Home for the Holidays: Roasted Chicken with Maple Pepper Glaze and Sweet Potatoes

Home for the Holidays is the hilarious holiday comedy featuring Holly Hunter as Claudia Larson, a divorced single mom recently fired for kissing her boss who is traveling home alone for the annual Thanksgiving holiday. As in many families on Turkey Day, multiple cooks try to take the lead the kitchen, which results in meltdowns over missing carrots and menu requests: “I only want white meat and my own sweet potatoes,” says wacky Aunt Gladys. That’s just the beginning of the events that happen during the dysfunctional Larson family feast.

The flavors of Thanksgiving can stick around longer than the November meal. Roast chicken makes for an easy turkey substitute, and sweet potatoes are an unstoppable winter food. Gather your friends for a night in with

Roasted Chicken with Maple Pepper Glaze and Sweet Potatoes.


  • 2 pound(s) sweet potatoes (about 3), peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoon(s) cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) butter, cut into small pieces
  • 6 tablespoon(s) pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon(s) bourbon


  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. In a large roasting pan, toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Push them to the edges of the pan, leaving a space in the center for the chicken.
  2. Rub the cavity of the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Twist the wings behind the back and tie the legs together. Put the chicken, breast-side up, in the center of the roasting pan. Coat the chicken with the remaining tablespoon oil, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper, and dot with the butter. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, bourbon, and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and stir the potatoes. Brush the chicken with about 2 tablespoons of the glaze and drizzle the potatoes with about 1/2 tablespoon of the glaze. Return the pan to the oven and cook, stirring the potatoes and brushing the chicken with the remaining glaze 2 more times, until the chicken and potatoes are just done, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer the bird and potatoes to a plate and leave to rest in a warm spot for about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, pour off the fat from the roasting pan. Add any accumulated juices from the chicken to the liquid in the pan. Serve the chicken with the pan juices and sweet potatoes.

Pieces of April – Pomegranate Lacquered Roast Turkey

In a neighborhood of New York’s Lower East Side, April Burns and her boyfriend, Bobby, are getting ready to host Thanksgiving dinner for April’s family.

April is the outcast of the family, and after a past of drugs, arrests and family disputes, she is finally making one last attempt at making peace with her loved ones. Her mother is battling breast cancer, and as her life clock keeps ticking, this may be their last chance to reconnect as a family.

Pieces of April

As April’s mom, dad, brother, sister and grandmother make the long trip from Pennsylvania, the relationship between April and her family is revealed through conversations and flashbacks of memories. Ironically, no one seems to have any happy memories of April, and what is meant to be a pleasant holiday is blurred with a fear that April may not have changed at all.

Meanwhile, April is battling her own problems. While Bobby is searching for a presentable outfit to impress the family, April discovers her oven is broken. As dinner time draws nearer she is racing the clock to find an alternate oven, making some new friends (and enemies) along the way.

One friend in particular is Evette and Eugene, an African-American couple living in April’s building. At first reluctant to help April with her cooking, they eventually establish a friendship where April is exposed to some of their unique recipes. Try this Pomegranate Lacquered Roast Turkey recipe, and come Thanksgiving time, your family will know who should do the cooking.

Pomegranate Lacquered Roast Turkey Recipe

Pomegranate Lacquered Roast Turkey

Share this delicious recipe:  


  • 1 fresh turkey, neck and giblets reserved
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Sprinkle neck and body cavities with 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper mixture.
  2. Place turkey, breast side up, in a large, heavy-bottomed roasting pan, without a rack. Brush butter over turkey and season with the remaining salt and pepper mixture. Roast turkey 3 1/2 hours, basting every 45 minutes with pan juices.
  3. While turkey is cooking, make the pomegranate lacquer. Bring pomegranate juice to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat; boil until thick, about 20 minutes. Whisk in brown sugar and mustard and continue to boil 2 minutes.
  4. After 3 1/2 hours of roasting, start brushing pomegranate lacquer over turkey, brushing 2 or 3 times during the last 45 minutes of cooking, until meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F and turkey is a deep amber color.
  5. Transfer turkey to a serving platter and let stand 45 minutes before slicing.

Cooking time: 4 hours.Servings: 10.Back to Top

Scary Movie – Turkey and Mashed Potatoes

Drew Decker, a promiscuous teenage girl, is home alone one Halloween night when she receives a mysterious phone call. She grabs a baseball bat and creeps to the front door, anticipating the presence of the caller. When she opens the door she is greeted by trick-or-treaters. Confused, she retreats back into the house, where she encounters the caller dressed as Ghostface from the film Scream, and as one thing leads to another, is the first of many victims to be murdered.

