Make Matt Register’s Eastern North Carolina meets Southern Italian Thanksgiving with these recipes.
Recipes by Matt Register | Photographs by Eamon Queeney
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
- 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 3 cups flour
- Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
- In a large bowl, season the chicken pieces with the salt, pepper, and paprika. Pour the buttermilk over the chicken and make sure each piece is submerged. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator, then take the pieces out of the buttermilk and let them drain on a wire rack or butcher paper.
- Place the flour in a bowl. One by one, toss each piece of chicken in the flour, making sure it is evenly coated. For extra-crispy chicken, you can dip the coated chicken back into the buttermilk and then dip it back in flour a second time.
- In a Dutch oven, add oil until it is about 2 ½ inches deep. Heat the oil over medium heat to a temperature of 350 degrees (flour should sizzle when it is sprinkled in the oil). Fry each piece of chicken for 12 to 15 minutes, or until it reaches 167 degrees, flipping halfway through to get it golden brown on both sides. You can fry more than one piece at the time, but don’t crowd the Dutch oven so much at once that the temperature drops far below 350 degrees.
- When the chicken has finished cooking, remove it from the grease and set on a clean wire rack to cool.
Serves 8 to 10
- ½ cup cooking oil
- Turkey breasts (4 to 8 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- Prepare a smoker to run at 250 degrees.
- Pour the cooking oil over the turkey and use your hands to rub the oil all over its surface until it is completely coated.
- In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, seasoned salt, paprika, salt, pepper, basil and brown sugar until well combined. Pour the mixture over the oiled turkey
- Smoke the turkey until it reaches 160 degrees, about one hour per pound. Remove the turkey from the smoker and place it on a baking sheet. Lightly tent with foil and let rest for 30 minutes before slicing.
Pork Belly and Sweet Potato Hash
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 pounds pork belly
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Dice the sweet potatoes into ½-inch pieces. Transfer the potatoes into a 3-quart casserole dish, cover with foil, and roast for 30 minutes. Set potatoes aside and turn off the oven. (This can be done up to two days before.)
- Cut the pork belly into 1-inch pieces. In a 10-inch non-stick skillet, over medium heat, cook the pork belly for about 5 minutes, or until it starts to brown.
- Add the brown sugar and sweet potatoes. Continue cooking for 4 minutes more, or until potatoes become fork tender.
- Add cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, parsley, and sea salt. Stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes before serving.
Brown Butter Creamed Corn
- ½ cup salted butter
- 8 ears fresh corn
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a 4-quart pot over medium heat, brown the butter; set aside. (It’s a good idea to refrigerate it to stop the cooking process, if you can).
- Cut the corn kernels from the cobs with a small paring knife and collect them in a large mixing bowl. Once the kernels have been removed, use the back of the knife blade and scrape along the cob to get the milky liquid out of the cob and into the mixing bowl. Set the bowl aside. You can discard all the cobs at this point except one. Cut the reserved cob in half to use like a soup bone.
- Transfer the cob halves to a small pot and add the heavy cream. Cook over medium heat until the cream begins to slowly boil, about 4 minutes. Immediately remove the pot from the heat and set aside.
- Place the pot with the brown butter back on the stove, over medium heat. If the butter solidified in the fridge, melt it again, then add the garlic, cut corn, basil, sugar and pepper and stir until well combined. Cook for 1 minute.
- Remove the corn cob halves from the heavy cream and slowly add the cream to the corn mixture. Stir until the mixture is uniform and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring periodically to prevent burning. The mixture will begin to thicken and become creamy as it cooks.
Italian Antipasto Salad
Serving size: Whatever suits your taste! You can leave off items you don’t like and add ones you do.
- Romaine lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces
- Cucumbers, sliced
- Tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- Fresh mozzarella, cubed
- Pepperoni, sliced
- Black olives, sliced
- Green olives, sliced
- Roasted red peppers
- Artichoke hearts
- Tuna fish, canned albacore
- Italian dressing (they like Good Seasons)
- Salt and pepper
- Layer all ingredients on a large platter. Pour the salad dressing over the antipasto. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- 3 pounds collard greens, chopped
- ¼ pound country ham
- ½ cup red and green bell peppers
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- ¼ cup sliced cherry peppers
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper
- Place country ham, peppers, onion and garlic in a bowl and toss with olive oil. Sauté mixture in a large pan until ham is crisp and vegetables are softened.
- Add chopped collards over the mixture and allow to wilt. Mix until all of the collards are broken down.
- Add salt, pepper, cheese and breadcrumbs.