Preston Scott

Preston Scott

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Thanksgiving recipes from David Gwynn

David and Elizabeth Gwynn own The Grove Market Cafe, and Vertigo Burgers & Fries. For years, David has been kind enough to share his expertise and his recipes exclusively with us (ok, maybe someone in their family has them, too). I will tell you this...if you follow each of these recipes you will have an amazing meal. After all, the man is a highly trained chef (and if you ever dined at Cypress before he closed it to focus on the other restaurants you would know what I am talking about).

The brine for the turkey creates the most moist, flavorful bird ever (I use this method and recipe each year) and the aromatics make waiting for the meal actually pleasurable. The flavors are ever-so-subtle from them. Then there's the Sweet Potato Hash, Cranberry-Ginger sauce and more.

Be sure to check back because we may add a recipe or two. 

David will join me Tuesday at 8:05 AM (EST) for three segments of "talking turkey." Have your questions ready and call 850-205-9352. 



(For 15-18# Turkey)

18 # Turkey, thawed

1-gallon Vegetable Stock, homemade or low sodium store bought    

1 cup Kosher Salt    

1 tablespoon Black Peppercorns,whole    

6 each Bay Leaves, whole, dried

1 tablespoon Juniper Berries,crushed 

1 tablespoon Allspice, crushed

1-gallon Ice Water


½ yellow onion, large dice   

2 stalks celery, large dice   

1 large or 2 small carrots, large dice    

2 jalapeños, split in half   

8 leaves sage

10 sprigs thyme

6 cloves garlic


Prepare turkey by removing the innards - gizzards, liver, heart, from inside the bird’s cavity.Reserve those items for making gravy. Combine all brine ingredients,except ice water, in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. 

On the night before cooking the turkey, combine brine mixture with ice water in a 5-gallon bucket,clean ice chest or large stockpot. Carefully place the turkey into the liquid. Brine for 8 to 10 hours, turning bird over at least once. Place the bucket in a refrigerator or a vessel of ice where the brining turkey can maintain a temperature of 40°F or colder.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450°. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Discard brine. Fill cavity of bird with aromatics. Place onto a roasting pan rack breast side up and brush with a neutral flavored oil or butter to promote browning.  Place turkey in the oven and immediately drop the oven temperature to 325°. Cook in oven for 3½to 4 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part reaches 155°F. Check after 2 hours. If browning too quickly at the midway point, then loosely cover the bird with tinfoil to prevent burning the skin. Remove turkey from oven and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before cutting. This allows the juices to re-assimilate.


Yields: 6 servings

4 Medium Sweet Potatoes, washed,peeled and 1” dice

½ cup good quality, Thick-cutBacon, medium dice 

½ RedOnion, peeled, medium dice  

1 Red Pepper, remove stem & seeds, medium dice

1 Yellow Pepper, remove stem & seeds, medium dice

1 Green Bell Pepper or Poblano Pepper, remove stem & seeds, medium dice

8 medium-sized Shiitake Mushroom Caps, medium dice

6 ounces Turkey Stock or LowSalt Chicken Stock

1 tablespoon Unsalted Butter 

1 teaspoon fresh Parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh Sage Leaves,chopped

1 teaspoon fresh Thyme Leaves,chopped

Salt and Pepper, to taste


Prepare all ingredients as directed.

Toss sweet potatoes with a little oil, salt and pepper and roast in 400-degree oven until just done -an inserted knife offers little resistance. 

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a sauté pan over medium heat until it begins to crisp. Remove bacon and reserve.  In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add just enough bacon fat or oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onion, mushrooms and peppers. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Cook until the mix starts to brown and soften making sure to stir the pan often to evenly cook the ingredients. Add the sweet potatoes and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the cooked bacon,herbs and just enough stock to cover the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until reduced and glazy. About 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in a little butter. Season to taste.


2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt 

2 Tablespoons ground Black Pepper 

1 Tablespoon ground Fennel Seed

2 Tablespoons ground Bay Leaves

2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder

3 Tablespoons Oregano Leaves

3 Tablespoons Thyme Leaves

2 Tablespoons Ground Sage

2 Tablespoons Onion Powder

3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar


Combine all ingredients in a bowl.Mix well to combine. 


