"Early Show" Thanksgiving Feast!

Early Show Thanksgiving cooking segment
Chef Michael White knows what it takes to make an unforgettable Thanksgiving dinner.

As the executive chef and owner at three of New York's best restaurants, Alto, Convivio and the newly-opened Marea, White knows a lot about perfecting flavors.

A native Midwesterner from Beloit, Wis., White has mastered Italian recipes by living in Imola, Italy, for seven years where he worked alongside Italian chef Valentino Marcattilii at Ristorante San Domenico. Although the may not be Italian, his recipes will lead you to believe he is.

White is a graduate of the Kendall Culinary Institute (1989). He began working for Chef Paul Bartolotta at Chicago's most renowned Italian restaurant, Spiaggia, before he ventured off to Italy.

He returned to the United States and to Spiaggia as chef de cuisine in 2001. In 2002, he became executive chef of Fiamma Osteria in Soho. In 2007, White partnered with accomplished restaurateur Chris Cannon at L'Impero and Alto. The two went on to achieve more success last year by recreating L'Impero into Convivio.

"Early Show" recipes galore!

White shows The Early Show a quick and inexpensive way to bring your stuffing to the next level.

Sage, Sausage and Apple Stuffing (or Dressing)
Makes 8-10 servings



8 cups 1-inch cubed french bread with crusts or 1 lb bag of cubed dried corn bread stuffing
12 tablespoons of butter
1 lb of sage sausage with the casing removed
1 large onion, 1/2-inch diced
2 cloves minced garlic
2 apples (granny smith or golden delicious) peeled, cored and diced
2 ribs of celery, with the leaves
3-4 cups of home made or low sodium chicken stock
3 tablespoons fresh sage, julienned
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
3 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the 8 cups of cubed french bread or 1 lb of stuffing into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Butter with 1 tablespoon a 13x9x2 inch casserole dish and set aside. Heat 3 tablespoons butter in heavy bottom sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the sausage and sauté until cooked through and brown, about 5-8 minutes, mashing until it crumbles with a wooden spoon. Sausage should remain moist.

Add entire contents of the sauté pan to the bread/stuffing in the large mixing bowl. Return the sauté pan to the stove, adding the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter and the onion, celery, apple, garlic, sage and cook until this mixture is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken stock to the vegetables and bring the contents of the sauté pan to a simmer.

Using a slotted spoon transfer the cooked vegetable mixture into the large mixing bowl with the stuffing and sausage. Slowly add the chicken broth from the sauté pan into the mixing bowl until desired stuffing consistency is reached. It should be moist but not soggy. Add the chopped parsley, toasted walnuts and beaten egg and combine.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Spoon the stuffing mixture into the buttered casserole dish immediately after mixing and drizzle melted butter over the top of the stuffing. Cover with aluminum foil and cook at 325-350 degrees for about 24-35 minutes. Remove foil and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the top is browned and crispy.
**For perfect stuffing, start an hour before the turkey is done cooking.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

2 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into small chunks
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
2 cloves garlic
Coarse sea salt


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil. Toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, spread them evenly on the sheet pan, and bake, turning occasionally with a spatula, until golden brown on the outside and creamy inside, about 30 minutes.

While the potatoes are roasting, finely chop the rosemary and garlic together. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on top of the stove. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the potatoes, sprinkle with sea salt and 2 tablespoons of the rosemary-garlic mixture, and turn to mix well and heat the seasonings through. Serve at once.

Lemon-Herb Turkey:


Lemon-Herb Butter:
Zest from one large lemon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon minced rosemary
1 tablespoon minced thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 14-16-pound turkey, rinsed, patted dry inside and out; set aside neck and giblets for the gravy
3 lemons, thinly sliced
10 fresh Italian parsley sprigs
6 fresh sage sprigs
2 cups low sodium chicken stock or water


For lemon-herb butter:
Mix the softened butter with herbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper until combined.

For turkey:
Set oven rack at lowest position preheat to 325°F. Sprinkle the main turkey cavity with salt and pepper and spread with 2 tablespoons lemon butter. Starting at the neck end of the turkey, carefully slide your hand between the skin and meat of breast, thighs, and upper drumsticks. Spread lemon butter over thigh and drumstick both under and on the skin and arrange a few lemon slices under the skin. Spread the remaining butter over the breast and add lemon slices. Fill the main cavity of the turkey with any remaining lemon slices, and parsley and sage sprigs. Tie the legs together loosely to hold the shape and tuck the wing tips under.

Place the turkey on a rack set in a large roasting pan. Season the entire buttered bird with salt and pepper. Pour the chicken stock or water into the roasting pan.

Roast the turkey until the thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F to 170°F, about 3 hours. Tilt the turkey so juices from the main cavity run into pan. Transfer the turkey to platter and tent very loosely with foil, letting it rest at least 30 minutes (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees).

Turkey Gravy:


4 tablespoons butter
The neck and giblets from a large turkey
1 medium sized onion, quartered
1 large carrot, cut in half
1 large celery stalk, cut in half
8-10 cups of low sodium chicken stock or water
1 Fresh sprig of thyme
1 Fresh sprig of rosemary
1 Fresh sprig of sage
½ cup of pan drippings from the turkey roasting pan
½ cup of all purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
½ ounce of cognac or sherry (optional)


In a heavy bottom sauce pot, melt butter over medium low heat. Add the turkey neck and giblets, carrot, onion and celery and cook until it is a slightly brown, about 10-15 minutes. Add the low sodium chicken stock or water and fresh herbs and simmer over medium heat for about 2 hours until the mixture turns a golden brown.

Remove the neck and the giblets and strain the liquid into a large bowl. Set the liquid aside. Remove the neck meat from the bone and dice the giblets, set the meat aside.

While the turkey is cooking, remove half a cup of fat from the drippings at the bottom of the pan and transfer to a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Over medium heat, sprinkle the flour into the drippings, stirring with a wooden spoon. Gradually add the reserved liquid into the flour mixture to deglaze, whisking constantly with a metal whisk. Bring mixture to a boil until it simmers gently, about 10 minutes. Add diced giblets and neck meat and season with salt and pepper to taste. To intensify the flavor of your gravy, add ½ an ounce of cognac or sherry.

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta:


2 T olive oil
2 T unsalted butter
3 ounces pancetta, cut into small cubes
1 pound Brussels sprouts, bruised outer leaves disgarded, timed and halved
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed


Preheat oven to 325°F

Combine the oil and butter in a large ovenproof skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the Brussel sprouts and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast, shaking the pan occasionally, until the Brussels sprouts are brown on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on size. Add the garlic and roast for 5 minutes more. Serve as a side dish.