Last-minute tips for Thanksgiving — chocolate butterscotch chess pie, turkey vegetable soup and more

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We’re less than 24 hours away from the big meal.

So on this Recipe Wednesday, we’re getting last-minute turkey tips from expert chef, Mike Mort.

He runs the kitchen for the Forsyth Country Club in Winston-Salem.

Here’s some advice for a juicy bird, plus a last minute side dish and great dessert.

Turkey Tips

  • Thaw your turkey breast side up in its unopened wrapper in the refrigerator. Allow one day of thawing for every 4lbs. of frozen meat.
  • Pat the bird dry. Wet skin will turn out mottled. Rub skin with butter or oil and season inside and out with salt and ground white pepper. It is best to not stuff the turkey. In order to get stuffing to a food safe temperature (165°F), the turkey would be overcooked. The empty cavity allows hot air inside the bird for more even cooking.
  • Roast in an oven set to 425°F for one hour. After one hour, rotate the pan 180°, reduce heat to 325°F and continue roasting for approximately two more hours. You want to see an internal temperature of 157°F on the breast and 175°F in the thigh. Remove from oven.
  • Allow your turkey to rest uncovered for at least 30 minutes. The internal temperature will continue to climb by as much as 10 or 12°
  • After the rest, carve, and serve immediately. After the meal promptly chill leftovers. Discard turkey that has been left in the danger zone (40°F to 140°F) for more than two hours.
  • Store leftover turkey in a sealed container below 40° Consume within three days. If freezing, store at 0°F and consume within two months.

Apple & Peach Chutney

Serves 4-6


  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. orange marmalade
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  •  ¼ tsp. dry mustard
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • 1 gala apple cored and cut into 1/3 inch cubes
  • 1 cup frozen diced peaches
  • Couple of sprigs of fresh mint, chopped


  1. Stir the vinegar, marmalade, red pepper, salt, pepper, dry mustard, cloves, and ginger in a medium bowl until the mustard dissolves and the chutney base is blended.
  2. Mix in the apples, peaches, and mint. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Butterscotch Chess Pie

Makes 1 pie, serves 8-10


  • ½ lb. unsalted butter
  • 2 oz. baking chocolate
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips


  1. Melt butter and chocolate together over low heat
  2. Remove from heat and blend in eggs and sugar. Fold in butterscotch chips.
  3. Pour into a 9’’ deep dish pie crust. Bake at 300°F for 1 hour. Pie is ready when top surface is firm and shiny.

Turkey Vegetable Soup 

Serves 8. Serving size 2 cups.

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups cut green beans
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrot
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 2 qrts. turkey stock
  • 1 small (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
  • ¾ tablespoon salt
  • ¾ tablespoon black pepper
  • 3 cups roast turkey medium diced
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice


  1. Heat oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in celery and next 9 ingredients. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add turkey and simmer 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Refrigerate any remaining soup in an airtight container up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.

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