A Locavore Thanksgiving

The talented local chefs from BLVD Tavern, Jax, Story and The Jacobson craft a lavish holiday feast.







   We asked some of Kansas City’s top chefs to craft a delicious Thanksgiving dinner for 435 Magazine readers, and they delivered with a mix of classics and not-so-classics with a twist. Each dish comes with artisanal chef touches — from the bourbon-soaked cherries studding the wild rice like tiny jewels to the decadent morsels of foie gras melted into the stuffing — to kick up your Thanksgiving a culinary notch — or two. We happily sampled each dish from the photo shoot and can attest to their utter deliciousness, but that’s no surprise because these are some of our favorite go-to eateries and chefs in the city. Each dish hits perfect autumnal notes: rich, comforting, colorful, aromatic, flavorful and full of fall’s bounty.

   And what Thanksgiving would be complete without a cocktail? So we’ve delivered two: a spiced bourbon concoction that represents fall in a glass and a silky hot chocolate with a seductive kick of mezcal.


The Menu:

Herb Roast Turkey with Pan Gravy

Stuffing with Sausage and Foie Gras

Fall Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Candied Bacon and Dried Cranberries

Toasted Israeli Couscous with Citrus and Fig  

Wild Rice with Bourbon-Soaked Cherries and Pecans

Roasted Cauliflower with Pickled Raisins



Apple Croustade

Hazelnut Tiramisu

Autumn Spice Pear and Cranberry Tart



“Linus & Lucy” autumn cocktail

“The 3975” spicy hot chocolate


Thanksgiving turkey recipe

Herb Roast Turkey

by Chef Thorne-Thomsen of Story



12- to 15-pound whole turkey

2 tablespoons parsley leaves

1 tablespoon chives, minced

1 tablespoon thyme, picked, plus another 10 to 12 large sprigs

1 teaspoon tarragon

2 tablespoons salt, plus additional

1 tablespoon cracked pepper, plus additional

1 lemon, quartered

6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 onion, sliced

8 ounces butter, melted



   Add parsley, chives, thyme, tarragon, salt and pepper to a food processor and pulse until mixture is crumbly and damp. Separate, but do not remove the skin from the flesh of the turkey and rub the salt-herb mixture directly onto the flesh, then season the cavity of the bird. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to8 hours.

   Preheat oven to 300 F. Remove turkey from the refrigerator and place lemon, garlic, and 5 to6 thyme sprigs in the cavity. Pour melted butter under the skin and rub onto the skin.  Reserve the extra butter for basting the bird as it cooks. Season the whole bird with salt and pepper. Add onion and remaining thyme to a large roasting pan and place the turkey directly on it. Cook the turkey for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, basting with butter or the pan juices every 25 minutes. Cook the turkey until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 155 F.

   Let the turkey rest 30 to 40 minutes before carving. Pour the liquid from the roasting pan through a strainer and reserve for gravy. 


Pan Gravy

by Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen of Story



2 ounces unsalted butter

2 tablespoons shallot, minced

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

3 tablespoons flour

4 cups liquid (strained juices from turkey combined with chicken stock)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper



Melt butter in a small saucepan and add shallots and garlic. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then stir in flour and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the stock and turkey juices and simmer 30 to 40 minutes. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. 


Stuffing with Sausage and Foie Gras

by Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen of Story



1 loaf country/rustic-style bread

2 cups milk or heavy cream

3 eggs

4 ounces unsalted butter

6 ounces pork sausage

2 shallots, sliced

2 celery stalks, sliced

3 ounces foie gras, frozen

Salt and pepper



   Preheat oven to 375 F. With a serrated knife, cut 80 percent of the crust off the bread and discard. Cut the loaf into 1-inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Mix the milk or cream and eggs, season with salt and pepper, and pour over the bread. 

   In a saute pan over medium heat, brown the sausage and break it into small pieces as you do so. Add the butter, shallots, celery, and a pinch of salt, and cook until the shallots and celery are soft and the butter has begun to brown.  Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool for 5 to 6 minutes.

