Thanksgiving with Love from Chef Christopher Dobrowolski

Ho Ho… Hold on a Minute! We Skipped Turkey Day

By Chef Christopher Dobrowolski

Christopher DobrowolskiHello there people, let’s get down to serious Thanksgiving business! I know that Turkey Day is just around the corner and I’ve been asked a thousand times what we do at our house. It’s really simple actually, free range fresh turkey from the Dakota’s. Over the years we have prepared it every way possible; grilled, smoked, roasted, fried and the most memorable I think, “in the ground”.

Here’s a little story about the “in the ground” turkey that will either have you laughing or calling me a genius, either way I’m okay with it. Here it goes.

About 13 years ago I was working out of state with the incredible Hillstone Company so I came home to visit my family for Thanksgiving. We all gathered in the Verde Valley this particular year, at my brother’s house. Everyone was excited by the aromas of stuffing and fresh turkey, then it happened……. a complete and total blackout. That meant no gas grill, no oven, nothing to cook with at all. We called and were told a minimum of 7-10 hours. Guess what, that doesn’t work out well with a house full of hungry family. So there we were with a giant raw turkey, a couple shovels and a couple cords of fresh cut mesquite. The next thing you know the birds are stuffed full of butter and fresh herbs and are hovering over a fresh bed of ash, roasting/smoking to perfection. You might ask why “in the ground”? It wasn’t because this was the best way, or even the best flavor, but because we worked together as a family to get it done, because we had earned it. That is a memory I am thankful for.

This article is hard for me because just the other day, Sunday November 9th, we celebrated an early Thanksgiving because my brother is losing his five year battle with cancer. I didn’t want us to miss the opportunity to get together one last time. Maybe it was for selfish reasons, maybe I need his approval, or maybe it was simply because we as a family are not perfect, but we always seem to figure it out. That is something to be truly thankful for, and what this holiday is all about. I realize this isn’t my usual playful attitude, but a more serious side of my personality. The one thing I want to get across is this, love yourself and be thankful for who you have, and for who has you.

Ok, back to what I’m good at, this year at Schoolhouse we are going to be serving up a classic turkey dinner but with Sous Vide turkey! Yum! Here’s a quick explanation of this method. Remember the old boil-in-bag foods? Yup, that’s the idea, but at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time in MUCH bigger bags. Of course, the bigger bags also have better stuff in them.

Here’s a recipe for a really great roasting rub. This will give your turkey great flavors, even if all of you don’t have the necessary machine in your kitchen for our “boil-in-bag” preparation. Thank you for reading and I look forward to sending you our Holiday and New Year article.

Schoolhouse Roasting Rub

  • ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • ¼ cup of each of the following finely chopped
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Tarragon
  • Rendered Bacon
  • Fresh Shallots
  • Fresh Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt (I like Volcanic Black because it adds a ashy flavor
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Cracked pepper
  • 1 Cup cognac
  • Mix all together and rub the heck out of your bird. Do not forget to rub under the skin!

Love you Skip!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thanksgiving at the Schoolhouse

4 course Traditional fare. Dip tray with fresh crudité to share for table and fresh bread basket, choice of Butternut~Pecan Soup or Garden Salad, Choice of Main course Free range Turkey, Herb Stuffed Meatloaf, Roasted Verlasso Salmon, or Hemp dusted Tempeh and choice of Berry Cobbler, Pumpkin Pie, or Cheesecake all for $35 per person. Please call Schoolhouse Restaurant to reserve your spot. 928-634-0700. 

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