The THR Boss Lady Thanksgiving Feast

The THR Boss Lady Thanksgiving Feast
The THR Boss Lady Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and the THR team has you covered! To ensure that your turkey day­­­ goes off without (okay, minimal), glitches, we tracked down Telluride celebrity chef Kendra A. Wilcox, to put together a dinner menu that will impress your guest, and have them making plans to return to your kitchen table for next year’s feast!

Kitchen Staples

Cooking spray –Natural or Organic, purchased from Nature’s Grocers or Whole Foods

Peppermill with Melange of Peppercorns

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

Bottle of Telluride’s Own Rub & SW Multi-Purpose SW Seasoning from Kendra’s Kitchen® 

Dry White wine & Dry Red Wine

Basic Recipe for Dressing

12 oz.  stale breadcrumbs

2 tbs. olive oil

2 cups yellow onion, diced

1 cup celery, diced and ribs of celery removed

1 cup carrots, diced

1 cup Farmer’s Market apple

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. sea salt

2 ½ cups unsalted organic chicken stock

3 tbs. unsalted butter or low cholesterol buttermilk spread, melted

2 large eggs


1.     Preheat oven to 400°

2.      Arrange breadcrumbs in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown, stirring/rotating breadcrumbs once.  Toast nuts on medium-low heat in a saucepan, per menu choice from the above selection.

3.     Reduce oven to 350°

4.      Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray pan with cooking spray and add oil. Add onion celery, carrots, and apple, sauté for 10 -12 minutes until they are very tender.  Add breadcrumbs to onion mixture and stir to combine.

5.     Whisk stock, butter, and eggs.   Drizzle stock mixture over bread mixture. Let stand for 10 minutes stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed.  Add I tbs. each of fresh herbs, finely chopped fruit and nuts per specified in the menu above.

6.     Spoon bread mixture into a 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish generously coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until golden brown 

Basic Recipe for Preparing a 14 lb. Turkey


16 cups filtered water, divided

½ cup raw sugar

6 bay leaves

¼ cup mélange of peppercorns

1/3 cup sea salt

1.     To prepare brine, in a saucepan bring 3 cups water and dry ingredients to a boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool add remaining 13 cups of filtered water to a brine bag, remove heart and gizzards from turkey and place in bag and refrigerate for 24 hours. Turning occasionally.

Cooking the Turkey

Basic Gravy/Stock Ingredients:                                                                          

2 yellow onions, chopped

6 organic carrots, chopped

6 stalks of Celery, chopped

6 bay leaves

2 Tbs.  Melange of Peppercorns

2 Tbs. Juniper Berries

2-3 Tbs. Kendra’s Kitchen Multi-Purpose Seasoning

6 tbs. unsalted butter or low cholesterol buttermilk spread

1 tbs.  Kendra’s Kitchen® Rub & SW Seasoning

1-2 tbs.  each of fresh herbs as specified in above menu

¼ cup vegetable oil or flavored oil paired with a choice of above menu


1.      Preheat oven to 425°. Remove turkey from brine, discard brine.  Gently loosen skin from Turkey cavity and drumstick, rub butter mixture under the skin, Place a quarter of the onions, carrots, celery in the cavity of the bird.  Secure legs with kitchen twine. 

2.     Place turkey on the rack of a roasting pan. Generously spray cooking spray over all parts of the turkey.  Add a couple twists from Peppermill, sea salt and Kendra’s Kitchen Seasoning.  Place neck in the bottom of the pan and remaining gravy/stock ingredients in pan.  Add remaining vegetable gravy/stock ingredients and ½ cup of water to the pan and bake in the oven for 45 minutes @ 425°. Baste with half of oil.

3.     Reduce oven temperature to 350° and 2 cups water and 1 cup white wine.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes until internal temperature is 160° or shake the turkey’s leg and if loose then remove from the oven.   Place on a cutting board loosely covered with foil for 20 minutes, while you prepare the gravy.  (internal temperature will rise to 165°) 

Classic Turkey Gravy


Pan drippings/turkey juice

1 tbs. olive oil

1 roasted turkey neck

1 uncooked turkey heart finely chopped (optional)

1 uncooked Turkey gizzard finely chopped (optional)

2 cups chicken stock

¼ cup whole wheat flour

1 -2 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. sea salt

1-2 tsp. Kendra’s Kitchen Seasoning

Fresh herb specified from the above menu choice


Strain vegetables from roasting pan, reserving pan drippings and turkey juice from the whole turkey

1.      Place Ziploc bag in inside a 2 cup glass measure.  Pour pan drippings into the bag, let stand for 10 minutes, seal bag and snip off the bottom corner of the bag, drain drippings into a small bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches the opening, discard fat.  Whisk ½ cup stock with flour in measuring cup. 

