Chef and Food Personality Leigh Ann Chatagnier Shares a Special Family Menu for Thanksgiving

Chef and Food Personality Leigh Ann Chatagnier Shares a Special Family Menu for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time when family and friends gather to give thanks.  Chef, food personality and founder of My Diary of Us created a delicious menu for Thanksgiving that is sure to wow friends and family.

“I created this menu with the idea of loved ones gathered in the kitchen helping to prepare a special Thanksgiving meal to share together,” Leigh Ann explains. “This menu is perfect for large family gatherings that you may be hosting, but also is makes a potluck offering for a party or dinner throughout the holidays.  Each recipe is unique, but simple enough to make in any kitchen.

This special Thanksgiving menu is one of my favorites because not only are the recipes simple enough to make in any kitchen, but they beautiful and really delicious too.  Bring the warmth of the holiday season into your home with these three festive recipes!”

 “My Rosemary Pomegranate Maple Glazed Turkey is easy to make and is topped with a rosemary infused pomegranate glaze that takes this roasted turkey to a whole new level.  It pairs perfectly with my savory twist on a sweet potato casserole that is a must try this Thanksgiving.  I created a Chipotle Sweet Potato Casserole that is topped with a decadent sourdough sage and pecan bread crumb topping that will wow your guests and have them asking for seconds!  To round off the menu I like to serve my Brussel Sprout, Sausage, and Apple Rice Stuffing.  This rice stuffing is a great alternative to the classic stuffing, especially if you have gluten sensitive family members, and each bite tastes just like the holidays!”


Rosemary Pomegranate Maple Glazed Roasted Turkey
Serves 6-10

•    1 13-16 Lb. Whole Turkey
•    4 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
•    2 Tbsp. Black Pepper

For the Glaze:
•     2 Cups Pomegranate Juice
•    1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
•    1 Tsp. Black Pepper
•    2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary

•    Rub turkey down on all sides with salt and pepper liberally, including the inside of the bird.
•    Let sit uncovered in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 4 hours.
•    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
•    Let turkey sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before baking while the oven preheats.
•    Place the turkey on a roasting pan and cover with foil.
•    Bake for 2 1/2-3 hours until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
•    While the turkey bakes, make the rosemary pomegranate maple glaze by combining pomegranate juice, maple syrup, pepper, and rosemary sprigs in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and let reduce by half until slightly thickened.
•    Uncover the turkey for the last 20 minutes of cooking and brush a liberal amount of the pomegranate glaze all over the turkey.  Brush a second coat of the glaze on the turkey if desired.
•    Serve with extra pomegranate glaze.

Savory Chipotle Sweet Potato Casserole with a Sourdough Sage Pecan Bread Crumb Topping
Serves 6-8

•    5 Cups Peeled and Steamed or Roasted Sweet Potatoes (4-5 sweet potatoes)
•    1 Stick Melted Butter
•    2 1/2 Tbsp Finely Diced Chipotle Peppers in Adobo + 1 Tsp. of the Chipotle Pepper Liquid
•    1 1/2 Tbsp Salt
•    1 Tsp Pepper
•    2 Eggs
•    1/2 Cup Milk
•    2 Tsp. Honey

For the Topping:
•    1/2 Stick Melted Butter
•    2 Cups Stale Sourdough Bread, crumbled
•    1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Sage
•    1 Cup Chopped Pecans
•    1 Tsp. Salt
•    1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper

•    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
•    In a stand mixer or large bowl combine sweet potatoes, butter, chipotle peppers, eggs, milk, and honey.  Mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
•    Season with Salt and Pepper.
•    Place whipped chipotle sweet potatoes into a 9 x 13 baking dish and spread into an even layer.
•    Make bread crumb topping by mixing together melted butter with bread, sage, pecans, salt, and pepper.
•    Spread the bread crumb mixture evenly over the top of the sweet potatoes.
•    Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through and the topping is golden brown.

*Note: You can also stuff the turkey with this stuffing.


Leigh Ann Chatagnier loves to share favorite recipes with her social media followers.  As the founder of My Diary of Us, Leigh Ann invites visitors to come into her kitchen and cook with her and her family.  She is a frequent guest on Houston Life, and cooks up family-friendly meals on Home & Family on The Hallmark Channel and NBC Syndicated Daytime.  She has been featured in Louisiana Cookin’ magazine, Red Trycycle and inRegister.  Leigh Ann is the author of two cookbooks, The Unexpected Cajun Kitchen: Classic Cuisine with a Twist of Farm-to-Table Freshness (Skyhorse/2016), and Natural Baby & Toddler Treats: Homemade, Nourishing Recipes for Baby and Beyond (Skyhorse/2019).

Leigh Ann lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and young son.  Visit her at

Recipes and photos reprinted with permission of
Leigh Ann Chatagnier/ 




Cynthia Tait

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