Sound familiar yet? Scary Movie is the not-so-scary comedy that pokes fun at some of the most classical horror flicks of our time.


The movie is set one year after a group of six friends accidentally hit and kill a man while driving. They dispose of the body, but despite their attempts to clean up their accidental crime, they are now being stalked by a masked serial killer. One by one the number of victims increases, and if they want to live to see the sequel, these six friends need to find a way to escape the clutches of not only a determined killer, but a relentless news reporter, Gail Hailstorm.

Turkey and Mashed Potatoes



  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 boneless turkey breast
  • Salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Mashed potatoes


  1. Take a large bowl to bake the ingredients, add in the olive oil, garlic, thyme, sage and the black ground pepper. Add the turkey to the mix and rub it with the ingredients. Place in the fridge and refrigerate for a night (perfect way to marinate it).
  2. Start by heating up the oven at 350 degrees F. Put the turkey in the oven on a pan, add a little it of salt pepper and chicken stock over it and at the bottom of the pan. Start roasting your turkey while poring juice over it (every 10 minutes). Once your turkey reach 165 degrees F inside (use a thermometer). Add the rest of chiken stock towards the end. Take out and place in a plate.
  3. In order to make the gravy: place the roasting pan on the stove top over high heat, add the water and deglaze the pan by stirring to dislodge any browned bits on the pan bottom. Boil until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Start melting butter in a pan, add the flour over the melted butter whisking it always until absorbed (make it golden brown). Cook for 7-15 minutes while adding the rest of warmed chicken stock. Make sure to contiune whisking while you cook it.
  5. Slice the meat and serve on warmed individual plates. Place a mound of mashed potatoes alongside and drizzle the gravy over the turkey and potatoes.

Cooking time: 1 day 45 minutes.Servings: 8.Back to Top

Donnie Brasco – Coq au Vin

“Forget about it!” Does it ring a bell? It’s “Donnie Brasco” and I’m sure you know all the lines by heart. For those who haven’t fallen head over heels for this movie and those who are proud they have, read away.

“Donnie Brasco” is a true story, of an FBI New York agent, working under a fake name, who makes his way into the big mafia family. But this is only Donnie 101. He needs to get as close as possible to the top of the mafioso system, but it isn’t easy if you are nobody.

Donnie Brasco

Lucky for our secret agent, there is a man, Leftie, who takes him in, almost like a son, and teaches him the real deal of the business and helps him out, risking everything he’s ever gained for Donnie. “I die with you, Donnie.”

Out of all the scenes, the coq au vin cooking scene beets them all. Bonding over a delicious home-cooked meal, what could two men want more? Lefty cooks and shushes Annette, who was complementing his cooking with: “Shut up Annette!”

But what happens when it’s time to reveal the truth? Will Brasco accomplish his mission? Or will he be one of them?

This movie kicks all other movies out the charts. It’s hilarious and witty and, trust me on this, you won’t be able to sit still until the very end.

Coq au Vin Recipe

Coq au Vin


  • 1/2 lb bacon slices
  • 20 pearl onions, peeled, or 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 lbs chicken thighs and legs
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups red wine (pinot noir, burgundy, or zinfandel)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Several fresh thyme sprigs
  • Several fresh parsley sprigs
  • 1/2 lb button mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Blanch the bacon to remove some of its saltiness. Drop the bacon into a saucepan of cold water, covered by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes, drain. Rinse in cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Cut the bacon into 1 inch by 1/4 inch pieces.
  2. Brown bacon on medium high heat in a dutch oven big enough to hold the chicken, about 10 minutes. Remove the cooked bacon, set aside. Keep the bacon fat in the pan. Working in batches if necessary, add onions and chicken, skin side down. Brown the chicken well, on all sides, about 10 minutes. Halfway through the browning, add the garlic and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. (Note: it is best to add salt while cooking, not just at the very end. It brings out the flavor of the chicken).
  3. Spoon off any excess fat. Add the chicken stock, wine, and herbs. Add back the bacon. Lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove chicken and onions to a separate platter. Remove the bay leaves, herb sprigs, garlic, and discard.
  4. Add mushrooms to the remaining liquid and turn the heat to high. Boil quickly and reduce the liquid by three fourths until it becomes thick and saucy. Lower the heat, stir in the butter. Return the chicken and onions to the pan to reheat and coat with sauce. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Cooking time: 45 minutes.Servings: 6.Back to Top

A Christmas Story – Roasted Duck

If you had to name one thing, one big event, to which a little kid looks forward all year round, what would it be? Drumroll, please – CHRISTMAS! No matter how old we are, we all wait for Christmas with the highest expectations!

