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Chris Hastings' Thanksgiving Feast

Chef Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club may have an adventurous side when it comes to his personal tastebuds, but for us, he shares a most traditional holiday menu.

Whole Roasted Free-Range Chicken with Winter Vegetables

“Every household needs a truly great whole roasted chicken recipe for its repertoire. This is a simple recipe that we have been preparing at least once a week for the last 20 years. The results are greatly improved by purchasing a free-range, organic chicken when available. Incorporating exotic, flavorful ingredients, such as porcini or morel mushrooms, baby artichokes, or fingerling potatoes, also achieves a superior result. Our boys love when we take the time to cut the thighs and legs away from the roasted chicken to produce extra pan drippings. Be sure to serve this dish with plenty of crusty bread for dipping.”  — Chris Hastings

1 (4 to 4 1/2-pound) whole free-range, organic chicken
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
6 fresh rosemary sprigs, torn in half, divided
1 bunch (about 20) fresh thyme sprigs, torn in half, divided
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 large parsnip, peeled and coarsely chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges
1/4 large rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges
1 large yellow onion, peeled, halved and sliced into ½-inch-wide slices
6 fingerling potatoes, quartered
1/4 pound assorted wild mushrooms or cremini mushrooms
8 large garlic cloves, peeled
Crusty French baguette, for serving

1. Rinse the chicken under cold running water, drain, and pat dry. Season the cavity with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Stuff the cavity with half of the rosemary and half of the thyme. Tuck the wings behind the chicken, and tie the legs together with butcher’s twine. Allow the chicken to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes while the vegetables are being prepared.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the next 8 ingredients (parsnips through garlic) and the remaining rosemary and thyme sprigs, tossing until well coated. Season the vegetables with the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper. Cook the vegetables over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large baking dish or roasting pan. 
4. Season the outside of the chicken with poultry salt and remaining ½ teaspoon of pepper.  Arrange the chicken on top of the vegetables and roast at 400°F for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue cooking for 40 to 45 minutes, basting occasionally with the pan juices, or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through and vegetables are tender.
5. Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the legs and thighs away from the cavity of the chicken, allowing the juices to drain into the vegetables.  Allow the chicken to rest an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Carve the chicken into 8 pieces (two wings, two drumsticks, two thighs, and two breast halves). Divide the vegetables and chicken evenly between 6 dinner plates and spoon the pan juices over each serving. Serve immediately with crusty bread slices. Makes 6 servings. 

Heirloom Cauliflower Gratin with Roasted Chestnuts, Parmesan Cream, and Black Truffle Oil

1 pound white heirloom cauliflower florets, cut into bite-size pieces
3/4 pound purple heirloom cauliflower florets, cut into bite-size pieces
12 chestnuts, roasted, peeled, and diced
4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons black truffle oil
1 1/2 cups Herbed Bread Crumbs, (recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
2. Combine cauliflower, diced chestnuts, and heavy cream in a medium stockpot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cauliflower and chestnuts from the cream and set aside to cool. 
3. Add the Parmesan and thyme to the cream and return to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until cream mixture is reduced by half and slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
4. Return the cauliflower to the cream mixture and season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle truffle oil into the cauliflower and cream mixture, and stir to combine. Spoon cauliflower mixture evenly into 8 (1-cup) ramekins.  Top each ramekin with 3 tablespoons of the Herb Bread Crumbs.
5. Place gratins in the oven and bake for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the sides are bubbling. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

Herbed Bread Crumbs

1/2 (8-ounce) fresh French baguette, torn into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Place bread in a food processor and pulse until bread is a uniform crumb consistency; transfer crumbs to a large mixing bowl.  Add the next 7 ingredients and mix well. Drizzle melted butter over the crumbs, and toss to evenly coat.  Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 3 1/4 cups.