   Pour the mixture over the cubed bread and fold until uniform. Use the tip of a paring knife to chip the frozen foie gras into pea-size nuggets. Fold the nuggets into the bread-sausage mixture and turn the entirety into a greased and lined pan. Bake at 375 F for 30 to 40 minutes, until the stuffing has set and the top has browned nicely.


left to right: wild rice with bourbon-soaked cherries and pecans; roasted brussels sprouts, and stuffing with sausage and foie gras


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Candied Bacon and Dried Cranberries

by Chef Michael Werner of The Jacobson



3 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

 1 pound thick-cut smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large red onion, medium-diced

1 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup olive oil

2 lemons, zest and juice (no seeds)

Sea salt

Fresh ground peppercorns



    Spread a single layer of cut bacon onto non-stick baking sheet (parchment paper works great too). Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake in preheated, 400-degree oven until bacon is roughly three-fourths of the way cooked. Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool. Remove candied bacon and set pan drippings aside.

   Toss trimmed Brussels sprouts in olive oil and place in single layer on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven of 400 F until color begins to form, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. While Brussels sprouts are roasting, place skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the pan drippings from candied bacon until hot and add diced red onion. Saute until onions start to caramelize. Remove from heat. Add onion, bacon and dried cranberries to Brussels sprouts and continue to roast until golden. Remove from oven and place mixture in large bowl. Fold lemon juice and lemon zest in the mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Plate and serve warm.

Chef’s Notes: If you and your guests are up for a decadent finish to this recipe, try topping hot Brussels sprouts with crumbled blue cheese prior to service. 


Wild Rice with Bourbon-Soaked Cherries and Pecans

by Chef Derek Nacey of BLVD Tavern



1 cup dried cherries

1 cup bourbon (soak cherries in bourbon while rice is cooking)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 quart wild rice



   Heat olive oil in a saucepot. Add rice and toast in hot oil. Add 2 1/2 quarts of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover pan with foil and place in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour. Add cherries, bourbon and 2 cups of pecans. Return to oven and cook for 15 additional minutes.


Linus & Lucy cocktail and apple croustade


Apple Croustade

by Chef Derek Nacey of BLVD Tavern


Apple Filling

4 ounces butter

2 quarts peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1 cup water

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup bourbon

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup corn starch

1/4 cup water



Add all but last two ingredients to a saucepot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Combine water and corn starch, and add to simmering apple filling and cook for 5 minutes. Remove filling from heat and cool before forming croustades.


Pastry Dough

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes

3-4 tablespoons ice water

1 egg white

1-2 tablespoons sparkling crystal sugar



     Combine flour and salt in large bowl.  Add butter, use fingers or pastry blender to blend in.  The mixture will have small butter lumps.  Drizzle water evenly over mixture and stir with fork.  Squeeze dough — if it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water (1/2 teaspoon at a time). Divide dough into four portions.  On a flat, lightly floured surface, smear each portion once or twice with heel of hand to distribute fat.  Gather all dough together and press into a ball, flatten into 5-inch disk.  Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.


Assembly of croustade:

   Place 3/4 cup of apple filling in the center of each 5-inch dough circle. Fold dough edge, partially covering filling. Brush top of dough with egg white and sprinkle with sparkling crystal sugar. Bake for 20 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Note: At BLVD Tavern this is served warm with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream on top.


tiramisu recipe

Hazelnut Tiramisu  

by Pastry Chef Kelly Conwell of Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar


Hazelnut Cake

2 1/4 cups hazelnuts, toasted and chopped, in Robot Coupe food processor

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

9 ounces butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

5 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk


Coffee/Kahlua Glaze

2 cups strong coffee

1 cup Kahlua

1 cup spiced rum


Mascarpone Filling

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup powder sugar

1/4 cup dark rum

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 pound mascarpone cheese, room temperature


 Chocolate Mousse

12 ounces dark chocolate

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

2 ounces sugar

2 cups cream


Cocoa powder to top assembled trifle



Hazelnut Cake

   Place hazelnuts, flour and baking powder in a bowl. Cream butter and sugar together until light, smooth and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time with olive oil — mixture should be smooth and fluffy. Alternate dry and wet ingredients until all is combined, scraping down sides of bowl to make sure all product is combined. Place all in half of a lined and sprayed sheet tray and bake at 325 F for 23 minutes. Place on cooling rack.


