Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences


Today is Thanksgiving and although we don’t really celebrate it every year, I’ve decided to make a Thanksgiving-themed dinner anyway. I didn’t get a turkey since there are only four of us so at home. I’ve opted for a simpler menu of pumpkin soup, lemon and rosemary roast chicken with two vegetables – roasted sweet potatoes and green beans with shallots. If you want to try something new, why not try the pumpkin risotto recipe from one of my previous posts as a starter? Happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Soup (adapted from the New Covent Garden Food Co. Book of Soups)

  • 25 gr. butter
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 100 gr. potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 450 gr. pumpkin, diced (brunoise)
  • 125 gr. carrots, diced
  • 1/2 liter chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • brown or demerara sugar to taste
  • freshly-ground sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • finely grated nutmeg to taste, grated directly into the pot
  • In a large deep pot, melt the butter cook the onions gently for 5 minutes without colouring. Add the potato, 350 gr. of the pumpkin, the carrots and the stock. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Cool a little then puree in a liquidiser or use a hand-held liquidiser directly in the pot.
  • Add the remaining pumpkin to a saucepan of boiling salted water and cook for two minutes. Drain and add to the pureed soup. Add the sugar, nutmeg and seasoning to taste. Reheat gently.
  • Once the pumpkin is soft, remove from the heat. Puree directly in the pot with a hand-held food processor. When it is all smooth, put back on the heat.
  • Swirl in some cream if you like and serve as is or with crispy bacon bits or croutons or just drizzled with some basil oil.

Roast Chicken

  • Chicken (1.5 kilo for four persons)
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • sea salt and freshly-ground pepper
  • several rosemary sprigs
  • herbes de provence (optional)
  • 1 large white onion, quartered
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • a few cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 500 ml. chicken stock (fresh if you have it)
  • 100 gr. butter
  • 100 ml. cooking cream
  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Rub the chicken all over with sea salt. Set aside for 10 minutes. Then season with pepper, juice from one lemon and herbes de provence. Stuff the chicken cavity with another halved lemon. Scatter rosemary sprigs around and also inside the cavity.
  • Insert a few dabs of butter on the chicken breast under the skin. (about 50 gr.)
  • Place the chicken on a roasting pan and add the onions, carrots and garlic to the same pan.
  • Start with the breast side down and roast for 15 minutes per side for a total of one hour. Finish with the breast side up to crisp the skin.
  • Remove from the oven and set aside the chicken , roasted garlic and onions on a chopping board. Cover the chicken with foil.
  • Deglaze the roasting pan with the chicken stock scraping up all the bits and pieces stuck to the bottom of the roasting pan and place on the stove over a high fire until the stock has reduced by at least half.
  • Whisk in the rest of the butter then whisk in the cream.
  • Strain the gravy into a heated container.
  • Remove the roasted lemons from inside the chicken and squeeze the juice over the crispy skin.
  • Carve and serve with the roasted garlic and onions.

Sweet potatoes

  • Peel and chop a kilo of sweet potatoes. Roast in a 200C oven for about half an hour. Then drizzle a tablespoon or two of maple syrup. Add a teaspoon of powdered ginger and toss the sweet potatoes. Leave in the oven for another 15 minutes and they’re done.

Green beans

  • Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add 500 grams of green beans (haricots verts if you can get them are better) and boil for about 7 minutes. Drain and place in an ice bath (bowl filled with iced water) to stop cooking and keep them green and crispy.
  • In a pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil, saute a few sliced shallots. When they start to get crispy, toss in the beans.
All recipes above serve 4
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3 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Dinner

  1. Thanks! I’m glad you both enjoyed the recipe.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I visited your blog last week and copied the recipe of Pumpkin soup. I tried it yesterday and it was delicious! My husband also loved it! It is very easy to make (it took me less than half an hour) and the taste is fabulous!!Thank you!Mariana

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