Forbes: 25 Chefs Share Their Favorite Thanksgiving Dishes From Childhood

by Abigal Abesamis

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and if you’re anything like me you’re looking forward to a particular dish reserved for this time of year that, in addition to being delicious, carries with it fond memories of family traditions and being together with loved ones. Professional chefs are no different from us in that respect, and though they’ve sharpened their cooking skills over the years, they too have dishes near and dear to their hearts that continue to grace their Thanksgiving tables. Here are those dishes and the heartwarming stories behind them:

Kristen Thibeault, executive chef and owner of Nybll

Dish: Roasted pheasant with wild rice morel mushroom stuffing

“Growing up on the northern plains of rural Minnesota, we celebrated Thanksgiving at our family log cabin in the blistering cold and snow. My favorite Thanksgiving dish was roasted pheasant with wild rice morel mushroom stuffing. My dad hunted pheasant every fall so they made their way to our family table every holiday as a special treat. We purchased our wild rice from a local purveyor from the Ojibwe Indians and a family friend wild harvested and dried morel mushrooms. Everyone coveted the delicate morels, dried them and stored them in mason jars in the root cellar. Only during the holidays were we allowed to touch the prized jars. I remember wiping the dust off ancient jars to reveal morels dating back 50 years. We would soak the pheasant in buttermilk to mellow the gamey flavor and stuff the bird with the delicate stuffing. The nutty aroma of the stuffing filled the air, competing with the wood-burning stove and pumpkin pie.”

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