Mascarpone Filling

   Whip sugar and yolks to stiff peaks and pale yellow color. Add rum. Place in separate bowl and set aside. In clean mixing bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks, add room-temperature mascarpone and whisk until just combined. Fold in mascarpone filling with egg yolks mixture.


Chocolate Mousse

   Melt chocolate and set aside. Whip cream to medium peaks and place in another bowl. Whip eggs and egg yolks to pale yellow, ribbon stage. Add melted chocolate into egg mixture. Then gently fold chocolate/egg mixture into the whipped cream.



   Divide mascarpone and chocolate mousse in half. Place half of chocolate mousse on bottom of trifle bowl. Cut out circle-round to fit into trifle bowl and cut hazelnut cake into two circles to fit the round. Place first cake on top of chocolate mousse. With a pastry brush, soak cake in coffee/liquor mixture. Then take half of the mascarpone mixture and place on top of soaked hazelnut cake. Take remaining chocolate mousse and place on top of mascarpone mousse. Take second piece of hazelnut cake, cut to fit the round, and place on top of chocolate mousse. Take remaining coffee mixture and with a pastry brush soak the cake. With remaining mascarpone mousse place on top of soaked hazelnut cake. Sprinkle top with cocoa powder to cover entire surface and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours to set before serving.


Linus & Lucy Cocktail

by Kenny Cohrs of Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar



1/2 ounce D.O.M. Bénédictine liqueur

1/2 ounce Applejack liqueur

1/2 oz. Calvados apple brandy

1/2 oz. Allspice dram


For spiced apple garnish:

1 apple, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

splash of lemon juice



     Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice and stir and strain over crushed ice. Garnish with spiced apple slice and cinnamon dusting. You can also serve this heated. Serves one.


spicy hot chocolate recipe

The 3975:  A Spicy Seasonal Hot Chocolate

by Kenny Cohrs of Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar



4 ounces Mexican spiced drinking chocolate

4 ounces coconut milk

1 1/2 ounces  Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal

1 habanero pepper, sliced

6 ounces pineapple juice

1 quart water

1 quart cane sugar

1/2 of one round marshmallow for garnish



     Prepare spiced chocolate according to instructions, substituting coconut milk for milk, but do not heat.

     For habanero pineapple cordial: combine half habanero pepper (sliced), pineapple juice, water and cane sugar. Heat mixture until sugar melts, strain out pepper and store chilled.

     Combine all recipe ingredients, including spiced chocolate and a half ounce of habanero-pineapple cordial, and heat. Garnish with half of a round marshmallow that is lightly toasted with a torch. Serves one.


fall salad recipe

Fall Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette 

by Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen of Story



Fall Salad:

4 to 5 heads of different lettuce such as red oak, green oak or bibb, with leaves separated, rinsed and dried, and torn into smaller pieces

2 cups cauliflower florets, pieces smaller than marbles

2 cups seedless grapes, halved

1/2 cup red quinoa, cooked

1/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted

2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Walnut vinaigrette

Salt and pepper


Walnut Vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon shallot, minced

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper

Pinch of rosemary, minced

1/3 cup grapeseed oil

2 tablespoons walnut oil



Walnut Vinaigrette

   Add shallot, vinegar, buttermilk, mustard, salt, pepper and rosemary to a mixing bowl and whisk together. While whisking, slowly add grapeseed and walnut oils.  Refrigerate.