Apple, Almond, and Endive Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing

2 medium Fuji apples, cored and thinly sliced
4 heads red endive, stems removed, leaves separated and washed
4 heads green endive, stems removed, leaves separated and washed
1 cup Creamy Herb Dressing, (recipe below)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup lightly toasted sliced almonds
3 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves

1. Combine the apple slices, endive leaves, and about 1 cup of the dressing. Toss gently until the leaves are well coated with dressing. Season with the salt and pepper.
2. Arrange the endive spears and apple slices in a criss-cross pattern, alternating the red and green endive spears, on each of 6 plates. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the almonds on each salad and garnish each with a few fresh parsley leaves. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Creamy Herb Dressing

1 cup Aïoli, (recipe below)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon blond verjus
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tarragon vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together the aïoli, verjus, tarragon vinegar, and Dijon mustard until smooth. Stir in the herbs and season with the salt and pepper. The dressing can be used immediately or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days. Makes about 1 ¼ cups.

Aïoli

Because of the slight risk of salmonella, raw eggs should not be served to the very young, the ill or elderly, or to pregnant women. If you are concerned about this, try adding 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh garlic to a good quality, store-bought mayonnaise.

2 egg yolks
11/2 cups olive oil, divided
1/2 small garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon water, if needed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the egg yolks in a food processor and process on high for 2 minutes. With the machine running, slowly drizzle 1/2 cup of the olive oil into the egg yolks, until slightly thickened. Add the garlic and lemon juice and process until combined.
2. Add the remaining olive oil in a slow, steady stream into the egg mixture while the machine is running. Thin the mixture with 1 tablespoon of water, if needed. (When all of the oil has been added, the mixture should be creamy and thickened.) Season the aïoli with the salt and pepper. Refrigerate the aioli for at least 30 minutes before using. The aïoli will keep refrigerated for up to three days. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Pecan Tart with Molasses Ice Cream

1 1/4 cups pecan pieces
1 (11-inch) round, pre-baked tart shell
2 large eggs
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups whole pecan halves, about 9 pecan halves per pie
Molasses Ice Cream (recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F (for convection oven).
2. Arrange pecan pieces evenly in the bottom of the tart shell. Whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, salt, melted butter, corn syrup, and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the pecan pieces. Arrange pecan halves on top of the filling in a decorative pattern.
3. Place tart on a baking sheet pan and bake for
20 to 25 minutes or until the filling is set around the edges. (The center of the tart may still jiggle slightly.) Cool completely before slicing. Serve each slice with a small scoop of Molasses Ice Cream in the center. Makes 6 servings.

Tart Shells

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
3 to 4 tablespoons ice-cold water

1. Sift together the flour, salt, and sugar into a medium mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, stirring just until mixture begins to stick together and is moistened.
2. Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and wrap tightly into a small disk. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using.
3. Preheat oven to 325˚F (for convection oven).
4. Place chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough out into a 12-inch circle, a little less than ¼-inch thick. Transfer circle to 1 (11-inch) fluted tart pan, and press the dough into the sides and bottom of each pan. Trim off and discard excess pastry. Line the tart shell with a piece of parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or baking beans. Place tart shell on a baking sheet pan, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow tart to cool completely before removing the pie weights. Makes 1 (11-inch) tart.

Molasses Ice Cream

2 quarts heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split
16 egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoons salt (not kosher)
1 cup unsulfured molasses

1. Add cream to a 4-quart saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into the cream. Add vanilla bean pods to the cream. Bring mixture to a simmer, and remove from the heat.
2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large, stainless steel bowl until yolks are pale yellow and slightly thickened. Slowly drizzle the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, while whisking continuously. Add salt, and pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
3. Remove from the heat, and stir in the molasses. Strain mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into a stainless steel bain-marie. Place bain-marie in an ice-water bath, and stir until well chilled. Makes about 8 quarts.

The Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook

Bring even more of Chef Chris Hastings’s delicious dishes to your table with The Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook (Running Press Books), by Chris and his wife, Idie. The book includes more than 200 recipes, as well as beer and wine pairings and a sourcing guide. It also offers a behind-the-scenes look into the authors’ home and work lives, with details on how the Hastings gather with family and friends around the table. In addition, the chef introduces readers to dozens of purveyors who supply the restaurant with the freshest ingredients. So preheat the oven and get ready to impress your dinner guests! 

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