The perfect example is “A Christmas Story”. The movie focuses on the all-American boy, Ralphie, and his wish to wake up on the 25th of December and find a Red Ryder BB Gun to unwrap. Not everything goes his way, though: there’s his school, his parents and Santa Claus that walk the exact opposite way.

A Christmas Story

Get ready for some unusual Chinese carolling, snow ball fights with the most terrifying bully you have much more just a click away. We all know things can get a little crazy at Christmas time! Start your countdown, and in the meantime learn how to bring some tradition in your usual holiday: watch the movie, and be inspired! Prepare the delicious roasted duck with the help of your loving family!

Roasted Duck Recipe

Roasted Duck


  • 1 (5- to 6-lb) Long Island duck (also known as Pekin)
  • 2 cups boiling-hot water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. If necessary, cut off wing tips with poultry shears or a sharp knife. Remove and discard excess fat from body cavity and neck, then rinse duck inside and out. Prick skin all over with a sharp fork. Fold neck skin under body, then put duck, breast side up, on a rack in a 13- by 9- by 3-inch roasting pan and pour boiling-hot water over duck (to tighten skin). Cool duck, then pour out any water from cavity into pan. Pat duck dry inside and out, reserving water in pan, then rub duck inside and out with kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Roast duck, breast side up, 45 minutes, then remove from oven. Turn duck over using 2 wooden spoons, and roast 45 minutes more. Turn duck over again (breast side up), tilting duck to drain any liquid from cavity into pan. Continue to roast duck until skin is brown and crisp, about 45 minutes more (total roasting time: about 2 1/4 hours). Tilt duck to drain any more liquid from cavity into pan. Transfer duck to a cutting board and let stand 15 minutes before carving. Discard liquid in roasting pan.

Cooking time: 2 hours 45 minutes.Servings: 4.Back to Top

Fantastic Mr. Fox – Roasted Chicken

Mr. Fox is nothing less than fantastic. His forte? Wild outings of hen-heckling, turkey-stealing and cider-snatching from local farmers and big time corporations. But when he and the beautiful Mrs. Fox get caught in a fox trap, his fantastic days are over. Now there’s a baby fox on the way and it’s time for Mr. Fox to buckle down and get serious. Under his wife’s strict orders, he picks up a much safer job as a newspaper columnist.

fantastic mr fox

Two years later Mr. and Mrs. Fox are living in a hole with their troubled son, Ash. To put it simply, Ash is a little “different” and his father doesn’t exactly make things any better for him. To make matters worse, Ash’s cousin, Kristofferson, comes to live with them when his father falls ill and is seemingly superior to Ash in ever way possible.

Despite their humble lifestyle, Mr. Fox is dissatisfied. His wild and rebellious ways are creeping back up on him. He just wants one more raid. And who better to steal from than the three nastiest and meanest farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean.

Suddenly Mrs. Fox’s pantry is filled with whole hens ready to be cooked. Yes, wouldn’t it be nice if food just magically appeared? Little does she know of Mr. Fox’s side project.

Is roasted chicken on your menu? It should be! Make your dinners fantastic with this tasty recipe for roasted chicken.

Roasted Chicken Recipe

roasted chicken


  • 3 carrots
  • 3 ribs celery
  • 3 onions
  • 1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) chicken, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cracked white pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 4 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped, plus 1 tablespoon for gravy
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons roasted garlic
  • 1 cup dry white wine


  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. In a 9 by 13-inch roasting pan, add the carrots, celery and onions. Season the chicken both inside and out with the kosher salt and white pepper. Squeeze the lemon halves over the chicken and place the rinds inside the cavity. Place the bay leaves inside the cavity. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, rosemary, olive oil and butter. Rub the chicken both inside and out with the garlic rosemary blend and place in the roasting pan.
  3. Place the pan in the oven and roast the chicken for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the juices run clear. To test this, insert a thermometer in the thickest part of a leg. It should register at 160 degrees internal temperature. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
  4. Pour off excess fat from pan and return to heat. Whisk in chicken stock, roasted garlic, white wine and chopped rosemary, scraping up the bits on the bottom of pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Reduce gravy by half, until thickened.

Cooking time: 50 minutes.Servings: 4.Back to Top