Sprinkle 4 or 5 tablespoons of the spice mixture liberally all over turkey until it is lightly coated.Transfer the turkey to a roasting rack placed on a sheet pan. Place the turkey, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. When ready to cook, remove the turkey from the refrigerator one-hour prior. Cook as directed. Store remaining spice mix in an airtight container for use on chicken and other poultry.  


Yield: 6 cupsTwo-12-ouncepackages Fresh Cranberries

One-inch piece of Fresh Ginger, peeled and grated

1 Jalapeño, seeded and minced

3 cups Sugar

Juice & zest of 1 medium-sized Orange

Pinch of salt


Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart saucepot. Place over medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook until cranberries burst. Chill and serve. 


Yields 10-12 servings

½ # Andouille Sausage, medium diced

1 medium Onion, medium diced 

3 stalks Celery, medium diced 

1 tablespoon Garlic, minced 

2 ea. Granny Smith Apples, medium diced 

1 tablespoon Parsley, fresh 

1 tablespoon Sage, fresh 

1 tablespoon Thyme, fresh 

2 quarts Cornbread, large diced, lightly toasted

2 quarts French Bread, large diced, lightly toasted

4 oz. Butter, melted

3 cups fresh Chestnuts, medium diced*

2 quarts low salt Chicken Stock

Salt & Pepper, to taste


In a large sauté pan, cook Andouille, onion, celery, garlic in a little oil over medium heat until soft. Add apples and cook 2 minutes longer. Add herbs and stir to combine. Remove from heat and cool.

In a large bowl combine cornbread,bread, chestnuts and cooled sausage mixture. Add melted butter and chicken stock as needed to make mixture moist. Stir to combine.Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour into 4-quart casserole dish. Bake in a 350° pre-heated oven uncovered for about 45 minutes or until firm and a little crispy around the edges.

* To remove chestnut from the shell, mark an “X” with a sharp knife on the flat side of the chestnut shell. Roast at 375° for 8-10 minutes. Remove shell while chestnuts are still warm. 


Yield: 30 ounces

Neck, Heart, Gizzard from Turkey (Giblets)

4 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

4 tablespoons Butter

¼ cup Onion, medium diced

1 quart low salt Chicken Stock, hot

2 each Bay Leaves

6 leaves Sage, fresh

6 sprigs Thyme, fresh

Salt and Pepper, to taste


In a 2-quart sauce pot on medium heat add a splash of oil, giblets and onion. Stirring frequently,cook the mixture until it has nicely browned; about 5 minutes. Remove the giblet mixture from pot and reserve for later use.  

Using the same 2 quart pot, make a roux (pronounced “roo”) by adding the butter and melting it over medium heat. Then whisk in the flour. Cook the roux stirring frequently for 8 to 10 minutes. Your goal is to have it a nice light brown color, like peanut butter. Note: to keep the roux from sticking to the bottom corners of the pot, use a regular spoon to scrape around the curved edge of the base. 

Add the chicken stock 2 to 3 ounces at a time while whisking. It is a very important to add stock slowly while whisking to avoid lumps. The mixture will become thick and paste-like but it will eventually thin out with each addition of stock. Once all of the stock has been added, add bay leaves and add back giblet neck mixture. 

Let the gravy simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently. If the gravy is too thick, add a little chicken stock to thin to desired consistency. Strain the gravy into a heat-proof pitcher or gravy boat. Add the fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper. If desired, collect any meat from the neck and chop the liver and gizzard and add to the gravy.  Serve. 


Yields: approximately 1-½ gallons

1 leftover Turkey Carcass 

1 large or 2 Small Onions –peeled & quartered

2 Carrots – peeled & rough chop

3 stalks Celery – rough chop

6 cloves Garlic – peeled &smashed

1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns

1 teaspoon Dried Thyme

2 Bay Leaves

Cold Water, as needed


Combine all in an appropriate sized stockpot. Add water until barely covering top of carcass. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 3½ - 4 hours. Skim foam &fat off of top periodically. Remove from heat. Strain thru a large mesh strainer, then strain a second time thru a fine mesh strainer.    

* Use this stock to make soup or for recipes that call for chicken stock. Freeze in an ice tray or paper cups for later use.


Yields: 2 cups

2 tablespoons Cranberry Purée *

½ cup Balsamic Vinegar   

½ teaspoon Dijon Mustard   

1 cup Olive Oil

2 teaspoons Sugar


Combine all except oil in a bowl.Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified. Season with salt. 

