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.

Apple Galette with Cream and Honey Walnut Sauce

Recipe & Instructions:

Pie Dough for the Galette:

  • 10.65 oz butter
  • 1 pound All-Purpose Flour (about 3 1/3 cups)
  • 1 t salt
  • 6 oz ice water

Cut the butter into cubes and freeze. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and place in the freezer. Fill a jug with ice and add water.

Once ingredients are very cold, set up a food processor with the flour and salt mixture inside. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and use the pulse feature until the largest pieces of batter are the size of small peas. Turn out into a medium sized (preferably a wide rather than tall) mixing bowl. Measure out 6oz of water, removing ice cubes.

Sprinkle 2T water at a time over the flour and butter mixture, tossing with your hands until distributed. Repeat until mixture forms clumps and curds of dough, and dry flour is no longer visible.

You may not need to use all of the water, or you may need a little more. To test the dough to see if it has enough water, you can grab a small handful of the dough and squeeze it together with your hand. If it sticks together (like a dough) and doesn't crumble apart immediately, you are good to go.

Weigh desired amount of dough onto plastic film and use film and knuckles to form into a disc. Chill in the refrigerator or freeze until needed.

Egg wash:
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1T water and pinch salt; refrigerate until needed.
Apple Filling:
  • 4 cups thinly sliced apples (I recommend Suncrisp, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, or a mixture of sweet apples)
  • 4 T lemon juice
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 1⁄2 t cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 t ginger
  • 3/4c - 1c apple sauce

Thinly slice apples, toss in lemon juice; drain. Whisk together cornstarch, cinnamon, and ginger. Add to the apple mixture. Add apple sauce and toss the apples in this mixture until they are moistened and the spices are distributed evenly throughout. Refrigerate this mixture while you are rolling out the pie dough.

Assembly and Baking:

Dust your work surface with flour. Roll out the pie dough into a large circle about 15 inches wide and 1⁄8-inch-thick. (If you prefer to make smaller galettes, you may roll it out into a smaller circle. You will need to reduce the filling in each one to fit).

At this point, it is my personal preference to transfer the round to a baking pan lined with parchment paper and a light dusting of flour overtop of the parchment, if you have a silpat you may use this instead. This way you will not have to worry about moving the galette to a baking pan and risk ripping the dough.

Mound the filling into the center of the circle, leaving a two inch border and fold the edge of the dough up and over the filling using a fold and crimp motion with your fingers.

Refrigerate the formed galette on the pan in your refrigerator and preheat the oven to 375°F.

Before baking, remove the galette from the fridge and brush the outside of the dough with egg wash for a nice, golden crust. You may also sprinkle a little demarara or sugar in the raw over top of the apples and the egg-washed dough to give a little more sweetness, if desired.

Bake at 375F until the dough is golden brown and apples are tender, about 40 minutes. Use a spatula to gently lift up the bottom of the galette to make sure the dough underneath is finished.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Serve warm alone, or with sugar-free whipped cream and Honey Walnut Sauce.

Honey Walnut Sauce:
  • 2 cups walnut pieces
  • 2 cups honey

Toast walnuts until aromatic and chop finely, bring honey to a simmer and add the walnuts. Turn off the heat and let sit until ready for serving. Drizzle over the galette and serve.