The biggest of seasonal holiday family gatherings is upon us. It’s the time of year we cherish the most — when long-lost family members arrive seemingly from all corners of the globe, many times unannounced, and turkey birds as moist as well-worn boot-strap leather make their glorious return to the community dining table.
Add copious volumes of horrific holiday side dishes – culinary nightmares including (but, not limited to) neck-part and gizzard gravy, high fructose-intoxicated canned cranberry sauce and many gelatin salads. Sounds delicious, right?
Well, unfortunately, this post won’t walk you through phenomenal holiday turkey recipes or thoughts centric to navigating the glorious goat rodeo of family gatherings. There’s plenty of those throughout the Char-Broil® website. But, I can walk you through two of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes – both prepared over the searing grates of my Graphite Patio Bistro® Electric Grill by Char-Broil®.
But, before we get started, ditch anything and everything canned. Buy fresh. And turn on your grill.
Thanksgiving is now ready to commence, with Low and Slow Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Grilled Golden Chicken Pot Pie. Both are incredibly simple dishes requiring minimal preparation, and loaded with wholesome ingredients and bold smoky flavors. I know, chicken pot pie isn’t a regular visitor to a lot of holiday tables, but growing up it was a favorite at our Thanksgiving feast. We always knew we’d get a tender flavorful bird, even if that bird wasn’t the turkey.
Cheers to you and yours during this blessed time of year!
- 1 dozen sweet potatoes, rinsed and scrubbed
- Olive oil
- 12 sheets tin foil, cut in 6-inch increments
- 4 cups walnuts, chopped
- Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn, to taste
- Garlic powder
- Ground cinnamon
- 3 cups feta cheese, crumbled
- Premium jumbo raisin medley
- Store-bought balsamic reduction
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced into small cubes
- 1/2 cup water, ice cold
- 1/2 Rotisserie chicken, fully cooked, white and dark meat pull and shredded
- Prepared Simple Pie Dough (see recipe above), or store-bought pie dough (if frozen, thaw before use)
- Egg wash: 2 whole eggs, beaten plus 2 teaspoons canola oil
- Canola oil
- 2-3 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 head of fennel, finely sliced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large carrots, finely chopped
- 1 russet potato, rinsed and scrubbed, then chopped
- 1 cup button mushrooms, chopped
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup whole milk or cream
- 2 spring onion greens, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 2-3 sprigs thyme leaves chopped
- Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn, to taste
- Preheat the grill to 450°F using the 2-zone method (see notes below).
- Lightly brush the sweet potatoes with oil, then wrap in tin foil, and poke holes in the potatoes with a knife or fork.
- Lay the potatoes over the indirect, cooler grates. Turning intermittently, grill for 45 minutes with the lid closed or until just fork tender. Remove from the grill. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, toss the walnuts in olive oil and add a liberal dose of salt and pepper.
- In a large heavy bottom pan, roast walnuts for 8-12 minutes over direct heat until golden brown, stirring regularly. Remove from the grill. Set aside to cool over a cooling rack.
- Serve by slicing potato length-wise. Dust with garlic powder and cinnamon. Load with walnuts, feta, and raisins. Drizzle with balsamic. Season additionally, to taste. Serve.
- To make the pie dough, sift together flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
- Cut the butter into dry mixture until flour is in pea-sized pieces.
- With a hand mixer set on low, drizzle in the water until the dough comes together.
- Form the dough into a disk shape, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour.
- Remove from plastic, cut into 2 portions – 1 for the bottom crust, the other to top the pie.
- Roll out each lump of dough over a floured surface to 1/8-1/4-inch thick. Set aside.
- In a sauté pan over medium heat, bring oil to a gentle simmer. Toss in shallots, fennel and garlic.
- Sauté 3-5 minutes or until just fragrant. Stir in carrot, potato and mushrooms. Stirring intermittently, cooking for additional 7-10 minutes, or until vegetables release their water.
- Sift flour over sauteed vegetables, then add chicken and slowly pour in broth and milk.
- Cover pan and bring to a simmer, reducing volume until thick and creamy. Fold in the green onions and herbs, then season to taste. Set chicken filling aside, covered.
- Meanwhile, preheat grill to 400°F using the 2-zone method.
- Brush rolled pie dough in egg wash. Press dough into a greased cast iron pan.
- Scoop chicken filling into pie, loading to the brim.
- Gently lay the second disk of rolled dough over the pie. Pinch pie edges together and brush top of pie with remaining wash. Score top of the pie with tip of a sharp knife so steam can escape. Season top of pie with kosher salt.
- Place prepared pie over the direct, hottest grill grates for 3-4 minutes, browning the bottom of the pie crust. Then transfer the pie to the indirect, cooler grates.
- Cover the grill lid and roast pie for 20-30 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
- Remove from grill.
- Rest on cooling rack for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Creating a 2-zone Grilling Surface: 1-burner grill – leverage the warming shelf, lined with tin foil, to remove the meat from direct contact with the grill grates. 2-burner grill – heat the right side to hot and leave the left side off. 3-burner grill – heat the far right side to hot, the middle to low-medium and the left side off. 4-burner grill – heat the two right zones to high and leave the two left zones off.