Martín Rios is chef/owner of Restaurant Martín in Santa Fe, N.M., and was a 2011 semi-finalist for the James Beard Best Chef: Southwest Award.
"I always make an organic turkey, a cornbread and sage stuffing with dried figs, and a pumpkin pie with a pine nut streusel — but my favorite part of the meal is my bourbon-vanilla sweet potatoes in ancho chile butter, which have a great balance of sweetness and heat. I use New Mexican dried red chiles, grind them and then stir them into the butter and maple syrup. Since we're in chile country, sometimes I add green chiles to the stuffing, too. Starting in October, roasters start appearing in parking lots all over town, and the whole city smells like chiles. I buy a big sack and use it for the whole month!"
Serve it with: "My wife makes an amazing sangria for the holidays. It's easy: Mix orange juice and lime juice with 1/3 blackberry puree, 1/3 apricot puree and champagne. It's a little tart, a little sweet and has a great, festive fizziness."
Pro tip: "To me, Thanksgiving is simple: People just want a nice meal with their family, they don't want it to be complicated. For my turkey, all I do is brush the bird with butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, put a little water in the pan, wrap it in foil and roast it until the flesh reaches 145 degrees. Then I quickly brush the skin with the juices, remove the foil and let it cook a bit longer and crisp up. That's it. Just let your ingredients and your oven do most of the work."
Thanksgiving Across America
We asked chefs across the country for their favorite traditional Thanksgiving recipes.