   Add the lettuce and half the quinoa to one bowl. Add the cauliflower, grapes and remaining quinoa to another bowl. Add vinaigrette, salt and pepper to both bowls and toss gently. Transfer the lettuce to a large serving bowl and spoon the cauliflower-grape mixture over the top.  Garnish with walnuts and blue cheese.


roasted cauliflower recipe

Roasted Cauliflower with Pickled Raisins

by Chef Derek Nacey of BLVD Tavern




2 heads cauliflower

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper


Pickled Golden Raisins:

2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds (toast mustard seeds over medium heat until they start pop)

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 bay leaf

1 4-inch sprig rosemary

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes




   Cut cauliflower into florets and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a sheet tray and roast in a 500-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Toss with 1 cup pickled golden raisins and 2 cups sliced Granny Smith apples.


Pickled Golden Raisins:

   Add remaining ingredients to saucepot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and rosemary sprig. Strain excess pickling liquid before adding to cauliflower. 


couscous recipe

Toasted Israeli Couscous with Citrus and Fig  

by Chef Michael Werner of The Jacobson



4 cups (dry) Israeli couscous (toasted large-pearl pasta)

1 cup packed dried figs, finely chopped, no stems

4 lemons, zest and juice, no seeds

4 oranges, zest and segments, no seeds or peel

1 large bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 large bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped

4 whole cloves garlic, peeled

1 cup quality olive oil

 2 tablespoons sea salt

 1 tablespoon fresh ground peppercorns



   Place olive oil in small skillet with garlic cloves on low heat. Continue to heat oil until garlic is tender and golden brown (about 15 minutes) — be careful not to burn garlic or oil. Remove from heat and allow to stand. Prepare couscous according to cooking instructions, making sure pasta is cooked to al dente, and liquid is reduced or strained. Combine couscous, garlic-infused olive oil, dried figs, parsley, cilantro, lemon zest and juice, orange zest and segments, salt and pepper to taste. Plate and serve.

Chef’s Note: This dish can be made in advance and can be served warm or cold. I recommend warming over medium-high heat, tossing occasionally, until just warmed through. If serving cold, add dash of oil or juice from a lemon or orange.


Autumn spice pear & cranberry tart

Autumn Spice Pear & Cranberry Tart 

by Pastry Chef Kelly Conwell of Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar



Tart Dough:

2 1/2 cups flour

8 ounces butter, small-diced, almost frozen

3 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons sugar

1 orange, zested

2 teaspoons almond extract

1/4 cup to 1/2 cup water


Pear & Cranberry Filling:

1 pound pears, peeled, cored and small-diced

1 cup cranberries

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons ginger

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 tablespoons lemon juice


Oat and Almond Crumble:

1 cup flour

1 cup oats

1 cup sliced almonds

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons butter, cubed and frozen



Tart Dough:

   Place flour, salt and sugar in Robot Coupe food processor. Add butter to flour mixture, pulse to small pea-size balls. Slowly add in water — mixture should be wet enough to knead, but also crumbly. Form into discs and wrap in plastic. Chill for 20 to 30 minutes. Roll out dough to a quarter-inch thick. Lightly spray tart shell with pan spray and press dough into tart shell. Roll rolling pin over top of shell to remove excess dough.


Pear & Cranberry Filling:

   Place all ingredients together except cranberries in bowl and toss together. Let them marinate for 20 minutes. Stir mixture and add in cranberries.


Oat and Almond Crumble:

   Place flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in Robot Coupe food processor. Add in butter and pulse until butter is pea-size and place in bowl. Combine flour mixture with oats and almonds, and sprinkle on top of pear and cranberry mixture.



   Take tart shell out of fridge, fill with all pear and cranberry filling. Top with oat and almond crumble. Place in preheated oven at 350 F and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour. Filling should be bubbly, and crust should be a nice toasty brown. Take out of oven and let cool for 1 hour. Unmold and place on tart platter.