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Chef and Food Personality Leigh Ann Chatagnier Shares a Special Family Menu for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time when family and friends gather to give thanks. Chef, food personality, and founder of My Diary of Us created a delicious menu for Thanksgiving that is sure to wow friends and family.

“I created this menu with the idea of loved ones gathered in the kitchen helping to prepare a special Thanksgiving meal to share together,” Leigh Ann explains. “This menu is perfect for large family gatherings that you may be hosting, but also is makes a potluck offering for a party or dinner throughout the holidays. Each recipe is unique, but simple enough to make in any kitchen.

This special Thanksgiving menu is one of my favorites because not only are the recipes simple enough to make in any kitchen, but they beautiful and really delicious too. Bring the warmth of the holiday season into your home with these three festive recipes!”

My Rosemary Pomegranate Maple Glazed Turkey is easy to make and is topped with a rosemary infused pomegranate glaze that takes this roasted turkey to a whole new level. It pairs perfectly with my savory twist on a sweet potato casserole that is a must try this Thanksgiving. I created a Chipotle Sweet Potato Casserole that is topped with a decadent sourdough sage and pecan bread crumb topping that will wow your guests and have them asking for seconds! To round off the menu, I like to serve my Brussels Sprout, Sausage, and Apple Rice Stuffing. This rice stuffing is a great alternative to the classic stuffing, especially if you have gluten sensitive family members, and each bite tastes just like the holidays!


Rosemary Pomegranate Maple Glazed Roasted Turkey

1 (13-16 pound) turkey

4 tablespoons Kosher salt

2 tablespoons black pepper

For the glaze:

2 cups pomegranate juice

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Rub turkey down on all sides with salt and pepper liberally, including the inside of the bird. Let sit uncovered in the fridge overnight, or at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Let turkey sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before baking while the oven preheats.

Bake for 2-1/2 to 3 hours until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

While the turkey bakes, make the rosemary pomegranate glaze by combining pomegranate juice, maple syrup, pepper, and rosemary sprigs in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and let reduce by half until slightly thickened.

Uncover the turkey for the last 20 minutes of cooking a brush a liberal amount of the pomegranate glaze all over the turkey. Brush a second coat of the glaze on the turkey if desired.

Serve with extra glaze.


Savory Chipotle Sweet Potato Casserole with Sourdough Sage Pecan Bread Crumb Topping

5 cups peeled and steamed or roasted sweet potatoes (4-5 potatoes)

1 stick melted butter

2-1/2 tablespoons finely diced chipotle peppers in adobo, plus 1 teaspoon of the chipotle pepper liquid

1-1/2 tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons honey

For the topping:

1/2 stick melted butter

2 cups stale sourdough bread, crumbled

1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped

1 cup pecans, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a stand mixer or large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, butter, chipotle peppers, eggs, milk, and honey. Mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

Place whipped chipotle sweet potatoes into a 9x13-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer.

Make bread crumb topped by mixing together melted butter with bread, sage, pecans, salt, and pepper. Spread the mixture evenly on top of the sweet potatoes.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through and topping is golden brown.


Brussels Sprout, Apple, and Sausage Rice Stuffing

1 pound pork breakfast sausage or sausage of choice

1/2 cup celery, diced

1/2 cup onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup fennel, diced

1/2 cup apple, diced

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

1 tablespoon Kosher salt, plus one teaspoon

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon

1 tablespoon avocado oil

1 tablespoon butter

4 cups cooked wild rice

2 cups Brussels sprouts, stems removed and cut in half

Add sausage to a large skillet and cook until browned. Remove from the skillet and drain any excess grease on a paper towel lined plate.

Add oil and butter to the skillet and place Brussels sprouts cut side down and let sear for 2 minutes without touching. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Once the cut side is browned, sauté for another 2 minutes until Brussels are bright green but still have some bite. Remove them from the skillet.

Add celery, onion, garlic, fennel, and apple to the skillet and season with 1/2 tablespoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and sauté until the veggies become tender, about 2-3 minutes.

Add in fresh herbs and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.

Add sausage back into the skillet and along with the cooked wild rice and cooked Brussels sprouts.

Season with the rest of the salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Cook another 2-3 minutes until flavors have combined well and serve immediately.

*Note: You can also stuff the turkey with this stuffing.

Recipes and photos reprinted with permission of Leigh Ann Chatagnier/

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