Thanksgiving recipes from some of Philly's finest chefs

The Cicala-Ranalli pre-Thanksgiving feast includes Meletti amaro-brined turkey, sausage and polenta stuffing, and Montepulciano-poached pears.

The countdown started long ago, but Thanksgiving is upon us. If you’re looking to spice up the traditional feast, some of Philadelphia’s famed culinary experts have shared their favorite recipes with us. For whatever you may be responsible — be it the star of the show (turkey), its trusty sidekick (stuffing) or any other traditional fare — there’s a good chance these recipes will take your meal up a notch (or two).

Maybe more than any other holiday, Thanksgiving and food are inseparable. And on any given Turkey Day table, the variations on  staples reflect the personal history of those who made the dishes. Philly’s top chefs’ inspired takes on these dishes can help expand your palate (and your stomach).

Camera icon VICKI VALERIO
”The best darn turkey in the world,” lifted off with special forks. You’ll be thankful you didn’t stash that grill away.

Turkey recipes

  • Craig LaBan’s barbecued turkey is a tradition inspired out of ease and, most of all, a desire for a great-tasting turkey. After submerging a turkey in a brine for 24 hours, the Inquirer restaurant critic recommends letting a charcoal grill  produce a delectable melding of sweet and tangy flavors not often tasted at the Thanksgiving table.
  • This recipe from the chefs at Hungry Pigeon will put the Queen Village haunt right in your dining room with their cider-brined turkey. Chef Scott Schroeder uses a dry hard cider to give the turkey  a little boost.
  • Sylva Senat’s Haitian coffee-brined roast turkey will give your Thanksgiving a Caribbean feel. Senat, a native Haitian and executive chef at Maison 208, recommends a pairing of his coffee turkey with Haitian rice and beans.
thanksgiving, broccoli, squash, recipe
Camera icon Clem Murray
Hungry Pigeon’s roasted broccoli and delicata squash with warm rye berries.

Stuffing and other sides

thanksgiving, olive oil cake, walnuts
Camera icon MICHAEL BRYANT
Walnut olive oil cake is easy to make.

Dessert

  • Samantha Kincaid’s double-crusted shoofly pie puts molasses and maple syrup at the center of attention. The pastry chef at High Street Hospitality Group (Fork, High Street on Market, and a.kitchen) has built a formidable pie to rival classic apple, pumpkin, and pecan.
  • Angela Ranalli’s walnut cake is surprisingly easy to make. Ranalli, the former pastry chef at Brigantessa and chef at Le Virtù, adds sweet ricotta and Montepulciano-poached pears to the moist olive oil cake.
    • Hungry Pigeon’s pie crust. Pie crust can be bought. But it’s always more fun to make your own with a 12-step recipe that includes some nontraditional touches, such as lemon juice.