*Heat ½ cup of cranberries with 2 ounces of water, a pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons of sugar over medium heat until berries “pop” and are soft. Blend until pureed. Substitute canned cranberry sauce, if that’s easier.

Use on a salad made with left over Thanksgiving turkey or duck. 


Yields 10-12 servings

6 slices of Bacon, cut into small strips

2 pints Oysters, picked thru forshell, reserve 1-pint oyster liquid

1 large Onion, medium diced 

3 stalks Celery, medium diced

1 Green Bell Pepper orPoblano Pepper, medium diced

1 tablespoon Garlic, minced 

1 tablespoon fresh Parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh Sage Leaves,chopped

1 tablespoon fresh Thyme Leaves,chopped

2 quarts Cornbread, large diced,lightly toasted

2 quarts French Bread, large diced,lightly toasted

½ cup Unsalted Butter, melted

1-½ quarts low salt Chicken Stock

1-pint Reserved Oyster Liquid

1 tablespoon Worcestershire

2 teaspoons Louisiana Style HotSauce

1 tablespoon Salt 

2 teaspoons Black Pepper


In a large sauté pan, render bacon until crispy over medium heat. Remove bacon and set aside. Leave a tablespoon or so of bacon fat in pan then add onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cook over medium heat until soft. Add oysters and cook 2 minutes longer. Add herbs and stir to combine. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl combine cornbread,bread, cooked bacon, cooked oyster/onion mixture, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Add melted butter, chicken stock and oyster liquid as needed to make mixture moist. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour into 4-quart casserole dish. Bake in a 350° pre-heated oven uncovered for about 45 minutes or until firm and a little crispy around the edges. 


Yields: 12 stuffed quail

12 Semi-boneless Quail*

One-third pound Mild Smoked BulkSausage 

3 cups Butternut Squash – peeled,medium diced

1 large Shallot, small diced – may substitute ¼ cup diced yellow or red onion

4 cloves fresh Garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh Parsley, chopped

½teaspoon fresh Thyme Leaves, chopped

½ teaspoon fresh Sage Leaves,chopped

Salt and Pepper, for stuffing and for seasoning quail

½ cup Unsalted Butter, melted tobrush on quail


Toss butternut squash w/ salt, blackpepper and a drizzle of canola oil, roast in 400° oven, middle rack, until beginning to brown and softbut retains shape. Cool. Meanwhile, cook sausage over medium heat in a sauté pan, about 3 minutes. Add shallot and garlic. Continue to cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat,stir in herbs and let mixture cool. Add sausage mixture to roasted butternut. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.


Purchase semi-boneless quail which means the backbone is removed and only the wings and leg bones remain. Cut off the wings but leave leg bones intact.


Take ¼ cup of filling and form it into a ball. Place the stuffing between the breast and skin of backbone. Lay quail, breast side up with legs crossed on a sheet pan with a wire grate. Brush quail with oil or butter and season with salt and black pepper. Roast in 375°F oven on middle rack until center registers 155-160° on probe thermometer, about 25 minutes. Quail can be prepped three days ahead then cooked the day of event.


One- 9” Pie Shell (Ginger Snaps work well)

2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground Ginger

½ teaspoon ground Nutmeg

½ teaspoon Baking Powder

½ teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 cups cooked Sweet Potato purée *

2 Eggs

1-½ cups Sugar

1 cup Condensed Milk

2 tablespoons Butter, melted

½ teaspoon Lemon Juice

1 oz Rum/Bourbon (optional) 

*may substitute with cooked pumpkin purée


Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, mix eggs and sugar over medium speed until pale color, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients and remaining wet ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Add sweet potato mix to egg/sugar mix. Stir to combine. Pour into an unbaked, prepared pie shell. Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes, making sure to rotate pie midway through. Tent pie with tinfoil sprayed with pan spray if getting too brown on top. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature prior to cutting. Can be made a day ahead. 


Yield: ten, 8 oz servings

½-gallon Whole Milk

5 Allspice Berries

3 Star Anise

2 tablespoons Brown Sugar

2 Cinnamon Sticks    

½# good quality Semisweet Chocolate, chopped

Zest of one Orange   

8 oz. aged Rum, optional


Combine first SIX ingredients in a sauce pot. Bring to just under a boil. Lower heat and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain out spices. Return liquid to sauce pot and keep over low heat. Add chopped chocolate, whisking to combine and facilitate melting. Add rum. Serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings

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