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."