes keeping the oven door a little ajar.
12. Take the cake out of the oven and let it sit at room temperature about 2-3 hours until completely cooled. Cover the cake and refrigerate overnight.

SERVING
13. Slice the cake into desired pieces and serve.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Bit Difficult
Cuisine: 
American
Occasion: 
Thanksgiving
Restriction: 
High Fiber, High Protein
Preparation Time: 
60 Minutes
Cook Time: 
190 Minutes
Ready In: 
250 Minutes
Servings: 
12

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