Top Moments of Chopped After Hours: Thanksgiving

Chopped judges Maneet Chauhan and Chris Santos, plus host Ted Allen, take on an entree basket from the Thanksgiving episode.

Chopped After Hours: Thanksgiving

With Alex at the hosting helm, judges Maneet and Chris join host Ted to cook with Turkey Day ingredients giblet gravy, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin pie ice cream and a whole turkey. Like the chef competitors, the judges have 40 minutes instead of 30 to prepare their entree, on account of the oversize bird.

Double the Meat

Chris wastes no time in tackling his turkey, as he decides to approach it in two ways. For the dark meat, he deep-fries the legs to create juicy meat on the inside with golden-brown skin on the outside. The white meat, however, will be simply breaded and served with sweet potato puree. "Pretty traditional, but [it] should be delicious," he tells Alex.

Favorite Flavors

"Already I can see you infusing your culture and your heritage by using ginger and fresh chile in a Thanksgiving stuffing," Alex tells Maneet. This stuffing is eventually rolled into tandoori-topped turkey and served with a light salad of Brussels sprouts and apples.

Calculated Strategy

Much to Alex's concern, Ted waits until the very end of the round to begin preparing his turkey, but he explains, "The turkey that I'm going to cook is going to be a really small piece." He manages to finish cooking the meat in time and serves it with sage-laced stuffing molds.

Brilliant Approach

The star element of Maneet's dish proves to be her turkey roulade, which she's marinated in a mixture of yogurt and the pumpkin pie ice cream. "It tastes like you almost brined it. It's juicy," Chris tells her. "You would definitely get massive, major points for creativity to tenderize turkey with pumpkin pie ice cream," Alex adds.

Mastering the Turkey

"I approached it as in 'We only have 40 minutes to cook a turkey,'" Chris explains to the group, which is wowed by his plate, featuring both breast and leg meat of the turkey, plus fluffy sweet potatoes and a topping of bacon-studded Brussels sprouts. "I just love that you used the skin, the dark meat and the white meat," Alex says to Chris. "The most-impressive thing, I think, is that you got legs cooked," Ted notes.

Lesson in Tradition

While explaining his dish, Ted says: "My favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is the stuffing or the dressing. [I made a] straight-up sage stuffing." He adds, "I tried to make it look a little nicer by putting it in a mold, which sort of worked." He's concerned about his sweet potato-based sauce, but Maneet tells him: "It's a good balance. I think the acidity is pulling all of this together, so if you have a bite of everything together, delicious."

Cheers to the Holiday

At the end of tasting, the judges come together to raise a glass to Thanksgiving, and Chris offers a toast: "To our own turkeys coming out as nicely as these turkeys did."

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