Tony Maws is the winner of the 2011 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northeast and the chef and restaurateur behind Craigie on Main in Cambridge, Mass.
"As a native New Englander, I love cranberries, and where I live I'm lucky to be able to find great fresh, heirloom ones. A friend of mine up in Bourne, Massachusetts, has bogs at the back of his farm — and not long ago bogs were common up and down the coast. But I realize that in other parts of the country good fresh cranberries can be hard to come on, and the thought of having to resort to sauce from a can is just sad. This dried fruit chutney is a great alternative that you can make with preserved fruit no matter where you are and is super versatile. I usually make a version with cranberries, figs, pistachios, walnuts and port — but you could substitute all sorts of nuts and fruits according to what's available. Fruit and roasted poultry is a time-honored pairing, and the flavor of cranberries is a classic nod to the traditions of the Northeast."
Serve with: "On Thanksgiving you're eating a lot, so you don't want to drink anything that's too heavy. We usually stick to beer, Riesling and Beaujolais. We might bust out a magnum of some fun burgundy for giggles, but it's mostly about finding something light and drinkable that makes you happy."
Pro tip: "These days, I close the restaurant and host my dinner here. It cleans up much faster with my industrial Hobart dishwasher! But if you don't have that luxury, I'd say just remember it doesn't have to be a race to the finish line. A lot of food — like this compote — can be done ahead, in fact it's even better that way."
Dried Fruit Compote