From The Asbury and Novant Health Kitchen

We know you’re busy during the Holidays, so to make your Thanksgiving Day easier, our friends at The Asbury and Novant Health Kitchen have created some fool-proof, delicious and healthy recipes with step-by-step instructions. Check out the videos below! Oh, and keep your eye on this page, we’ll keep adding recipes throughout November to cover everything from turkey to dessert. Happy Thanksgiving!

Spice-Brined Turkey with Grilled Lemon + Rosemary

Ingredients for the turkey and brine:

  • ½ C Cajun Spice Blend (recipe below)
  • Sachet: 5 to 6 whole bay leaves, 4 bulbs of garlic (broken apart), 2 onions (cut into chunks)
  • 1 (12-pound) fresh turkey
  • Cooler or Bucket for storage

Ingredients for the Cajun Spice Blend:

Combine the following ingredients and store in an airtight container if you do not use immediately:

  • Paprika, smoked (1/2 C)
  • Chipotle, ground (1/4 C)
  • Ancho, Ground (1/4 C)
  • Onion Powder (2T)
  • Garlic Powder (4T)
  • Oregano, dried (2T)
  • Thyme, dried (2T)
  • Black Pepper, Coarse Grind (4T)

Ingredients to stuff the cavity of the turkey

  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Grilled Lemon
  • Rosemary Sprigs
  • Bay leaves

Instructions for the Turkey:

  • Heat enough water to dissolve the salt and sugar in a pan.
  • Add remaining ingredients (spice mix, sachet).
  • Place the turkey in a container large enough to fit the turkey plus the brine. This will also need to fit into your refrigerator at the recommended storage temperature (32F – 40F).
  • Allow to “brine” (or stand) for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Once you have brined the turkey, remove from the liquid and place on a platter or large roasting pan (stainless steel or other nonreactive metal), uncovered, in the refrigerator for 24 hours to dry the skin out. This will give you the ideal browning and crispy skin that really makes a great roasted turkey.
  • Once it has dried in the refrigerator for 24+ hours, gather the ingredients for stuffing turkey. Allow the turkey and ingredients to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the kidneys, liver and neck from the cavity before stuffing. Place ingredients into the cavity.
  • Roasted in preheated oven (we do ours at 275°F until almost cooked, then increase to 350°F for the final 20 minutes to crisp the skin) until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thigh registers 165°F. Remove turkey from oven, and let stand at least 30 minutes.
  • Tip: Remove turkey from the oven at 155°F as roasts of this size tend to continue cooking. Monitor with a digital thermometer to make sure it rises to 165°F. Return it to the oven if it needs additional time. Roasting time for a 12-pound turkey can range from 2 ¾ hours to 3 ½ hours.
  • Allow to rest 30 minutes before carving.
Recipe from Executive Chef Matthew Krenz at The Asbury, 235 North Tryon Street, Charlotte NC

Cornbread Dressing with Chicken Sausage


  • 1/2 cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 3 cups white cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 7 large eggs, divided
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 pound chicken sausage
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large bunch celery, diced (3 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 6 (10 1/2-ounce) cans condensed chicken broth, undiluted or about 8 cups homemade chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper


  • Place 1/2 cup oil in a 13- x 9-inch pan or divide between two large cast iron skillets; heat in oven at 375° for 4 minutes.
  • Combine cornmeal and next 4 ingredients; whisk in 3 eggs and buttermilk. Pour hot oil into batter, stirring until blended. Pour batter into pan or skillets. Bake at 375° for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.
  • Crumble cornbread into a large bowl; set aside.
  • Sauté sausage over medium heat in a nonstick or cast iron skillet. Add onion, celery, garlic and apples. Cook until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in sage, parsley and rosemary.
  • Add herbs and vegetables and the cooked sausage mixture to the crumbled cornbread.
  • Add pepper; stir in remaining 4 eggs and chicken broth to moisten mixture. Let stand, covered, in the refrigerator overnight to soak up broth.
  • Pour evenly into a food service baking pan or one lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking pan and one lightly greased 8-inch square baking pan.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45 to 55 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Makes 16 to 18 servings.
  • Tip: For a gluten-free version, use 1 (20-ounce) package Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread Mix. Mix cornbread according to package directions and proceed as directed.

Chili-Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Pecans + Thyme

Recipe & Instructions:

Make Compound Chili Butter:

Step 1: Bring 1 pound unsalted butter (or butter alternative if vegan) to room temperature and allow to soften. Combine the following, working with a spatula, until well distributed:

  • 1 tablespoon Gochujong or other fermented chili paste
  • 2 Shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground star anise
  • Salt to taste

Step 2: Place butter on heavy duty plastic wrap. Roll into a 2-inch log. Wrap firmly and chill.

Make the Sweet Potatoes:
  • 6 whole sweet potatoes, skin on
  • Sorghum molasses
  • Toasted chopped pecans

Rinse and scrub any dirt off the skin of 6 sweet potatoes. Slice down, cutting to but not through the sweet potato. Space slits a few inches apart. Stuff each slit with a slice of cold Compound Chili Butter. Bake in a greased dish or in a lightly greased aluminum foil-lined pan at 375 degrees until fork tender (about 30 to 45 minutes).

To serve, drizzle sorghum molasses over the top of each potato. Sprinkle with toasted pecans.

Makes 6 servings.

Tip: Sweet potatoes range widely in size. If you use sweet potatoes of nearly the same size, they are more likely to cook in the same amount of time.

If you really want a VIP Thanksgiving, give yourself a break from the kitchen and have a great Thanksgiving meal at The Asbury. Click below to check out their menu.