2.     In a roasting pan add oil; swirl. Add neck, heart, and gizzard to the pan, cook for 3 minutes until brown.  Add turkey drippings, flour mixture, remaining stock, pepper & salt and Kendra’s Kitchen seasoning.   Stir up all brown bits from bottom of the pan and sauté for 5 minutes.  Strain into a saucepan and bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 8 -10 minutes until thickened.  Add fresh herbs from the specified menu.

*Bordelaise Gravy

Omit heart & gizzard.  Follow Master Recipe for Gravy, adding 1 cup sliced shallots and 1 tbs. minced garlic to oil in a pan.  Add 2 cups dry red wine to man and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add turkey juices, flour mixture, stock, pepper & salt. Strain into a saucepan and bring to boil, Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until thick.  Add 2 tbs. of freshly chopped thyme.

 The Creole Bird:  Follow master recipe for preparing the turkey and add 1 cup chopped peeled celery root, 6 sprigs of fresh parsley and tarragon.

Dressing:  Follow master recipe for dressing using a french baguette and blue cornbread, 50/50. Procedure  4.  Add 1 tbs. finely chopped orange rind and 1½ cups pecans.  Procedure 6.  Stir 8 oz of raw oysters that have been soaked in buttermilk & ¼ cup French Pernod or an Anise liquor overnight and pecans or pinion nuts in the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Gravy:  Follow Master recipe for gravy.  Procedure #2  add ½ cup white wine, ¼ cup French period.

1 tbs. orange rind, 1 cup chopped celery root and 6 sprigs of tarragon. 

Orange Tarragon Roasted Vegetables: Cut; 3 cups of peeled butternut squash, 2 ¼ cup peeled parsnips, 8 oz of small Yukon gold potatoes, into 1-inch cubes. Brussels sprouts cut into halves with stem removed. In a large bowl combine 3 tbs. 1 tbs. thyme, olive oil, 2 tbs. whole grain mustard, 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar, ¾ tsp. smoked sea salt & 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper. In a large mixing bowl, whisk wet ingredients and toss vegetables to coat. Line a baking sheet pan with foil and generously spray with cooking spray. Spread the vegetables on pan and roast in a 450° (make sure there is space between the veggies so the caramelize) Bake until tender for 30-40 minutes (depending on the altitude) After 25 minutes drizzle the orange tarragon dressing over veggies. Remove from oven and toss with 2 tsps of Orange zest strips, 1 tbs. fresh orange juice and 1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon.

Orange Tarragon Dressing: Whisk 4 tbs. olive oil, 2 tbs. maple syrup, 2 tbs. fresh orange juice, 1 tbs. fresh tarragon, and 1 ½ tsp. smoked sea salt & 1 tsp. black pepper.

Chef tip: For easier peeling, pierce the butternut squash with fork and microwave for 3-5 minutes or place in boiling water with1 tsp. baking soda and boil for 3-5 minutes until skin softens.

 Suggested Wine Pairing

  A French Wine from the Burgundy Region, Chassagne 2012, Montrachet Chateau de Puligny $75.99

  Colorado Viognier Sutcliffe Vineyard 2012 $25.99

  Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose $89.99

The Traditional Bird:  Follow master recipe for preparing the turkey and sprinkle the turkey with 2 tbs. Kendra’s Kitchen Seasoning, 2 tsp. of smoked sea salt and 2 tsp of black pepper.  When the turkey is carved sprinkle with ½ cup fresh parsley.

Dressing:  Follow Master recipe for dressing using potato or Hawaiian bread.  Spray skillet with cooking spray and add 1 cup finely diced sweet Maui onion, 1 cup diced celery, 2 tbs finely chopped parsley, 2 tbs. finely chopped thyme, 2 tsp. Kendra’s Kitchen Seasoning and 2 cups of crumbled Italian sausage. When the pan is hot add ½  cup wine or ½  cup beer and cook until liquid is evaporated.   Procedure  4.  Add this mixture to the master dressing recipe.

Gravy:  Follow master recipe for gravy, Procedure #2 add  ½ cup bourbon, 2 tbs. Honey and 2 tsp. molasses, 1 cinnamon stick and a couple of twists from a peppermill. 

Vegetable of Broccolini with Fried Walnuts: 12 oz. Brocollini; parboil and place in ice bath to retain its’ bright green color and drain on paper towel. In a large skillet, over medium heat, add 3 tbs walnut or olive oil, 4 thinly sliced garlic pods, and ¼ - 1 tsp. red pepper flakes and sauté until garlic sizzles. Add broccolini and 1 tsp. grated lemon zest and heat for an additional 3 minutes. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with fried walnuts.

Suggested Wine & Beer Pairing

Rhone Valley, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Saint Cosme Winery 2014, Grenache & Shiraz 50/50 Blend $67.99

German Style KÖlsch Pale Ale, Ballast Pointe, San Diego $10.99

Chef Kendra

Chef Kendra Wilcox specializes in Southwest French Fusion Cuisine which is taking the classic French Escoffier recipes that are transformed into a lighter cuisine and presented with simple elegance. To learn more about Kendra visit: